Food In Canada

New $7.6M project to develop high-quality meat alternatives

By Food in Canada staff   

Research & Development Plant-based foods Editor pick meat alternatives Merit Functional Foods Protein Industries Canada Wamame Foods Winecrush Technology Wismettac Asian Foods

Photo courtesy Wamame Foods

Protein Industries Canada is co-investing into a project that will diversify Canada’s meat-alternative product offerings.

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 utilization of innovative plant protein ingredients and processing technologies, the beef alternatives are expected to match the high-quality Wagyu line in both texture and taste.

The partners will also help diversify the plant-based foods available across Canada while meeting the high-quality taste, health and sustainability benefits consumers expect from plant-based foods and ingredients, as the new meat alternatives will be sold under three lines of products.


“Canadian farmers grow some of the world’s highest quality crops. Thanks to the work of the Protein Industries Supercluster, we are developing new uses for them by leveraging existing expertise and connecting global partners to create premium, healthy and sustainable food products. This great initiative will further Canada’s reputation as a world leader in plant-based food innovations,” said François-Philippe Champagne, minister of innovation, science and industry.

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,” said Protein Industries Canada CEO Bill Greuel. “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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