UMIAMI harnesses $34.7 million to conquer US plant-based market

Posted: 23 October 2023 | | No comments yet

UMIAMI, a plant-based ‘chicken’ food tech has raised $34.7 million to allow for growth in the US market and shares three key expansion pillars.

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French food tech company UMIAMI has raised $34.7 million in funding that it will use to drive growth and sales of its plant-based meat alternatives in the US.

The new funding round allows the entry of BPI France’s SPI fund, and, in addition, the company has received renewed support from its previous investors, including Astanor Ventures, Redalpine, Newfund, Verso Capital, and French Tech Seed.

UMIAMI has said that the “substantial injection of capital” will be instrumental in advancing the food tech’s “umisation” process. It describes this as a unique technology that has “disrupted plant-based meat production as it is the world’s first ever process to be able to create flawlessly, on a large scale, plant-based fillets that perfectly mimic animal meat (whole cuts): both in taste and texture, with equivalent nutritional value”.

But what sets UMIAMI apart in the plant-based market? Well, according to the company, it uses an approach with under 10 ingredients and creates plant based offerings that are methylcellulose-free and come without any texturising agents or “controversial” additives.  

The food tech’s growth strategy is centred around three key pillars including:

  • Revolutionising plant-based meat with cutting-edge technology: including the use of “umisation” technology, something it claims provides a solution for those who want to reconcile their love for meat with concerns about climate, health, and animal welfare.
  • US market entry: with hopes of succeeding in the US market, UMIAMI has hired John Hatto, a CPG executive, as its new US Managing Director who has 30 years of experience in the food and beverage industry, including leadership roles at Lamb Weston and PepsiCo. What’s more the company is opening a headquarters in Chicago in order to immerse itself in North America.
  • European expansion: UMIAMI has also shared its plans to continue its growth in Europe, in particular it will be focussing on well-established plant-based markets including Switzerland, Belgium, the Netherlands, Spain, and Italy.

Commenting on UMIAMI’s plans for expansion in the US, Tristan Maurel (CEO) and Martin Habfast (Export Director), UMIAMI Co-Founders, said: “As French innovators, we’re excited to bring UMIAMI’s ‘umisation’ technology to the American table. Our unique plant-based chicken, born in France, is set to conquer hearts and taste buds across the US.

“Chicago, with its culinary diversity, is the perfect home for us as we blend French expertise with American flavor. We’re on a mission to make great-tasting, sustainable food accessible to all, from diners to Michelin-starred restaurants. UMIAMI’s French roots empower us, and with John Hatto leading the way, we’re ready to leave our mark in the US and inspire a global shift towards sustainability.”

Meanwhile, Hatto shared his excitement regarding becoming IMIAMI’s General Manager in North America, stating: “As the new General Manager for UMIAMI North America, I’m thrilled to lead the way in introducing our groundbreaking ‘umisation’ technology to the American palate. With a deep background in the US food industry, I recognize the incredible potential for UMIAMI to redefine taste, sustainability, and choice.

“UMIAMI is here to transform how America eats, from quick service to fine dining and eventually kitchens across America. Our journey is poised to make a significant impact, and I’m excited to collaborate with our partners as we usher in a new era of plant-based food.”

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