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Alternative Proteins International

Potato-Based Milk Enters the Booming Plant-Based Milk Market With a Bang

Plant-based milk has taken the food industry by storm, with products popping up on shelves made from oats, cashews, almonds, coconuts, hazelnuts, walnuts, barley, rice – the list goes on. However, many of these crops, like oats, can be resource-intensive and tricky to harvest, which is why Swedish company Dug is introducing a potato-based milk to the booming plant-based milk market. At the same time, companies within the plant-based food space are continuing to ramp up their plant-based offerings in an effort to gain a larger share of the $7 billion market. Else Nutrition Holdings Inc. is one of the most innovative companies developing plant-based nutrition for babies and toddlers via its Else Nutrition lines of formula and other products. Companies like KKR & Co. Inc. and Yum! Brands collaborated to bring the innovating Violife vegan cheese and Pizza Hut stuffed crust dish to Pizza Hut. Oatly and Tyson Foods continue to develop plant-based alternatives that consumers seem to love.

Else Nutrition Holdings Inc. has been on a run, with new products, research and development, and clinical studies coming down the pipeline to advance its position in the plant-based infant nutrition food market. The company announced on July 20 that it had completed a full-scale commercial trial manufacturing run of the ready to drink liquid version of its Plant-Based Complete Nutrition for Toddlers and Kids products after months of R&D trials. This expansion of manufacturing capacity will prepare Else to offer its products in liquid format and enable the brand to penetrate hospitals while opening up an additional 92% of the Kids nutritional drinks market. This $1 billion dollar category in the US brings a vastly larger customer base into the company’s sights.

Else also recently announced that it is launching a clinical study to validate the growth benefits of Else’s Plant-Based nutrition. The study will focus on a 4-month period of consumption to see how Else production supports healthy and proper growth in young children vs. cow-milk-based formula.

“This is an exciting development for the brand, and we are confident that it will further validate the efficacy of our whole-food-based nutrition products for early childhood,” said Hamutal Yitzhak, CEO, and Co-Founder of Else Nutrition. “Thousands of families across North America have already taken to Else products, and we’ve heard tremendous feedback, including real life-improving cases. This study will only serve as further validation, and can serve us in our Medical Marketing efforts.”

Else has also attained FODMAP certification and will be able to use the FODMAP Friendly Certification Trademark on its packaging. The Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols (FODMAP) friendly product label ensures that it is safe for those suffering IBS symptoms.

To bolster its global medical market, clinical, and regulatory affairs, Else Nutrition announced strategic additions to its team. Two former Abbott Laboratories executives will be added to Else’s executive team – Simeon Saunders will come on board as VP Global Medical Marketing and Scientific Affairs to lead the company’s global medical marketing, clinical and regulatory affairs globally, and Mike Click will join as GM and VP Else North America. After 25 years at Abbott Laboratories, Simeon Saunders will bring experience and skill to the Else team. Mike Glick will lead Else’s US subsidiary expansion and manage operation as the company expands into Canada.

An Innovative and Forward-Thinking Industry

Global investment company KKR & Co. Inc. gained its stake in the plant-based food market through the purchase of Violife, an award-winning vegan cheese manufacturer owned by Upfield Group, in 2017. In June, Violife announced a collaboration with legendary hip-hop artist and long-time vegan, RZA to develop the 2021 Plant Grants program, which will focus on helping community-based Black-owned restaurants recover from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic through funding to support re-investment in the business and coaching on menu development from two plant-based chef pioneers, Lemel Durrah and Laricia Chandler to inspire the addition of more plant-based dishes to their menus.

Yum! Brands restaurants have also been bolstering their plant-based offerings. Pizza Hut is collaborating with Violife to launch of Vegan Stuffed Crust with Violife following countless requests for a plant-based alternative to cheese. The new release comes after the successful January launch of its vegan pepperoni pizza, the Pepperphoni, which resulted in almost 40,000 vegan pizzas sales within the month alone.

Oatly expanded its investor base when it went public under the ticker OTLY on the NASDAQ on May 20, 2021. The company is also opening one of the largest plant-based dairy factories in the world in Peterborough, UK. Anticipated to launch in 2023, the factory is expected to create 200 local jobs and will provide Oatly with an end-to-end production solution and facility.

Tyson Foods is proving to be a leader in the industry as it announced on July 22 that it had joined the McDonalds Mutual Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (MCDEI). The plant-based foods industry is a progressive and innovative one, and Tyson Foods is proving it by being an early adopter of this important pledge. Tyson employees speak more than 50 languages across the company and boast a multicultural community of employees.

Meanwhile, Else Nutrition Holdings Inc. is focused on further innovation within the baby, infant and toddler nutrition category with ongoing product launches planned for later this year.


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