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Planted piles up $72M funding boost to produce meat from alternative proteins

Image credits: Planted

Planted, a Swiss foodtech startup known for its natural bio-structured meat made from alternative proteins, has secured $72M in Series B funding led by L Catterton, the global private equity firm in the consumer goods sector. 

Existing investors, including Vorwerk Ventures, Gullspång Re:food, Movendo, Be8 Ventures, ACE, ETH Zurich Foundation, Joyance, Yann Sommer, and new investor Tengelmann Ventures, also participated. 

The company will use the funds to launch a new line of products called Whole Cuts (such as a plant-based chicken breast), accelerate international expansion, and increase production capacity.

Christoph Jenny, co-founder of Planted, says, “We are proud to be the fastest growing alternative protein company in Europe, with a strong track record in our established yet young markets in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and France and good early development in new markets such as the UK and Italy,” said Christoph Jenny. “With the additional capital, we will further accelerate our international growth, expand our product range with a newline of Whole Cut products and build another production facility.”

Producing meat with protein

Planted, a spin-off of ETH Zurich, founded in 2019, uses its novel biostructuring approach to produce meat from alternative proteins such as peas, oats, and sunflower, with exclusively natural ingredients. 

According to the company, biostructuring combines protein structuring and fermentation. This proprietary technology enables Planted to develop larger cuts of meat with complex structure, texture, juiciness, and tenderness.

Planted is available in restaurants and retail outlets in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France, Italy, and, more recently, the UK and via the company’s own pan-European web store. 

Jenny adds, “Current plant-based meat technologies and solutions cannot replace more than one to three percent of meat consumption and therefore do not have the necessary impact on our food system. Consumers justify this with a lack of taste, an unattractive price, and questionable ingredients. To convince meat eaters as well, we must produce ‘better meat than animal meat’ – that is, offer a better taste experience and a lower price with less environmental impact and good ingredients. We always focus on these parameters.”

The Swiss company produces all products in the Kemptthal production facility, located in a glass house – the first transparent meat production open to the public.

In May 2022, the company announced that the production capacity had been doubled to over one ton of plant meat per hour.

“We are currently in the final stages of launching several Whole Cut products such as our Chicken Tenders, Patties, and Chicken Breast. These are the first larger cuts of meat on the market without additives. These products will be available to the food service industry first, with retail shortly after that. For example, our chicken breast will be launched in collaboration with celebrity chef Tim Raue and will be on the menu at his restaurant in Berlin from September 15, 2022. Further launches will follow this in the food service sector,” says Jenny.

“We are honored to partner with Planted to revolutionize the way meat and protein-rich foods are consumed around the world,” says Michael Farello, managing partner of L Catterton Growth Fund. “Their products are not only inspired by nature but also free of artificial ingredients. Moreover, they are scalable and can easily integrate into consumers’ daily lives. As food is a powerful lever to promote human health and ecological stability, Planted directly contributes to a healthier and more sustainable food system. We firmly believe the company will continue to grow as more and more people worldwide turn to alternative proteins in their daily lives.”

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