Animal-free dairy category heats up, with mainstream dairy companies exploring partnerships, says Imagindairy

Berkeley, CA-based Perfect Day​ – which is already supplying several companies with animal-free whey protein – is the best known (and funded​) player in this emerging space, while Change Foods​ and New Culture​ (San Francisco, CA), Remilk (Israel)​​, Formo (previously Legendairy Foods in Germany) ​and Those Vegan Cowboys​​ (Belgium) have also emerged from stealth mode over the past couple of years. 

Imagindairy,​ which was founded in March 2020 by former Algatechnologies executive Dr Eyal Afergan, is initially focusing on producing whey proteins via genetically engineered strains of yeast, CTO Arie Abo, PhD, told FoodNavigator-USA.

Our go to market strategy is B2B. We believe that the best way to move forward and introduce the world to animal free products is through strategic collaboration with dairy brands. We will work with dairy companies to develop animal free dairy products with the same familiar taste of traditional dairy products.”

He added: “We were approached by global and local dairy companies, but I can’t disclose their names.”

Whey proteins to hit the market within two years

He added: “We are targeting the US market first, we are expecting to launch our first product ​[animal-free whey protein] within two years. As for regulatory pathways, the first step would be to submit GRAS notification to the FDA ​[something Perfect Day has already done for its animal-free whey protein, produced via the fermentation of a genetically engineered strain of the filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei​, receiving a letter of no objections​ in March 2020].”

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