MeliBio, a California-based startup developing honey without bees, is rolling out its first products in partnership with Slovenian food maker Narayan in the UK, Switzerland, and Austria in the first part of a $10m, four-year deal to reach 75,000 stores across Europe.
The plant-based ‘bee-free’ sweetener is sold under ALDI’s Just Veg! private label brand in Hofer stores in Austria and Switzerland, and under the Better Foodie brand in the UK, where it is rolling out to around 200 independent stores.
In the US, where MelBio has launched its own brand (‘Mellody’) for foodservice and direct to consumer channels, the product is described as ‘plant-based honey,’ and has a slightly different formulation, says cofounder and CEO Darko Mandich, a Serbian entrepreneur and honey-enthusiast who teamed up with molecular biologist Dr. Aaron Schaller to create MeliBio in 2020.
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