this is the first Weekly Debrief, our new news-service bringing you the best from the world of plant-based business, food, fashion, travel, and lifestyle, curated and contextualized.
Look at it at the Antagonist-approach to news: We wouldn’t want to make every little snippet a news story, no matter how thin the storyline.
Instead, what we do is scan all major outlets for the good reads, conversation starters and major moves in business, food, fashion, travel and lifestyle and prep it all for you in a handy format.
“Every week, we scan the news so you don’t have to.”
Look at it like this: Every week, we scan the news and look at everything so you don’t have to. We deliver what we deem most important and all you have to do is lean back and scan through our findings. Good deal, no?
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But it gets better: You can subscribe to the Weekly Debrief, now, too. These posts here go live on Friday, newsletter subscribers then get them delivered straight to their inbox Saturday morning as a nicely prepared weekend read.
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Plantbased Food Sales in US exceeded $7bn in 2020
According to data commissioned by the Plant Based Food Association (PBFA) and The Good Food Institute, plant-based food sales in the US retail sector grew by 27% in 2020, exceeding $7bn. The report reveals that US sales of vegan products are outperforming animal-derived products at a staggering rate when you look at growth.
Some additional news around alternative protein (the category growing an impressive 45% in 2020):
Mission Barns, a Silicon Valley start up just secured $24m in funding to scale production of their cultivated bacon.
Asia next: Beyond Meat just unveiled a new, cutting-edge production facility in Shanghai to serve China’s growing plant-based market. A manufacturing facility in Europe is to follow.
South Korean Tofu Giant Pulmone has announced the launch of a new plant-based line, with more than 20 types of products, ranging from soy-based meat mince to coconut-based yogurt.
In Singapore, a food-tech startup debuted the first-ever plant-based burger made from micro-algae — holding twice as much protein as beef. It’s also rich in vitamin b12.
And last but not least: Livekindly Collective, the collection of heritage brands assembled under the name of vegan publisher Livekindly announced a successful capital raise of $355 m, bringing the company’s total raise in its first 12 months to $535 m. Yep, that’s half a billion dollars.
Oatly called “Plant-based Bitcoin”
Likely everybody’s favorite vegan brand in the world by now, Oatly keeps on making headlines. Next to bringing Oatly soft-serve to football stadiums throughout the US (Chicago or Dallas being the first ones reported), the Swedish oat milk brand has been preparing their IPO (initial public offering) for quite some time. Last week, the Financial Times reported the brand’s evaluation for that IPO could reach a mesmerizing $10 bn (!) — news that have been raising eyebrows in the food industry and had executive call the brand the “plant-based Bitcoin”.
Vegan designer Rombaut partners with Melissa brand
Granted, this read is from March 30, but still very worth your while: Belgian shoe designer Mats Rombaut is collaborating with Brazilian label Melissa, a brand known for its jelly shoes defining “a decade of footwear in the early 2000s”, following in the footsteps of brands like “Comme des Garçons and fellow French label Y/Project” says Vogue in this in-depth piece on the vegan designer.
Seaspiracy keeps and turning Heads
Seaspiracy, the documentary about all the fishing industry has been doing a great job in telling people that plastic straws are not the main problem when it comes to our oceans — and keeps hitting top positions on Netflix’s “Most Watched”-lists in countless countries around the world. Not too shabby for a documentary made by basically three people.
And while a HongKong grocery store announced to stop selling fish after watching the documentary, Gathered Food, home of vegan seafood brand Good Catch, secured $26.35m in funding this week and plans to “dramatically increase the number of Good Catch products on the market.” Not saying there’s a connection there to the film, but that sea food alternatives are about to come in strong.
And a recommended read to round things out: Guardian columnist George Monbiot takes on the recent criticism of the film (there had to be backlash) and puts it into perspective for the reader.
Lebanese Hospital to become 100% Vegan
The news just broke, but it was at the beginning of March already that Beirut’s Hayek Hospital became the first hospital in the world to serve 100% vegan meals. On their Instagram, the hospital stated that “patients will no longer wake up from surgery to be greeted with ham, cheese, milk and eggs… the very foods that may have contributed to their health problems in the first place.” Major moves, Beirut!
Dunkin’ to launch huge range of over 40 vegan Donuts locally
Talking about major moves: Dunkin’ (the chain formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts) has announced they will launch a vegan range of 41 vegan donut flavors! Plot-twist: In Belgium.
Flavors include Maple Crumble, Banana Pudding, Peanutbutter and Jelly, Mango Passion and Cinnamon Swirl. No news on a worldwide roll out yet, we’ll keep you posted.
1m followers on Instagram for Plant-based News
Congratulations are in order: Our colleagues over at Plantbased News scored their first milli on Instagram. Way to go, champs!
New Space Hippie Colors
Nike announced new color ways for their sought-after Space Hippie line, a collection of vegan sneakers made with up to 90% of the upper materials sourced from recycled matter.
You’ve likely heard about the significant restrictions on the marketing of plant-based ‘dairy’ products voted on by the European Parliament under Amendment 171. (It’s a run read!)
Producers have already been restricted from using the words ‘milk’ and ‘yoghurt’ for their products, but under 171, phrases like ‘creamy’ or ‘like milk’ would be banned as well. Comparisons in i.e. greenhouse gas emissions would be forbidden, as well — all in the name of ‘protecting the consumer’.
Now 34 MEPs (Members of the European Parliament) have called on their colleagues to reject Amendment 171, calling it ‘censorship’.
A Cheesy Read
Rounding out this week’s debrief with another great read: Our colleagues over at Eater published a great piece on the evolution of vegan cheese and it’s just delightful and very well researched. When chef Isa Chandra describes the taste of old-school vegan cheese as “melted crayons” in the intro, you know you’re in for a fun ride.
Ok people, that’s it for today. Don’t forget that next Monday is National Grilled Cheese Day and honor it — the vegan way of course. We know we will.
your Antagonist team