Tomorrow Farms, a New York-based food-tech firm on the verge of unveiling its first product, has closed $8.5 million in initial investment, which it will use to replicate refrigerator and cupboard staples with healthier ingredients.
Tomorrow Farms founder Ben Berman claims his firm is “reinventing pantry and refrigerator essentials” with a focus on products that are healthy for both humans and the environment, which he incubated at NYC’s SALT Venture Fund in 2021.
Tomorrow Farms is producing components and in-house brands through licensing collaborations with food scientists and other food-tech firms and will market its goods through retailer and direct-to-consumer channels.
Berman said the firm is now concentrating on two major areas: producing tasty alternative staples and making the decision to eat healthier and more sustainable “as simple as possible for customers.”
Berman has only said that the items would be “category-defining goods,” that they’d be “animal-free,” and that the first is scheduled to launch this spring as a straightforward offering.
“In Spring 2022, we’ll be introducing the world’s first animal-free dairy chocolate, vanilla, and strawberry milk”. according to Tomorrow Farms’ LinkedIn profile.
Why it makes a difference:
Tomorrow Farms is joining a competitive field, with major and small businesses aiming to reproduce popular cuisines using alternative components taken from plants or brewed in a lab.
Every month, the list is getting longer: QOA’s lab-grown chocolate, Voyage Foods’ peanut butter lacking peanuts, Atomo Coffee’s molecular coffee even without beans, and a slew of additional meat and dairy alternatives from Unbelievable, Perfect Day, and others. [AFN’s parent business, AgFunder, is a shareholder in Atomo.]
A lot of food firms are currently producing unique ingredients to sell directly to other food companies. Benson Hill, for example, launched its Ingredients business segment in 2021 to supply plant-based protein manufacturers with yellow peas and soy.
The big picture is this:
In terms of investment transactions, the Innovative Foods category, which comprises alt-protein and unique and useful ingredients, was the most active in 2021, bringing in $4.9 billion, or roughly 10% of all agrifood tech startup financing for the year.
Consumers and corporations alike are being pressured to make production and purchasing decisions that are less reliant on traditional animal husbandry and chemical-based inputs as a result of climate change.
Alternative substances are gaining popularity as a result of supply chain interruptions that began with Covid-19.
Many pantry staples have also been connected to human rights violations and other ethical concerns, which consumers are becoming increasingly aware of as the food sector seeks to become more open.
Tomorrow Farms plans to use the money in the following ways:
A significant portion of the additional investment will be used to develop Tomorrow Farms’ first brand. As previously stated, the unnamed brand would debut in spring 2022, however, the business did not provide a precise date.
Internal activities such as brand building and development, operations, production, supply chain, marketing, and R&D will all benefit from the seed money.
In summation, Berman claims that the funds would be used to “launch this first brand and give it the attention it deserves, while also allowing us to establish a firm that can support many companies and grocery departments in the future.”