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New Culture and CJ CheilJedang enter into strategic partnership for commercial manufacturing capacity

May 14, 2024

New Culture, an animal-free dairy company, has announced a strategic partnership with CJ CheilJedang, the world's largest supplier of bioproducts made from microbial fermentation. The partnership is focused on driving down the cost of New Culture's animal-free casein protein, unlocking commodity pricing including for New Culture's first product, mozzarella for pizzerias.

New Culture is the first company in the world to make dairy mozzarella without the animal milk that turns off many consumers due to nutrition, dietary, ethical and environmental concerns. The key ingredient in the company's animal-free cheese is casein – the 'cheese stretch' protein – made through a proprietary fermentation process similar to brewing beer. New Culture's flagship product will launch with James Beard Award-winning chef Nancy Silverton at her iconic Pizzeria Mozza this year, unleashing a new era of delicious, nutritious, and planet-friendly dairy for the US$9 billion US mozzarella market.

"Bringing our animal-free cheese to pizza lovers everywhere means producing it at a large enough scale and low enough cost so we can compete and win on product performance," commented Inja Radman, New Culture Co-founder & CSO. "Our partnership with CJ CheilJedang facilitates access to some of the largest and most sophisticated fermentation facilities on the planet to truly transform the dairy industry."

A US$23 billion Korean conglomerate, CJ CheilJedang is a leading food and biotechnology company with more than 60 years' experience in fermentation technology, advancing proprietary amino acids for feed and food, savory flavors and seasoning materials, and plant based protein ingredients. This expertise spans 10 manufacturing sites in seven countries worldwide comprising millions of liters of fermentation capacity across a range of microbial platforms and downstream processing assets. In addition to its fermentation prowess, CJ CheilJedang is also a global leader in foods through its Korean food brand bibigo and ownership of Schwan's Company, known for the frozen pizza brand Red Baron.

"Since our initial investment in New Culture in 2022, the CJ CheilJedang team has continued to be impressed by the company's technical progress, robust bioprocess, and global ambition in the animal-free dairy industry," added Seung June Choi, Senior Vice President of Strategic Planning at CJ CheilJedang. "Whether through commercial manufacturing, procurement, or other technical support, this partnership enables the full scope of our expertise to accelerate New Culture's growth and market leadership."

This partnership with CJ CheilJedang further strengthens New Culture's manufacturing position and path to profitability, building on the company's previously announced partnership with ADM, the US-based, alternative protein and fermentation leader. New Culture also has the backing of Kraft Heinz, venture capital firms Mayfield, Future Ventures, Ahren Innovation Capital and SOSV, as well as food investors S2G and CPT Capital.

If you have any questions or would like to get in touch with us, please email info@futureofproteinproduction.com

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