Start-up Spotlight: China's HEROTEIN, Singapore's HAPPIEE!, Philippines' WTH Foods and more feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

China's HEROTEIN, Singapore's HAPPIEE!, Philippines' WTH Foods and more feature in this edition of Start-up Spotlight. ©Getty Images
China's HEROTEIN, Singapore's HAPPIEE!, Philippines' WTH Foods and more feature in this edition of Start-up Spotlight. ©Getty Images

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China's HEROTEIN, Singapore's HAPPIEE!, Philippines' WTH Foods and more feature in this edition of Start-up Spotlight.

Cultivated meat and plant-based hybrids: China’s HEROTEIN outlines how combo can overcome cost and taste challenges

China-based HEROTEIN is hoping to become the first company in the country to commercialise hybrid plant-cultivated meat products, believing that this alternative is a solution for the system to overcome current affordability and taste challenges.

Hybrid meat products using plant-based and conventional animal protein ingredients have been popping up on the Asia Pacific alternative meat scene over the past few years, but as of yet regulations have prevented rapid developments of hybrid meat using plant-based and cultivated animal ingredients, including in China.

“The regulations to govern cultivated animal products are still in the initial stage in China and there are various alliances that have been set up to see the process through, but as brands we cannot wait for the approval process and need to pioneer the product developments to stay ahead as much as possible,”​ HEROTEIN Vice President of Strategy and Operations Coco Tse told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

HAPPIEE! days: Singapore’s Growthwell Foods introduces latest brand to region’s booming plant-based sector

Singapore plant-based meat and seafood manufacturer Growthwell Foods has launched its latest consumer brand HAPPIEE!, which will be produced at a newly established innovation, R&D and manufacturing centre.

Set to launch in December, HAPPIEE! is a plant-based brand consisting of a four SKUs under the soy-based chicken range such as nuggets and patties, and two SKUs comprising sticks and patties in the konjac-based fish range.

Another new product to be launch separately from the HAPPIEE! range is a plant-based salmon flakes made from soy, which will be made available for food service. 

Growthwell started as a manufacturer of vegetarian food in 1989, and is now turning into a plant-based nutrition food-tech company, offering foodservice as well as consumer brands like OKK, GoMama, and HAPPIEE!. Growthwell is tapping on its 30 years of know-how in understanding of local food culture and cuisine to differentiate its products.

People want familiarity, so it might be easier for Asian consumers to try a plant-based curry then say maybe a burger​,” Manuel Bossi, deputy CEO at Growthwell Foods said.

Seed fund secured: WTH Foods to set up Philippines R&D plant-based facility and gears up for SEA expansion

Alternative protein company WTH Foods is launching an R&D facility in the Philippines in Q1 2022 to develop products better catered to consumers in the country and the wider South East Asia region.

The company, which is registered in the Philippines and Singapore, currently has a presence in the former, with plant-based products such as ground meat and corned beef on e-commerce and specialty grocers.

The facilities will experiment with more plant-based ingredients, indigenous crops, flavour development as well as explore high moisture extrusion method for production. Currently, its products are made using the dry textured vegetable protein (TVP) method. The high moisture extrusion method is known to be a better method for enhancing the texture of plant-based meat products.

“Many people love the taste of meat but are looking for healthier and more sustainable options. At WTH Foods, we are developing plant alternatives for meat lovers, the same texture and taste of their favourite dishes but with the added health and sustainability benefits," ​said Stephen Co, co-founder & CEO of WTH Foods.

Soup in a bottle: Re:Nourish seeks to break into UAE’s ‘fastest-growing FMCG category’

Fresh soup brand Re:Nourish has set its sights to conquering the ‘fastest-growing’ soup category in the Middle East, particularly the United Arab Emirates (UAE), by playing on the healthy and ‘grab and go’ credentials of its bottled products.

Re:Nourish’s soups are world-first in their product format, bring the first fresh soup anywhere to be sold in a microwaveable bottle.

The first concern when it comes to consuming products from directly microwaved packaging is chemical leaching and contamination of the food, but the firm’s Founder and CEO Nicci Clark assured us that the team has already worked around this concern.

“That’s a common concern, but we spent nine months designing the bottle specifically to work around this issue – what we’ve essentially done is to make the bottle BPA-free and use PP (polypropylene) as opposed to PET (Polyethylene terephthalate) as the material,”​ Clark told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

That’s a wrap: Australia’s Dumpling 100 revamps decades-old recipe to tap Australia’s ‘trendy’ frozen foods sector

Australia-based Asian-style dumpling specialist firm Dumpling 100 has incorporated premiumisation and localisation trends into its decades-old traditional recipe to increase its appeal to consumers in the frozen food sector.

Dumpling 100 as a company is very young, having just had its first production run in October 2020, but the recipe that the firm is using to rapidly grow its market in Australia originated in China and goes back many years.

“Although it would not be possible to give away details of the unique family recipe, the dumplings produced as a result of this are very different in terms of having very thin wraps and juicier fillings,”​ Dumpling 100 Managing Director Shelley Zhou told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

“We’ve also taken things a step further from the traditional dumpling method by introducing the latest technology to our processing which makes the wraps even thinner – this involved bringing in technology that could mould the dough to a specific shape that would lend to producing the thinnest possible wrap.

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