Future-proof chocolate from Voyage Foods30 May 2022
Chocolate made without cacao, peanut butter without peanuts, coffee without the beans. All these futuristic-sounding possibilities have become a reality with Voyage Foods’ reverse engineering technology that recreates these popular foods using other ingredients found in nature.
Voyage Foods is a food tech company from California. It recreates familiar products like chocolate and coffee from other ingredients that have similar molecules to the original food to create a finished product that tastes like the real thing.
The company recently closed a $36 million (€34.4 million) Series A funding round to add to the $5.7 million (€5.45 million) in funding it received last year.
Recreating popular foods from alternative ingredients
Although the company has yet to launch anything, it is focused on recreating chocolate, peanut butter and coffee. To ensure that it is able to control both the science behind its recipes as well as the manufacturing process, Voyage Foods is building its own factory to support its needs.
"At Voyage, we're future-proofing time-tested favourite foods so that we can enjoy them for years to come without having to worry about their impact on the environment and unjust labour customs that contributed to making them," said Voyage Foods CEO Adam Maxwell in a statement.
By focusing on three perennially popular products, Voyage Foods hopes to address many of the issues that are making common food products increasingly difficult to access: climate change, rising costs, unethical production and health issues.
Voyage Foods readies to debut its first products
To begin its efforts, the company says it will launch its peanut-free spread in select stores — both brick and mortar as well as online — in Q2 of this year. Cacao-free chocolate from the company will become available as a commercial ingredient beginning in Q3. Voyage Foods is not only seeking to grow as a consumer-facing company. The startup is already fostering a combination of retail and B2B partnerships and says it is focusing on incorporating its products into some of the major food manufacturers in order to help them transition to a more environmentally-conscious and equitable food supply.
Voyage Foods is not alone in trying to make foods ethical and less strenuous on the environment. Alcoholic beverage maker Endless West is also working to recreate spirits using non-traditional ingredients with similar molecular structures. The company says its whiskey-inspired Glyph beverage uses 94% less water and 92% less agricultural land than traditional whiskey. Similarly, WNWN out of the UK is developing a chocolate that is made from fermented barley and carob rather than cacao beans.
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