A lot has happened since our update on the alternative protein industry in Singapore! Just last week, on 10th June, Eat Just’s Good MEAT hosted the grand opening of the largest cultivated meat production facility in Asia. Another Singapore-based startup that has made amazing progress is Next Gen Foods, which uses its innovative foodtech to develop plant-based foods. It has started with its plant-based chicken consumer brand “TiNDLE”. TiNDLE has been recognised as the ‘fastest growing plant-based food brand in APAC’ by Green Queen and have raised $100 million in the largest Series A plant-based meat deal ever according to Forbes Magazine.
Singapore has been deemed by alternative protein startups such as Next Gen Foods as the perfect place to launch their brand due to it being a global hub for business, communications and finance in general. The country has also been recognised as a place where startups in the food industry are able to gain access to MNCs and world-class research facilities. Moreover, Singapore is also seen as an ideal location for testing alternative products in the market due to the high level of education of the general public as well as a growing awareness of the importance of sustainable food consumption choices. Amazing work is being done in Singapore’s alt protein industry and in this article, we will be highlighting 3 Singaporean companies: Shiok Meats, Pullulo and Karana, who are taking novel steps in this sector.
Shiok Meats is the first cell-based meat company in South East Asia, they are using cellular technology to sustainably produce seafood such as shrimp, prawn, crab and lobster. Despite the amazing pace of progress they have made in the past few years,, Dr Sandhya Sriram, the Founder and CEO of Shiok Meats stated that ‘we were the first cultivated seafood company in Southeast Asia so we did face a lot of backlash. The biggest challenge we have moving forward is getting our price down and we are looking to figure out how to produce multiple tons of our product everyday and I’m looking forward to that happening in the next couple of years’. Shiok Meats continues to overcome the challenges they face each day and is set to launch their first product in the consumer market in 2023.
Another company to look for is Pullulo. They are a fermentation-enabled protein ingredient company developing microbial protein for various food applications. Their innovative protein is highly nutritious yet affordable, allergen-free, non-GMO, vegan, and Halal and is less susceptible to supply chain disruptions. Many of their products also integrate agricultural by-products, upcycling our waste in the process. Pullulo is targeting both the alternative protein mass market and the underserved healthcare catering and food services. Their work will be especially beneficial for countries like Singapore which have aging populations and you can find out more about them in this short film.
Lastly, we have Karana, who have been called the ‘Asian food brand of the future’. They are a plant-based alternative company, creating innovative alternative protein products with meat-like textures using a variety of biodiverse ingredients with an emphasis on jackfruit. They have rapidly grown since being founded in 2018 and have launched their products in multiple restaurants in Singapore, Hong Kong and USA. You can find out more about the delicious products they offer by clicking here. Keep an eye for their new products and expansion plans!
And VC funds, Big Idea Ventures (BIV), continue to strive to support the next generation of alternative protein startups through direct investments and our accelerator programs. “Big Idea Ventures is excited about the future of food in Singapore. As the first fund and accelerator focused on alternative protein offering dedicated support and mentorship,, Singapore gets stronger every day as the food innovation hub for Asia and the rest of world. If you are a founder of a plant based, cell based or fermentation enabled company, there has never been a better time to be starting and growing a food company in Singapore. Join our Big Idea Food Competition coming up later this year. Let’s work together!’ said Andrew D. Ive, Founder and Managing General Partner of Big Idea Ventures.
The rapid growth in Singapore’s alternative protein industry has been made possible due to the development of an ecosystem of large corporations, government partners and venture capitalists to provide the innovative companies with the support they need to grow. Government entities such as the Economic Development Board (EDB) have been supporting the companies who have been making a mark in the industry. “We have focused on making Singapore a global innovation hub for sustainable Agri-food technologies, so as to solve for urban food challenges faced by countries throughout Southeast Asia and beyond. For instance, we are exploring the rise of hybrid products that combine the benefits of plant-based and fermented or cultivated protein. This is already being applied in local cuisine, such as Good Meat Asia’s satay (bite-sized pieces of cultivated chicken on skewers).
By partnering with companies pioneering nutritious, tasty and innovative food solutions, we hope consumers around the region will have more options. And as the alternative protein industry grows, there will increasingly be exciting job opportunities to shape the future of food. We will continue supporting companies that are helping the global food industry become more sustainable, affordable and accessible to global consumers.” – Mr Damian Chan, Executive Vice President, Singapore Economic Development Board.