Animal-free dairy co Change Foods closes $2.1m seed round, gears up for 2023 launch

While plant-based dairy is gaining traction, players in the nascent animal-free dairy category claim they can meet demand for more ethical and sustainable products (produced without industrialized animal agriculture) without requiring consumers to compromise on nutrition, taste, texture, or functionality, particularly in technically challenging categories such as cheese. 

It’s still early days, but the animal-free dairy category – pioneered by Perfect Day​​ – is beginning to heat up, with a flurry of startups recently emerging from stealth mode including New Culture​ (San Francisco, CA), Remilk (Israel), Imagindairy ​(Israel)​​, Formo (Germany) ​and Those Vegan Cowboys​​ (Belgium).

Some are pursuing a b2b strategy, commercializing individual ingredients such as animal-free whey proteins produced via engineered fungi or yeast strains, while others are focused on consumer products.

‘Proteins, lipids and aromatic compounds’

Change Foods ​- founded by former aerospace engineer David Bucca – is initially setting its sights on animal-free cheese, with partnerships in retail and foodservice currently under exploration, said CMO Irina Gerry, a former Danone executive who joined Change Foods late last year.

As to what differentiates Change Foods in the space, Gerry told FoodNavigator-USA: “There are several differences in our technology and specific ingredients we are producing beyond proteins, such as lipids and aromatic compounds, our proprietary cheese production process, as well as our go-to-market strategy and the team expertise and composition.

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