ImpactAlpha, February 7 – It’s been a tough couple years for companies trying to offset global meat consumption with alternatives made from plants. A handful of plant-based meat companies are breaking out of the fundraising and sales rut.
Heura in Spain raised €40 million in Series B financing from Netherlands-based vegan foods brand Upfield, Unovis Asset Management, Newtree Impact and the European Circular Bioeconomy Fund.
Heura makes plant-based alternatives to European preferences, such as chorizo and meatballs. The company is aiming to address a key consumer issue with plant-based meats: questionable nutritional value.
“Poor quality nutrition associated with processed foods has been a major barrier” for adoption of such products, said Heura’s Marc Coloma. They’re also highly processed.
Heura is developing products that don’t use additives, fillers and binding agents, such as its deli ham alternative made of soy and olive oil.
Last year’s plant-based meat casualties included US-based Hooray Foods and Nowadays, and Australian peer Food Nation. Shares of Beyond Meat are trading at just over $6 after a peak of $234 in 2019.
European plant-based meat startups have released more positive news, including new funding for France’s Umiami and production growth for Happyvore.
Shifting to a more sustainable food system is a key part of the European Green Deal. But green farm policies are politically fraught: farmers have staged protests in Spain, France, the Netherlands, Germany and other European countries.