As Summer 2016 winds down, it's a good time to pause and take stock of just what an amazing few months it's been for animal-free food innovation. The best part is, things are just getting started! Besides the many other exciting innovations this year, like Memphis Meats' first cultured meatball, the re-branding of dairy startup Perfect Day Foods, and the introduction of a new plant-based beef burger in Canada, 3 events in particular stand out as real headliners:
Impossible Foods Launches Impossible Burger in NYC
A bleeding veggie burger. Fake meat-real meat. Meat-that's-not-meat. Whatever you call it, the Impossible Burger is making huge waves as the first ever plant-based burger that looks, cooks and tastes like beef. It's an amazing development, one so unusual and unprecedented, many diners are still trying to fully comprehend the burger and what to call it.
But make no mistake, this new burger is getting ready to take on conventional meat, and will make its debut in San Francisco and LA in the fall, followed by a steady expansion after that.
Ripple Debuts in Target Stores
Plant-milk startup Ripple officially launched in Target in July, making their creamy, nutritious pea protein-based milk available to a new and bigger audience (they first launched in Whole Foods.)
Ripple's products are derived from plentiful, sustainable, and protein-rich Canadian yellow peas, which provide 2-3 times more protein than almond milk, the most popular dairy alternative in the country. Also, Ripple's products require a fraction of the water conventional cow's dairy uses, and provide the same calcium and Vitamin D, all with a smooth and creamy taste. Drink up!
Hampton Creek Goes for Gold
This is the summer of the Rio Olympics, and it's a fitting comparison for Hampton Creek, the startup making egg products like mayo and cookie dough from plants. In the spring, they announced ambitious plans to add 500 new products to their line in the coming years, including the much-anticipated liquid scramble product, Just Scramble.
In the meantime, they're rolling out 40 new products in 2016, including new flavors of mayo and cookie dough, as well as packaged cookies and cake mixes. For their drive and relentless vision for better food, they're solid gold winners in our book.
Here's to one awesome summer,and for what fall might have in store next!