Future Food Quick Bites: Non-Dairy Starbucks, Vegan Flights & A Bezos Protein Centre

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In our weekly column, we round up the latest news and developments in the alternative protein and sustainable food industry. This week, Future Food Quick Bites covers Starbucks’ upcoming Oatly collaboration, a vegan certification for hospitality operators, and Bezos Earth Fund’s alternative protein centre.

New products and launches

For its summer menu, Starbucks is reportedly launching a vegan cinnamon crumble Frappuccino with Oatly‘s vanilla Oat Whip, which will be available for a free swap – a welcome policy change from the coffee chain. It will also offer a non-dairy vanilla sweet cream cold brew, and free plant-based cold foam substitutes for all core drinks.

oatly whipped cream
Courtesy: Big Box Vegan

Speaking of which, Oatly has now launched its 1.5-litre barista milk in the UK, which was teased in its latest earnings call to investors.

Also in the UK, The Coconut Collaborative has unveiled what it says is the country’s first vegan yoghurt and granola topper.

British vegan pet food maker Hownd has gained a listing for three hypoallergenic functional treat ranges – Keep Calm for stress relief, Got an Itch? for healthy skin and coat, and Yup You Stink! for bad breath – at Pets at Home, which will be available in stores nationwide in September.

Fellow UK startup Sun Bear Biofuture has joined the expanding roster of companies offering sustainable alternatives to palm oil. Its deforestation-free innovation is derived from fermentation and makes use of agricultural sidestreams as feedstocks.

beyond burger jalapeno
Courtesy: Beyond Meat

Meanwhile, plant-based giant Beyond Meat has rolled out a new SKU in the UK. The spicy jalapeño burger is available at 280 Tesco and Sainsbury’s stores each, with a frozen version coming to 200 locations each in September.

In the US, Tomorrow Farms‘ animal-free milk Bored Cow, which uses Perfect Day‘s precision-fermented whey protein, has expanded into 2,000 new stores nationwide, with additional 11oz packaging for the original flavour plus four-packs now available in Albertsons, Safeway, Sprouts, Fresh Thyme, Central Market, and Shaws, among others.

Consultancy network Vegan Hospitality has launched a global certification programme for tourism and hospitality companies, offering companies expert strategy consulting, online staff training, promotional support, and free auditing.

Courtesy: Planteneers

In Germany, plant-based producer Planteneers has introduced a lineup of vegan desserts, comprising tiramisu, cheesecake, fermented oat dessert, pudding, and soft ice cream. They’re positioned as “healthy but indulgent” alternatives to their dairy counterparts.

German airline caterer LSG Group has teamed up with Unilever-owned plant-based meat brand The Vegetarian Butcher to offer vegan meals for onboard dining.

More news from the skies: Spanish meat analogues maker Heura and vegan cheese giant Violife have partnered with Vueling Airlines to launch a plant-based burger on the carrier’s summer menu, which is priced at €8.50.

future food quick bites
Courtesy: Bernat Anaños/LinkedIn

There’s a new plant-based butchery in Prague. Located in the Czech capital’s Letná district, Bezmasna features meatloafs, cold cuts, deli salads, as well as chlebíček (Czech sandwiches).

Singaporean startup Jiro-Meat is aiming to commercialise its upcycled plant-based meat made from okara – the fibrous pulp leftover from soy milk and tofu production – in the next six months.

And in India, Nestlé has rolled out a limited-edition edible plant-based fork for its Maggi cup noodles. The two-piece fork is made from wheat flour and salt.

Finance and company updates

The Bezos Earth Fund has opened its first Center for Sustainable Protein at North Carolina State University, supported by a $30M fund. The facility aims to advance alternative protein production and commercialisation, and has onboarded Believer Meats (which is due to open its own cultivated meat facility in the state later this year) as a partner.

Germany’s Planteneers has also opened a Customer Center of Excellence in Aurora, Illinois as part of its North American expansion. The facility will let customers collaborate on product development and create ingredient solutions via a plant-based meat laboratory (it will soon have one for alt-dairy too).

Courtesy: PROT

Indian vegan seafood player SeaSpire has rebranded to PROT, as it diversifies into other plant protein sources. Its alt-seafood lineup is being relaunched as a ‘Gill-t Free’ range ahead of World Ocean Day (June 8), supported by Veganuary India‘s Fish-Free Week campaign.

Danish plant protein powder Nutrumami has closed a €450,000 seed funding round to expand its team and prepare for market launch.

Policy and research developments

A 9,272-person survey by YouGov shows that if cultivated meat was on par with conventional meat, only half would continue eating the latter (nearly a quarter remain unsure of what they’ll do). It’s an improvement from the 40% who would otherwise ‘definitely not’ eat cultivated meat. Meanwhile, Americans remain very split over bans on these products.

lab grown meat survey
Courtesy: YouGov

In the UK, Calderdale Council in West Yorkshire – which adopted a climate change emergency policy in 2020 – wants to make its menus fully plant-based, with a preference for seasonal, non-processed foods.

A joint venture between the Artevelde University of Applied Sciences and the City of Ghent has seen a food waste monitor installed in several restaurants, which will use the smart scale to better measure how much food is being thrown away.

vegan ad campaign
Courtesy: Eat Differently

Finally, advocacy group Eat Differently has rolled out a parody ad campaign called Hate Vegans? in Los Angeles. It aims to highlight the reasons people care about plant-based diets and their impact on the planet – ‘injuries’ sustained from preachy vegans could turn into settlements with the help of fictional attorney Seymour Loudermilk.

Check out last week’s Future Food Quick Bites.


  • Anay Mridul

    Anay is Green Queen's resident news reporter. Originally from India, he worked as a vegan food writer and editor in London, and is now travelling and reporting from across Asia. He's passionate about coffee, plant-based milk, cooking, eating, veganism, food tech, writing about all that, profiling people, and the Oxford comma.

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