Swiss Planted Foods is one of the top foodtech companies to watch out for this year. Planted produces delicious plant-based chicken and pork.
Nothing seems to stop the company as it brings constantly brings new products to the market. Here are some facts you need to know about Planted.
1. Two of the founders are cousins
In 2017, co-founder Pascal Bieri became aware of various meat substitutes during his stay in the US. He reached out to his cousin Lukas Böni, a Ph.D. student in food process engineering at ETH Zurich.
The two teamed up with Eric Stirnemann, who was particularly familiar with High Moisture Extrusion – the process used to produce the Planted products. Ultimately, Christoph Jenny joined the team, a finance expert with experience in the gastronomy industry. In 2019, they founded the Planted Foods GmbH at ETH Zurich, which also provided initial funding.
2. Planted's products emit 66% fewer greenhouse gases than conventional chicken
3. The company currently offers 9 different products
They currently offer 5 varieties of plant-based chicken and 3 varieties of plant-based pork. Both pork varieties are in the shape of pulled pork. Their newest addition to the mix is doner kebab meat.
However, this is just the beginning. Planted already announced that they are planning to bring additional varieties to market. These are the products they are currently selling:
- Güggeli (Mexican BBQ)
- Cheeky BBQ
- Southern Style BBQ
4. The products contain no preservatives, flavorings, chemical additives, lactose, gluten, or GMOs
Planted’s products are 100% natural and contain no additives. They don’t use any preservatives, flavorings, chemical additives, or GMOs. Furthermore, their meat is gluten and lactose-free.
Their ingredients originate in Europe, and both the canola oil and water are even from Switzerland. Planted’s products are not organic yet. However, they intend to change that in the future.
5. The chicken is produced with solely 4 ingredients
The plain chicken consists of only 4 ingredients: water, pea protein, pea fiber, and canola oil. In addition, a healthy dose of vitamin B12 is added. Vitamin B12 is actually quite difficult to consume as a vegetarian/vegan since it is usually consumed through meat and fish.
The pork, on the other hand, consists of a mix of different proteins (pea, sunflower, and oat).
6. Planted uses no soy in their products
Planted’s products are based mainly on pea protein and contain no soy at all. Soy has come under heavy criticism in recent years because rainforests have been cleared for its cultivation. However, most of the world’s soy is fed to livestock. In addition, crops are available that do not promote deforestation.
Pea protein might be more easily digestible for some people. Furthermore, soy allergy represents one of the most common food allergies. In general, however, pea and soy protein are almost equally nutritious.
7. Planted chicken has up to 40% less protein than conventional chicken
This is unfortunately quite usual for plant-based products. Plant-based products are nutritious per se, but they don’t offer the SAME nutrients as conventional meat. However, I am certain this gap will decline in the future.
Planted’s chicken products offer 25-40% less protein than conventional chicken. The chicken Nature contains the most protein.
In contrast, Planted’s pork products don’t differ that much from their traditional counterpart. Their protein level is up to 30% lower. However, the pork Nature only has 6% less protein than conventional pork. This is an amazing result for plant-based meat.
8. The company uses recycled and recyclable packaging
When you order Planted products, they arrive in a box where you will find the plant-based meat and one cool pack. The meat itself is packed in plastic, wrapped around by cardboard.
Planted stated that they use plastic due to better hygiene and shelf life. However, they are already working on other packaging solutions since they aim to establish themselves as a sustainable company.
The cool bag is made of recycled paper and is 100% recyclable. You could also reuse it since it is great for cooling food. However, the cool bag is quite big, so I could not imagine using it for picnics, but maybe you´ll find a better use.
The cool pack is reusable as well and way more useful than the cool bag, in my opinion. Of course, you can also dispose it quickly: It is filled with pure tap water – that means you can cut open the cool pack and pour the water down the drain. You can then dispose of the plastic cover with regular waste or recyclable waste.
9. You can save up to 20% with a subscription
Planted also offers subscriptions. You receive your plant-based meat every 3 weeks and pay monthly. The subscriptions are cancellable at any time. It is also possible to skip a delivery.
However, if you want to change the varieties of meat or the desired quantity, you need to cancel your existing subscription and buy a new one. By choosing the subscription, you save up to 20%, and Planted will cover the shipping costs.
They currently offer 3 types of subscriptions:
- 800g: 2 varieties (Save 10%)
- 1.2kg: 3 varieties (Save 15%)
- 1.6kg: 4 varieties (Save 20%)
You are able to choose between various combinations of different varieties.
10. The products contain carbs, yet conventional meat does not
Traditional meat does not provide carbohydrates, but plant-based meat does. This can be attributed to its ingredients. Luckily the proportion of simple sugars is very low. So there is no need to worry.
11. Planted is a bit expensive: You pay €25 per kg chicken and pork
12. Planted's products are so good you can prank your meat-loving friends with them
I am proud to say that it worked, at least on my friends. That is how insanely good Planted’s products are. Even people who LOVE traditional meat can’t tell the difference. That should be the goal of plant-based meat. In my opinion, plant-based meat should not be a substitute for conventional one but rather its successor.
Planted offers one of the best meat alternatives out there, but it is not perfect yet. Its structure is fibrous like the one traditional meat, but its fibers are almost too fine.
Furthermore, Planted’s chicken is quite dense. This makes it a bit hard and not as juicy as traditional meat since the marinade can’t enter the inside of the chicken. It also didn’t change when cooking the chicken for a long time or marinating it overnight.
Compared to the chicken, Planted’s pork is way juicier since it is also cut in finer pieces. In this way, the sauce/marinade can more easily coat the meat.
In addition, the Planted products are slightly brownish in the raw state, but as soon as you roast them, the difference to conventional meat is visually not noticeable.
Apart from every point mentioned above, Planted’s products are certainly one of the best meat alternatives that exist. They exactly taste like chicken and pork.
13. Planted offers one of the tastiest meat alternatives, but there is still some room for improvement
Planted is dedicated to saving the environment while offering delicious food. Their meat consists of only the most necessary ingredients and is also free of preservatives, flavorings, chemical additives, and GMOs.
Furthermore, they use no soy. Soy in itself is very nutritious, but it may have adverse effects on your body with frequent consumption. For example, men may face a decrease in testosterone levels.
When it comes to taste, Planted performs extremely well. Their products do taste like traditional meat. However, I would wish for the chicken to be less dense and have thicker fibers. In this way, it might also become juicier when cooking. Given all aspects, it is undoubtedly one of the tastiest plant-based meat in the market.