Hungarian startup gets funding to enter US meat substitute market

Hungarian startup gets funding to enter US meat substitute market
Founder of Hungarian startup Plantcraft
By Tamas Szilagyi in Budapest December 4, 2019

Plantcraft Innovacios, a Hungarian startup manufacturing plant-based substitutes for meat products received HUF150mn (€452,000) in capital from venture capital fund X-Ventures Gamma to support its entry Into the US market, the company announced on December 3. The company is entering the market, where meat substitute makers such as Beyond Meat and Impossible Food have established a strong foothold.

After years of research, Plantcraft has developed soy, gluten, and additive-free cold cuts using natural plant protein sources and unique ingredients. The company plans to enter the US market next year and targets $5mn in sales by the end of 2021. It plans to sell 4,000 tonnes of products over five years, according to the founders.

The company was founded by Katalin Ohens of Hungarian origin in New Zealand and Csaba Hetenyi from Budapest, who started product development based on the recipe of a Hungarian biotechnologist researcher with the support of Proveg Incubator in Berlin and CEU InnovationsLab in Budapest.

In the US, a revolution in plant-based meat substitutes is already well under way. Currently, 5% of the American population is vegetarian and 3% vegan, which is a big market in terms of population and consumption patterns. 

“But we're not just targeting them with our products, but the rest of the 92% who want to consume less meat but want the meat experience to stay. Some 86% of consumers of alternative meats are non-vegetarian and vegan, which offers a huge customer base for us, Hetenyi said.

CEO of X-Ventures Alpha Venture Capital Fund Management Levente Zsembery sees significant market potential in Plantcraft products and the know-how accumulated by the team, according to reports.