Food Tech and The Vegan Revolution

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Israel is not only one of the most active venture capital investment countries in the world and home to many of the most successful tech start-ups in history. It is also home to more vegans per capita than any other country.

Israel is second only to the UK and Australia, according to Statista, so it is no wonder two companies focused on plant-based foods – one from Israel – and one from Australia – announced they have been designing a state-of-the art factory which will be fully operational by the end of 2023 on the site of a former dairy processing plant.

Earlier this week, Cale & Daughters, parent company of vegan Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) brands Made With Plants, PlantAsia, and Get Plant’d, announced that it will begin manufacturing plant-based cheese and meat products in Australia, as part of a joint venture with Israel’s largest agricultural co-operative, Vgarden (a subsidiary of Gan Shmuel Health Industries.)

Vgarden is Israel’s top developer, manufacturer, and distributor of plant-based meats, seafood, and dairy, and has been partnering with Cale & Daughters for over two years. Vgarden Australia Pty Ltd, will operate a dedicated manufacturing facility based in Darra, Brisbane.

To begin, the Brisbane facility will produce vegan mozzarella, cheddar, and parmesan, along with vegan deli meats such as pepperoni and chicken. Cale & Daughters will also use the site to manufacture their own-IP products, including dairy-free thickened cream and sour cream. Full-scale production is expected by the end of 2023 and will employ over 50 staff.

Vgarden and Cale & Daughters already share a record of success, having worked together to supply Woolworths nationally with vegan mozzarella, cheddar, and parmesan since 2020. The two teams will continue to supply everyday Australian shoppers with tasty plant-based products that are accessible, affordable, and appealing.

The joint venture also offers greater capacity to cater to Food Service customers – including restaurants, caterers, hospitals, educational institutions, and other organizations that must cater to Australia’s growing demand for plant-based food.

“We are extremely proud of the partnership we have forged with Cale and Daughters over the last two years as we share the same idealist values and clear vision for the potential of delicious, nutritious foods to improve lives and contribute to the growth of healthier lifestyles,” said Ilan Adut, founder and CEO of Vgarden Israel. “After investing time and resources into creating this collaboration, it is very exciting to come out of stealth mode today as we launch this new business in such a high-growth and meaningful market.”

Adut is a pioneer in food innovation and has assembled a team of professionals who are building momentum beyond Vgarden’s successes in Israel, where it produces plant-based cheeses, spreads, pastries, meat alternatives and, in the future, seafood alternatives.

Vgarden’s parent company was established in 2015 as part of Gan-Shmuel Health Industries and the Agricultural Cooperative Society Ltd. They are known for their innovations in packaging technology, recipe development, and manufacturing expertise.

Australia is touted as the third fastest growing vegan market in the world. Globally, the market for plant-based meat alternatives is valued at $9.9 billion, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) forecast at 41% until 2030. Meantime, the global market for plant-based cheese alternatives sits at 2.4% billion, with a projected CAGR of 13% until 2030.

“We are extremely proud of the partnership we have forged with Cale & Daughters, as we share the same values and vision for the future. It’s extremely rewarding to see this collaboration come to fruition, and we believe it will have a real impact on Australia’s high-growth vegan market,” Adut said.

Investment has been flowing into the Israeli high-tech arena for years, with a record-breaking $25 billion in 2021 alone. Called by many “The Startup Nation,” with more than 6,000 active startups, it is the global leader in startups per capita.

A record-breaking $3.1 billion was invested in the alternative protein category in 2020, according to the Good Food Institute, which has an office in Israel. Over $600 million was invested in Israel’s alternative protein startup landscape last year (450% year-over-year growth).

According to a recent report published by Fortune Business Insights, the global vegan food market is projected to grow from $26.16 billion in 2021 to $61.35 billion in 2028 at a CAGR of 12.95% between 2021-2028.

The market for Australia’s plant-based products is predicted to reach $9 Billion by 2030 according to a recent study by CIRSO, and the country is the third fastest-growing in the world when it comes to consumer demand for meat and dairy alternatives, for reasons of health, philosophy, and a desire to address the negative environmental impact traditional farming has on the planet.


Juhi Fadia is an engineer, analyst, researcher and writer covering advanced and emerging technologies.

Edited by Erik Linask

Correspondent

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