For the first time ever, the Spanish government is investing in vegan meat. The government-backed NEOTEC technology fund is financing Barcelona-based startup Foods for Tomorrow, creator of the vegan meat brand Heura, with €250,000.
NEOTEC is managed by the Centre for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI), a public business entity that fosters the development of Spanish companies. Launched in 2017, Foods for Tomorrow aims to provide consumers with sustainable, plant-based meat that tastes realistic.
The Spanish government has confidence in Foods for Tomorrow. The funding was awarded based following an evaluation of its potential market. It also looked at the benefits of plant-based protein in terms of sustainability.
“We focus on delivering the experience of meat directly from plants, always with a Mediterranean style” co-founder and chief growth officer Bernat Añoños told FoodNavigator. “We come from a place where food is much more than a religion.”
Foods for Tomorrow “puts the gastronomic experience in the middle,” he said. “We have worked with several chefs and restaurant schools with the flavorings and aromatics for our products. Coming from Spain pushes us to do very delicious food options.”
The program will last two years and allow Foods for Tomorrow to scale and accelerate production. Its range includes soy-based Heura Chicken, Heura Meatballs, and Heura Pizza. Pea and fava bean-based products are in development.
The products are currently available in national supermarket chains, including Carrefour, Eroski, El Corte Inglés, Bon Preu, and La Sirena.
Heura isn’t exclusive to Spain. The brand launched in the Grand Hyatt Singapore last August. It also plans to launch in South America as well as other countries in Europe and Asia. In two years, the company aims to sell its vegan meat in at least 30 countries.
Añoños added that revenue projections see the company quadrupling in size year-on-year thanks to international expansion. The funding from CDTI will aid in the company’s capacity.
“Our main focus now is creating a global brand and launching the meatiest plant-based products,” he said. He continued, “with high demand, we need to create a supply chain that allows this growth.”