With nearly 10 billion people estimated on Earth by 2050—three billion more than there were in 2010—that’s a lot of mouths to feed. It’s a milestone many of us probably never thought our planet would reach, but it’s one we’re hurtling towards in just a few short decades.

As more people increasingly consume resource-intensive, animal-based foods, it’s clear we need a more sustainable way to keep up with growing meat demand.  

Recognising that people’s eating habits will only change if they are provided with convenient, tasty and cost-equivalent alternatives — Australia’s v2food was born. Founded in 2019 with Australia’s national science agency CSIRO, Main Sequence Ventures and Jack Cowin’s Competitive Foods Australia as shareholders, v2food’s goal is to create a ‘version two’ of meat that is good for you and good for the planet. 

Headed up by former Masterfoods and PepsiCo research director, Nick Hazell, v2food uses flavour science from CSIRO and protein extracted from legumes to create ‘mince’ that looks, cooks and tastes like quality meat. 

In October 2019, v2food announced its entry into the plant-based market and a few weeks later, it was officially launched in partnership with Hungry Jack’s — who debuted its long awaited plant-based burger, the Rebel Whopper, using v2’s patties as the secret ingredient.

The reception was phenomenal, Aussies were tasting the product and realising it tasted just as good as the real thing. In a bid to take their product beyond Hungry Jack’s, v2food also launched their own range of products, v2mince, v2burgers and most recently v2sausages— empowering customers to create their own plant-based recipes and dinners.

The innovation we’ve seen from tacos and spaghetti bolognese to meatballs and dumplings has been eye opening, and a testament to the appetite for plant-based meals at home.

Since then, growth has soared. v2food has gone on to sign partnerships with Coles, Woolworths, Drakes Supermarkets, Soul Burger, Deliveroo, Marley Spoon and more. In 2020, it announced it had closed a $77 million Series B funding round — bringing v2food’s total funds raised to a whopping $113 million — which would be used to push into the Asian market and further its APAC presence. In November 2020, v2 made the jump to Asia, with Burger King Philippines announcing it would be joining the plant-based movement with the launch of the v2food Plant-Based Whopper.

v2’s Nick Hazell believes that the plant-based meat category has the strongest opportunity to grow when it ceases to be seen as a niche premium offering for vegans and  is opened to the mainstream to satisfy all shoppers looking to reduce meat consumption. Critical to this is ensuring that there is no sacrifice to shoppers and plant-based options are easy to find in-store alongside their counterparts, value priced and delivering a great experience in both cooking and taste. 

So while v2food might be growing, it’s just getting started in its mission to sustainably feed the growing population in a way that also takes care of the planet.