The New Omnivore has moved! Please check out www.newomnivore.com for all the latest happenings in animal-free food innovation!
On December 10th, join The New Omnivore in San Francisco for our very first live event! The New Omnivore Mini-Conference will feature a live panel discussion on animal-free food innovation, games with prizes, light bites and more!
The event will be staged at The Revolution at IndieBio from 6 – 9 pm. Tickets are free but must be reserved in advance.
You can get tickets @ newomnivore.eventbrite.com
Thanks and I look forward to seeing you at this exciting event!
Janay L. – Organizer
It was a big story in 2013 when Hampton Creek first signed with Costco to distribute their debut product, Just Mayo, in wholesale stores nationwide. It was even bigger news when, in 2014, they struck a deal with Walmart that placed their product in the majority of that company’s 4,000 stores in record time – just 9 months from signing to store shelves. And their agreement with Foodbuy earlier this year, a subsidiary of food service giant Compass Group, introduced egg-free mayo and cookie dough to a vast new network of schools, hospitals and other large institutions, bringing their distribution and product reach to a whole new level.
But landmark agreements seem to routine thing with Hampton Creek.
Their latest deal will now make them the sole provider of Compass Group’s salad dressings and baking mixes, which will be used in the millions of meals and desserts Compass serves around the world every day. For a three-and-a-half year old startup, that’s not a bad feat.
Last week, it was also reported that more jars of Just Mayo are officially being bought at Walmart stores than Whole Foods – a surprising and encouraging sign that average consumers are independently choosing foods that have value in both taste and affordability, and proves Hampton Creek’s mission to provide better food to the masses is on solid footing.
So as they continue to coast, the question might now become who is benefiting more from healthy, egg-free products – consumers or Hampton Creek?
Gelatin – it’s that magical and mysterious substance that gives Jello-O its wiggle, makes Starbursts deliciously chewy, and puts the colorful bounce inside gummy bears. But behind its sparkling food products, the actual story of gelatin is considerably less pleasant. Gelatin is directly derived from the rendered (boiled) bones and tissues of slaughtered animals including cows, pigs, and chickens, which yield the protein collagen – a clear, flavorless substance that gives gelatin its famous chewy and elastic properties.
It is these properties – as well as its ability to bind and thicken – that make gelatin the ideal choice for myriad household products, from pill capsule coatings and cosmetics to photographic film and some types of glue. But it is most familiarly found inside numerous sweet snacks and candy products – especially “gummy” candies.
Unfortunately for vegetarian and vegan gummy-bear fans, the presence of gelatin makes any candy containing it unsuitable for their consumption. Indeed, about 10% of the world’s candy market is vegetarian, and numerous gelatin-based candies are therefore off-limits.
But a new startup in San Francisco wants to change all that, and make gelatin better for everyone. Founded by Alex Lorestani and Nick Ouzounov, Gelzen is re-inventing gelatin production by taking animals the equation, and using fermentation technology to make the special proteins that form animal collagen.
According to Lorestani, Gelzen’s product will actually be better than traditional gelatin because it can be “customized” to contain more or less of a desired property, such as stiffness. And because it will be produced inside a more clean and controlled environment, their gelatin will not be affected by natural disaster or disease events, which significantly affect farming operations and drive up the prices of animal products, including gelatin.
Beyond candy, Gelzen hopes their product can also replace the gelatin found in innumerable other foods, including but not limited to certain kinds of margarine, salad dressings, yogurt and ice cream. And it has the additional advantage of providing a coating for the bioreactors used in cultured meat technology, which currently rely on animal-based collagen. Even better, Gelzen’s creations can further be used to give more texture and structure to cultured meat products.
With its special versatility, stability, and more predictable quality, as well as the fact that conventional gelatin is a by-product of the hugely wasteful factory farming system, Gelzen’s new gelatin represents another bright step forward to animal-free food production.
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