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Wamame Foods, Merit Functional Foods, Wismettac Asian Foods and Winecrush Technology are partnering to develop and distribute plant-based, non-soy alternatives to pork and Wagyu beef. Through the use of innovative plant protein ingredients and processing technologies, the beef alternatives aim to match the high-quality Wagyu line in both texture and taste.

The new meat alternatives will be sold under three lines of products.

Merit Functional Foods and Winecrush Technology will develop the ingredients for the new products using Canadian-grown crops, including non-GMO peas and canola, which will then be used in research and development activities to perfect the new beef and pork alternatives. The new products will be sold under Wamame Foods’ Waygu brand in addition to their pre-existing soy-based Waygu product, as well as a co-branded private label under Wismettac Asian Foods’ line of products.

“Consumer demand for high-quality, delicious and nutritious plant-based meat alternatives is growing, and meeting it in a sustainable manner will require new ingredient and product innovation,” Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel said. “Wamame Foods, Merit Functional Foods, Wismettac Asian Foods and Winecrush Technology are proof that Canadian companies have the knowledge, skills and innovative mindset to develop these new ingredients and products. Their diversification of the plant-based meat alternative market is an important step toward Canada’s goal of becoming a global leader in the supply of plant-based foods and ingredients.”

The new lines of meat alternatives will be sold throughout Europe, Asia and North America, expanding Canada’s plant-based meat alternative market footprint. This will support Canada’s goal of being an innovative leader in the production of plant-based food and ingredients, while also increasing domestic processing, creating jobs and strengthening our economy.

A total of $7.6 million is being invested in the project, with Protein Industries Canada investing $3.8 million.

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