Growthwell Group, One of South East Asia’s Leading Player for Plant-Based Alternatives Raises US$8 Million for Regional Scale-up. Plans include the establishment of an end-to-end technology centre in Singapore, an investment in Israeli food tech start-up ChickP, and the launch of chickpea protein-based seafood alternative series.
Growthwell’s new chickpea protein-based seafood alternative series: ChickP Squid, ChickP Crab Patty, and ChickP Shrimp (from left to right)
Growthwell, a leading manufacturer of plant-based alternatives for meat and seafood for the South East Asian market since 1989, today announced that it has raised US$8 million in a funding round led by Temasek, with other investors DSG Consumer Partners, Insignia Ventures, Genesis Alternative Ventures, Brandify and Mr Koh Boon Hwee participating. The proceeds from this funding round will accelerate Growthwell’s growth into alternative proteins and future food solutions, taking its vision of sustainable plant-based choices to a global stage.
Growthwell’s growth plans include the setup of an end-to-end technology centre in Singapore focusing on R&D and manufacturing, an investment in Israeli food tech start-up ChickP, as well as the launch of chickpea protein-based seafood alternative series using ChickP’s proteins.
Growthwell Group: Powered by two generations of leadership
From left to right: Mr Justin Chou, Executive Director (Son), Mr Chou Shih Hsin, Managing Director (Father) and Colin Chou, Commercial Director (Son)
Today, global consumer interest and demand for plant-based meat alternatives are significantly increasing, with the global plant-based protein market expected to grow approximately 9% yearly between 2020 to 2025, achieving revenues of over US$7 billion by 2025; yet, the Asian market remains largely untapped.
Growthwell’s vision is to be Asia’s leading plant nutrition food tech company, with an aim to care for 100 million lives with sustainable and nutritious plant-based choices while reducing the world’s overall meat consumption. In line with this vision, Growthwell will be setting up a state of the art, end-to-end technology centre in Singapore focusing on the R&D of novel plant proteins and manufacturing. Targeted for completion by first quarter of 2021, the facility will have the latest food technology applications, high moisture extrusion (HME) capabilities and a fully automatic manufacturing production line to scale production and cater to the strong demand for plant-based meat and seafood alternatives in the region. This strategic setup dovetails with Singapore’s strengthening position as an IP hub and Southeast Asia’s technology capital, and serves to contribute towards Singapore’s food security imperatives.
Growthwell has also committed to a significant stake in an Israeli food tech start-up, ChickP, to develop innovative plant proteins and to launch the world’s first 90% chickpea protein isolate specially designed for plant-based dairy and meat alternatives through patent-pending technology. This plant protein was jointly developed by ChickP with the faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Compared to the current market option of 70% chickpea protein concentrate, ChickP’s breakthrough offers the world its first neutral-taste, allergen-, gluten- and GMO-free 90% chickpea protein isolate that is high in nutrition and provides a strong, smooth texture and emulsion stability with no compromise to taste and flavour.
One innovative application of ChickP’s protein is in seafood and meat alternative products, through Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP) and HME. Chickpea-based TVP/HME has clean label qualities and the potential to be a highly adaptable superfood with its several nutritional characteristics – high protein, high fibre, low carb, low sodium. Its neutral taste, which does not require further masking through sugar or flavour additives, allows it to be easily adapted into highly delectable products, providing an edge over other conventional Asian plant-based meat alternatives such as gluten-based mock meat.
With Chickpea-based TVP/HME, Growthwell is currently developing chickpea protein-based seafood alternative collection – ChickP Squid, ChickP Crab Patty, and ChickP Shrimp – which will be free of allergens, gluten, lactose, and hormones, making it one of the safest proteins available for consumption.
Growthwell is ready to tap into the plant protein market by leveraging its supply chain capabilities, manufacturing know-how, and extensive distribution network to scale its growth. Beyond its current focus on the mass production of ChickP protein isolate and developing new ChickP protein products, Growthwell aspires to expand distribution of ChickP protein products across key Asia Pacific markets such as China and Australia and develop new plant-based product offerings, including dairy alternative products such as chickpea-based milk and ice cream, in 2021.
In line with its distribution plans, the company has appointed Country Foods, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SATS Food Services and one of Singapore’s primary food importers, distributors and manufacturers, as its main distributor and partner. With several exciting collaborations in the pipeline, this partnership will allow Growthwell to tap on Country Foods’ extensive list of clienteles in hospitality, food services, retail, wholesale, airlines, and governments.
With an innovative growth mindset, Growthwell seeks to develop and supply products beyond just meat-alternatives and is at the forefront of driving meat-free sustainable innovation in Asia.
“As a leading manufacturer, we aim to capitalise on the growing global demand for plant-based alternatives in the areas of meat and seafood. The recent Covid-19 pandemic has revealed the vulnerabilities of our food supply chains” says Justin Chou, second generation leader and Executive Director of Growthwell Group. “Our decision to build a manufacturing facility in Singapore is a timely solution to tackle the food security issue. Ultimately, Growthwell strives to be the local and regional champion in supporting the drive to achieve long-term food supply stability.”
东南亚领先植物性代替品业者Growthwell Group 筹集800万美金拓展区域业务计划包括在新加坡设立端对端技术中心、投资于以色列美食科技新创公司ChickP，以及推出鹰嘴豆蛋白质海鲜代替品系列。
Growthwell最新鹰嘴豆蛋白质类海鲜代替品系列： ChickP 鱿鱼、ChickP蟹肉饼、ChickP虾 (由左到右)
成立于1989年的Growthwell是东南亚市场领先的肉类及海鲜植物性蛋白替代食品制造商。公司今天宣布获得800万美元的投资，融资由淡马锡领投，其他投资者包括DSG Consumer Partners、Insignia Ventures、Genesis Alternative Ventures、Brandify及个人投资者Koh Boon Hwee。投资将用来扩大其植物蛋白与未来食物方案，旨在把可持续性的植物性代替品带上国际舞台。
左起:周志麒， 执行董事 (儿子), 周世興，常务董事 (父亲) 和 周聖華，商业董事 (儿子)
Growthwell也对以色列食品技术初创公司ChickP做出显著投资，通过正在申请专利的技术，开发创新植物蛋白质，推出世界首创的90%鹰嘴豆蛋白分离物，可用于乳制品及肉类替代品的制造。此植物蛋白是由ChickP与耶路撒冷希伯来大学农业、食物与环境学院联合开发。比起市面上现有的70% 鹰嘴豆精华， ChickP的科研突破为世界带来首个无异味、无过敏原、无麸质、无转基因成分的90% 鹰嘴豆蛋白分离物，营养成分高，提供卓越顺滑的质感与乳液稳定性，而又不影响食物风味。
ChickP蛋白质的一项创新用途是通过组织化植物蛋白（TVP）和高水份挤压，制作海鲜与肉类代替品。鹰嘴豆基础的TVP/HME有天然产品标签的品质，有可能成为最灵活的超级食物，附有多种营养特色 – 高蛋白、高纤维、低淀粉、低钠。它不带异味，不需通过糖分或其他调味来掩盖，也因此更容易制作成美味产品，比传统亚洲植物性代替品如素肉更胜一筹。
Growthwell准备进军植物性蛋白市场，借助供应链、生产知识与广阔的销售网络扩大力量。除了目前专注的大量生产ChickP蛋白分离物和研发新的ChickP蛋白产品， Growthwell也致力拓展ChickP蛋白产品的销售网络 ，进军亚太区主要市场如中国和澳大利亚，并研发新的植物性产品，包括乳制品代替物如鹰嘴豆奶与雪糕，并希望能在2021年完成目标。
配合分销计划，公司已委任新翔集团（SATS）旗下全资子公司Country Foods有限公司作为主要分销商与合作伙伴。后者也是新加坡 主要的食品进口商、分销商和制造商。双方已有很多合作计划，此次合作将使Growthwell 得以接触到Country Foods在酒店业、食品服务、零售业、批发商、航空公司和政府部门的大量客户。