By Stef Bottinelli
OmniFoods, the Hong Kong food start-up part of Green Monday Group, has announced the launch of their new range of fish alternatives, OmniSeafood.
The new line includes the Omni Classic Fillet, Omni Golden Fillet, and Omni Ocean Burger – which come in original, battered or breaded fish burger versions – and also OmniTuna and soon-to-be-launched OmniSalmon.
The main ingredients in the plant-based fish range are soy, pea and rice, the same used in the company’s successful OmniPork line, a selection of pork alternatives such as mince and pork strips sold in shops in Hong Kong and mainland China and also used in McDonald’s meals in the region.
Whilst the plant-based meat market has seen a huge growth in the last few years, the fish alternative sector still lags behind, as replicating the flavour and texture of fish and seafood is still proving challenging.
There is however a high demand for plant-based fish. A survey by YouGov showed that people are concerned about ocean plastic and overfishing. The Netflix documentary Seaspiracy has also shed a light on the issues caused by the aquaculture industry.
David Yeung, Founder and CEO of Green Monday Group and OmniFoods, said: “We cannot tackle climate change without taking care of the ocean. Overfishing and bottom trawling are the most destructive actions that devastate our marine ecosystems. That explains why since the breakthrough launch of OmniPork in 2018, we started setting our focus on seafood. After years of R&D and dedication, we are thrilled to officially unveil this revolutionary OmniSeafood series on this special occasion of World Oceans Day.”
OmniFoods unveiled their intention to sell their products in the UK, China, Southeast Asia, and Australia, creating version of popular local dishes such as fish and chips, Sichuanese spicy fish stew and Japanese tuna rice rolls.
“Plant-based fish and chips, filet-no-fish burger or Sichuan spicy boiled fish all become a reality.”, said Mr Yeung.
“This breakthrough guarantees not only to wow our taste buds, but also to awaken our consciousness towards the ocean and the planet. With today’s milestone launch of OmniSeafood, we believe it is a big leap forward to a real sea change.”
Former Manchester United footballer Chris Smalling invests in plant-based meat company Heura
By Stef Bottinelli
Chris Smalling, the former Manchester United footballer, has become an investor in Spanish vegan meat company Heura.
The 31-year-old is believed to have invested a six figure sum in Heura. This is his second investment in a plant-based food company. In 2020 Smalling became an investor in vegan meat brand THIS, winners of Food Matters Live Awards 2020’s Best Plant-Based Product of the Year for their THIS isn’t bacon vegan bacon.
The footballer is also an investor and ambassador of Ananas Anam – manufacturer and seller of Piñatex – a natural material derived from pineapple leaf fibre used as an alternative to leather. Smalling has also invested in London start-up Virtue Drinks, a sugar-free and zero-calorie drink company.
Smalling, who plays for Italian Serie A football club Roma and has been vegan for five years, is quoted by Heura saying: “Heura’s mission for change mirrors my own personal mission. They go above and beyond as a brand to leave an imprint on the way people think about plant-based diets and animal welfare, alongside creating amazing products”.
This week Heura – which makes vegan meat chunks, strips and tacos to resemble the taste and texture of beef and chicken – also raised €4m in less than 24 hours after launching an equity crowdfunding campaign on investment platform Crowdcube.
The Spanish plant-based meat company is also backed by V Capital and New Crop Capital.
Fytexia invests in propolis company B Natural
By Stef Bottinelli
Life science and nutraceutical company Fytexia has announced its investment in B Natural, a company that specialises in brown propolis.
Made by bees, propolis is a source of polyphenols with several health benefits, including antimicrobial, anti-fungal, anti-viral and anti-inflammatory.
After looking to make an investment in a source of propolis, Fytexia opted for Italian B Natural, impressed by the company’s sourcing, quality of materials, standardisation and patented extraction method which ensures unique batch-to-batch uniformity and ease of production.
Fytexia’s investment in B Natural will help the Italian company’s growth and development of new propolis products.
Matthieu Arguillère, CEO of Fytexia, commented: “We are very excited by this investment, and we believe that it will open up new growth opportunities. There are major opportunities for synergies between Fytexia and B Natural, some of them immediately applicable. This partnership will allow Fytexia and B Natural to create a strong European leader in polyphenols.”
Gianluca Imbriani, CEO of B Natural, added: “Making a traditional material such as propolis into a very premium ingredient is very exciting. We worked a lot over the past years securing sourcing and ensuring the quality and standardization of our propolis product. We believe that together with Fytexia we will be able to accelerate the development of propolis and its scientifically proven health benefits.
“We share a common vision and our partnership should help in the development of health uses for a range of other polyphenols as well.“
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