Page 7 - Food & Drink Magazine Jan-Feb 21
P. 7

 Vow wows venture capitalists
Saputo cheers a rebrand
SAPUTO Dairy Australia has renamed Coon Cheese to Cheer Cheese. It follows a “careful and diligent review” to maintain the brand while also aligning with “current attitudes and perspectives”.
Consumers have called for a name change due to its discriminatory connotations.
It joins
Nestle’s lolly
brand Allen’s in
changing brand
names of its popular
lollies Red Skins and Chicos to Red Ripper and Cheekies back in November.
Saputo Inc CEO Lino A. Saputo said: “Treating people with respect and without discrimination is one of our basic principles... Our decision to change the name of Australia’s much-loved cheese reinforces this commitment to build a culture of acceptance, inclusion and respect where everyone feels a sense of belonging.”
Cheer Cheese will follow the same recipe and branding across its packaging. It will be available in supermarkets from July.
AUSTRALIAN cultured meat company Vow has secured
$7.7 million (US$6 million) seed funding from some of the country’s leading venture capital companies.
Led by Square Peg Capital, the over-capitalised series seed round was joined by existing investors Blackbird Ventures and Grok Ventures (the investment office of Mike and Annie Cannon-Brookes), and new investors Tenacious Ventures. This round will also see the appointment of James Tynan from Square Peg to the Vow board of directors.
Tynan said the team at Vow had “the most audacious” vision for the future of food.
“They’re tackling one of the biggest problems on the planet and have delivered results with less than one per cent
of the resources of its competitors,” he said.
Vow was co-founded by former Cochlear design lead Tim Noakesmith and George Peppou from start-up accelerator Cicada Innovations.
In 2019, it received a $25,000 grant from the New South Wales Government after creating the first ever cell-cultured kangaroo meat grown from stem cells. It was a world first in making a
food product from the cells of an undomesticated animal.
Since then, Vow has grown its “Noah’s Ark” cell library to
11 animals and plated six of them in another world first product demonstration with one of Australia’s most renowned chefs, Neil Perry.
In August 2020, Noakesmith told Food & Drink Business the company was looking at the new paradigm of food.
“We don’t just have to think about the animals that we can domesticate, but we can start to think about any animal which has cells, which is literally all of them. Our cell library gives us a chance to start to explore all
• • • •
Vow co-founders Tim Noakesmith and George Peppou
those other culinary secrets that are kept in nature,” he said.
In December, the industry leapt forward with the Singapore Government announcing a cultivated meat – US-based Eat Just’s cultured chicken nuggets – met its food safety standards and was safe for human consumption. The industry called the decision a game changer.
Peppou said: “This is about so much more than an alternative to animal agriculture, it’s about a category of products totally distinct from, and better than, what animals are capable
of producing.” | January/February 2021 | Food&Drink business | 7

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