Finger-licking good: Sustainable Foods’ hemp chicken a world-first

Dr Arup Nag, left, Distinguished Professor Harjinder Singh and Rick Gain, back, of the Riddet Institute, with Justin Lemmens of Sustainable Foods, and Philip Brown, back, and Andrew Boot of GreenFern Industries.
Above: Three years of R&D went into Sustainable Foods world-first Hemp Chick*n – highly versatile, seen here in a ‘southern fried’ format. Texture development was key with tender strands delivering a great mouth feel.

Sustainable Foods is officially launching its pioneering hemp-based chicken product after more than three years of research and development alongside partners Massey University’s Riddet Institute and NZX-listed medicinal cannabis company Greenfern Industries.

The innovator and manufacturer of nutrition-rich, plant-based protein products uses New Zealand-grown hemp as a novel ingredient.

Sustainable Foods, the Riddet Institute and Greenfern Industries worked together to develop the world-first white meat alternative that will join Sustainable Foods’ portfolio of award-winning alternative protein products sold under its plan*t brand.

Having already had a successful foodservice debut with leading New Zealand names including Hell Pizza and Tank, Sustainable Foods is gearing up to make a push into the retail channel with its new hemp product, where it would sit on the shelf alongside its forerunners in the Plan*t brand.

To officially mark the occasion, the great and the good of New Zealand’s foodtech scene, including Phil Brown and Andrew Boot of Greenfern Industries, professor Harjinder Singh, Dr Arup Nag and Rick Gain of the Riddet Institute, and Justin Lemmens of Sustainable Foods, gathered at The Riddet Institute in Palmerston North.

At the same time the company, co-founded by entrepreneur and chief executive Lemmens and business development manager Kyran Rei, is launching a capital raise through Snowball Effect targeting a minimum of $1.5m.

This will support the burgeoning business to continue to scale its revolutionary products for market penetration both here and overseas.

Sustainable Foods’ growth strategy will see it continue new product development around range, ingredients and sourcing localisation, grow domestic revenue, pursue international market opportunities, and growing the core team.

“We have recently consolidated production sites to a world-class, scalable facility in Kapiti. Sustainable Foods now has the base capability, product, production, brand, sales channels, and business relationship to now focus on scaling for penetration and growth,” Lemmens says.

The push for growth comes as consumer and investor interest in the plant-based sector is exploding. The global plant-based protein market size is projected to grow strongly to reach US$35.4bn by 2027 according to a new study conducted by Polaris Market Research – this represents a CAGR of 15.8%.

“We believe it is possible to both eat well and ensure our future generations get to enjoy the wondrous planet as we do today,” says Lemmens.

“To truly deliver on that belief consumers need to be able to choose delicious plant-based food alternatives – that’s where Plan*t comes in.

“Plan*t products are nutritious and have a lower impact on the environment. The way we eat is changing for the better, and Sustainable Foods is providing sustainable options for conscious consumers.”

Posted by on 9 December 2021

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