Major Australian supermarket chain invests in alt-protein start-up All G Foods

Australian alternative protein start-up All G Foods has received a multi-million-dollar injection of capital from W23, the venture capital and growth arm of $41.5b supermarket chain Woolworths Group.

All G will use the capital – an extension of the $16m in seed funding raised by All G last September – to use dairy proteins made via ‘precision fermentation’ to create non-animal-derived, lactose-free, planet-friendly dairy products that taste and look like their cows’-milk-based equivalent but take only a fraction of the water and land to produce.

The start-up’s own plant-based protein product range, Love Buds, also uses this technology.

Scaling up

In September 2021, All G Foods launched its Buds burger patties across 300 retailers, with the first items from an extensive range of alt-protein products – plant-based minces, nuggets, sausages, bacon alternatives and more are – due to roll out across Australian stores in coming months.

“As we rapidly scale, it’s important for us to partner with a company that has unparalleled access to distribution, assets and capabilities,” All G Foods founder-CEO Jan Pacas explained to Inside FMCG.

The company already makes a non-animal-derived milk product at its Sydney biofoundry and has plans to expand production over the next few years. The W23 funding will help the company to surmount regulatory and scaleability challenges, build a pilot plant and, in two to three years, “a big precision fermentation facility that we can scale to supply products to the world”, Pacas told the Australian Financial Review.

Attendees at a free tasting hosted by UNSW-based Chemical Engineering Research Society (CERS) were keen to try All G Foods’ alt-meat products. Credit: CERS

Next wave of food innovation

W23 Managing Director Ingrid Maes was impressed by All G Foods’ pioneering production methods, eco-friendly ethos and global aspirations.

“At W23, we invest in innovative start-ups led by visionary founders, and we’re interested in backing the next wave of food innovation in Australia,” Maes told AFR. “All G Foods is at the forefront of new alternative protein production techniques and is setting out to build a global business that can help feed a growing population.

“We’re excited about the potential of All G Foods’ emerging technology and ambitious growth plans,” she said.

This is the second time Woolworths has backed an Australian plant-based protein venture: in mid-2021, W23 invested in Sydney-based ingredients manufacturer Harvest B, which makes alternative proteins for use by other brands.


Woolworths Group’s W23 invests in alt-protein startup All G Food I Inside FMCG

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Lead image: Roman Buckow from All G Foods addresses guests at a Love BUDS product tasting. Credit: UNSW Chemical Engineering Research Society (CERS)