Thai Union’s hemp funding, Yili’s plant-based dairy drive, WTH Meals’ new Philippines facility and extra function in our round-up

Hemp-based future? Thai Union is targeting alternative protein and dietary supplements

Global Food MNC Thai Union announced that it has several key business opportunities in the hemp and CBD sector in mind, from alternative proteins to nutritional supplements.

Thai Union recently invested around THB 3 billion (US $ 90.6 million) to acquire a 10% stake in Thai food ingredients company R&B Food Supply, which specializes in various ingredients such as natural flavors, colors and hemp extracts, and has since advised FoodNavigator-Asia that one of its primary interests about this investment is in the hemp products space.

“Hemp-based products certainly have potential in Thailand and other parts of the world. As a strong OEM player and active worldwide, Thai Union strives to develop a broad portfolio of alternative protein offers for our customers [and consumers] Wherever you are, and hemp certainly fits into this portfolio, ”said Ludovic Garnier, CFO of the Thai Union Group.

“With RBF, we are exploring multiple potential business opportunities to incorporate hemp extracts, hemp proteins and CBD extract into several key consumer projects, including alternative proteins, nutritional supplements and other food applications.

Edible “Dairy”: Yili is increasing its focus on cheese and plant-based products in response to growing consumer demand

Chinese dairy giant Yili has announced that it is increasing its focus on cheese and plant-based products in addition to its conventional dairy products in response to growing consumer demand.

Yili has become a major dairy leader in China due to its traditional products such as liquid milk and milk powder, but given the growing interest of Chinese consumers in a wider range of dairy products and milk alternatives, the company is now looking to focus on other areas such as ” to expand edible ‘dairy products and plant-based innovations.

The company’s vice president, Dr. Yun Zhanyou, highlighted the company’s growing interest in the herbal products sector and said he believed it was less of a competing sector than a complementary sector for the dairy company.

Yili already has a variety of herbal products on the market that are slowly being introduced in recent years, including Plant Selected Soy Milk and Oat Milk.

“Yili has a development layout that focuses on diversified products [including] herbal products that we believe will help us achieve sustainable growth, ”said Dr. Yun.

Start-up capital secured: WTH Foods builds plant-based R&D facility in the Philippines and prepares for SEA expansion

Alternative protein company WTH Foods is opening an R&D facility in the Philippines in the first quarter of 2022 to develop products that are better suited to consumers in the country and the wider Southeast Asian region.

The company, which is registered in the Philippines and Singapore, is currently present in the former with plant-based products such as ground beef and corned beef through e-commerce and specialty grocery stores. The company also plans to set up an R&D facility in Singapore in late 2022.

The facilities will experiment with more herbal ingredients, native plants, flavor development, as well as explore the high humidity extrusion method for production.

“Many people love the taste of meat, but are looking for healthier and more sustainable alternatives. At WTH Foods, we develop plant alternatives for meat lovers that have the same texture and taste of their favorite dishes, but with the added health and sustainability benefits, “said Stephen Co, Co-Founder and CEO of WTH Foods.

“Shackle”: Japan is laying down plant-based labeling rules for meat, dairy, egg and seafood alternatives

Japan has put regulations in place on the labeling of herbal products, with observers suggesting that these are industry-friendly and brands shouldn’t be a problem.

The plant-based industry in Japan has seen quite a growth in recent years, with most of the advances being seen in restaurants experimenting with new menus, larger conventional meat product manufacturers like Nippon Ham and Ito Ham launching plant-based alternatives, as well some dedicated companies like NEXT Meats have come into play.

However, the government seems dissatisfied with the industry’s progress so far and has therefore introduced new labeling regulations for the crops sector in the hopes that this will spur its growth.

“The fact that Japan has not yet discussed food labeling [of plant-based foods] was a shackle for the development of the corporate business, ”Kono Taro, head of public relations for Japan’s ruling faction of the Liberal Democratic Party, announced at a recent press conference.

“The plant-based market is projected to have sales of around $ 140 billion by 2029. [so Japan needs] to take off the shackles. For this reason, we have created a Q&A document on the labeling rules for plant-based foods for all relevant companies. “

Beetle nutrition boost: South Korea adds locusts to its list of approved edible insects for alternative protein forcing

South Korea has made locusts the tenth approved edible insect in the country and released a new set of guidelines for making relevant products.

South Korea arguably has one of the most advanced edible insect industries in the Asia-Pacific region, especially in terms of industry organization as there are various laws and guidelines for developing the sector.

These include the “Third Comprehensive Plan to Promote the Insect and Silkworm Industry” published earlier this year, as well as the “Project to Promote the Insect Industry” launched last year, which aims to promote industrialization and the business side of the sector.

In line with this, the South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety (MFDS) and the Rural Development Administration (RDA) recently unveiled the country’s newest addition to the country’s approved edible insect list – the much-feared locust (Locusta migratoria), which is also known as Pulmuchi in the country.

“Pulmuchi are physiologically similar to grasshoppers, which are already approved as edible insects in Korea, [and] is also twice the size and breeding twice as fast, resulting in even better productivity, ”MFDS said in a formal statement.