Vancouver, B.C. — Wamame Foods is excited to welcome two new consortium partners: Teja Foods and Sierra Meat and Seafood—in their efforts to expand their footprint in the plant-based food sector.
The consortium of innovative partners, which also includes Merit Functional Foods, Wismettac Asian Foods and Crush Dynamics, along with a co-investment from Protein Industries Canada, has joined forces to develop and distribute plant-based alternatives to Wagyu beef.
The consortium’s goal is to build on the early success of Wamame’s premium plant-based brand, Waygu, by investing in research and development through partnerships with the University of British Columbia and the Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre. The research process is helping create a suite of products that compete against the best beef brands in the world and would be sold under both the Waygu brand and as private label products. Wamame's leading brand Waygu (pronounced "Way-gu") is the world's first wagyu beef alternative made completely from plants.
“Partnerships are a valued element in our vision of Canada being a global leader in plant-based food, feed and ingredients,” Protein Industries Canada CEO, Bill Greuel said. “We believe in contributing solutions to some of the world’s most pressing challenges – including climate change, food security and human health. And, that together, we can create a $25 billion industry for Canada supported by our goal of 17,000 jobs by 2035. Bold creativity, forward thinking and collaboration with our partners is imperative as we work to create a healthy, sustainable ecosystem.”
"Wamame welcomes Sierra Meat and Seafood and Teja Foods into the Waygu consortium,” Blair Bullus, President of Wamame Foods said. “These instrumental foodservice companies will bring significant operational manpower across North America, showcasing Waygu as a premium plant-based brand in the food-service, meat-alternative market."
Both companies have the capacity to help expand Waygu’s reach throughout Canada and the United States, developing Waygu’s premium Japanese-Asian high-quality plant-based products as a major player in the plant-based sector.
"For over a century, Sierra Meat and Seafood has been a leader in the premium protein market and uniquely understands the importance of providing the best possible products across the protein spectrum,” Bernadette Flocchini, Executive Vice President and Director of Specialty and Exotic Proteins at Sierra Meat and Seafood explained. “As we have witnessed the growth in the plant-based sector over the last several years, Sierra Meats has been looking to partner with a plant-based protein supplier that met our vision for flavour and quality, and we found it with Wamame's Waygu. We believe this to be the very best plant-based meat available and are happy to introduce it to our demanding clientele. We are excited to join this consortium and support Waygu by extending our distribution and sales assistance across the United States as we help grow a world-class plant-based brand."
“Teja Foods is excited to be part of this great plant-based project,” Tom Grande, Teja Foods President said. “The Waygu product line exemplifies the premium quality which Teja Foods is known for and we look forward to supporting the project with our distribution reach and depth of experience across the Canadian food service sector."
With the consortium’s investments and expertise, the partnership with Protein Industries Canada, and now the addition of new partners, Wamame is looking to further scale up its product development and distribution efforts.
Building off recent successes that include product partnerships at the 2022 TED Conference in Vancouver, as well as listings with JW Marriot and Shangri-La hotel chains in Singapore and Canada, the consortium is helping implement 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 the Canadian economy.
About Wamame Foods
Wamame Foods is a food technology company dedicated to the development of premium plant-based beef with its brand Waygu. Drawing inspiration from Japanese Wagyu, widely considered to be the best beef in the world, Wamame’s plant-based alternative Waygu is a collaborative effort between a consortium of leading research and development facilities, ingredient suppliers, manufactures, investors and distributors that represent the best of the Canadian and Japanese food industries.
About Teja Foods
Teja Foods was established in 1955 by Gurdial Singh Teja (founder of Teja’s brand) who introduced innovative South Asian brands catering to the ethnic communities in Western Canada to become the first major importing distribution companies in Canada for ethnic foods from India. The company offers quality foods for inspiring meals with expertise in market trends to respond to the demands of the growing South Asian population and growing popularity of South Asian cuisine.
About Sierra Meat and Seafood
Sierra Meat and Seafood takes pride in offering the highest quality products available. The fourth generation Flocchini family, which operates five distinct businesses, enjoys a love for the meat industry that dates back to their great grandfather, Armando Flocchini Sr., an immigrant butcher from Italy. The family has expanded through the years, onboarding specialty and exotic products along the way. In 1986, they moved to Reno, NV where the family-owned meat supplier keeps safety and quality as the number one priority. Sierra Meat and Seafood includes private labeling and manufacturing portion control meat and seafood and distributes products regionally as well as nationwide with a goal to offer natural, sustainable, and wholesome proteins.
About Merit Functional Foods
Established in 2019, Merit Functional Foods is a Canadian company committed to exceeding expectations for plant-based protein, providing the market with the highest quality protein ingredients that offer unmatched purity, exceptional taste and excellent solubility. Merit has built a 94,000-square foot state-of-the-art production facility in Winnipeg, Man., where it produces a portfolio of non-GMO pea and canola protein ingredients with high functionality and nutritional profiles for use in plant-based foods and beverages. For more information, visit meritfoods.com.
About Wismettac Asian Foods
Wismettac is a global company with over 100 years of history and a proud Japanese heritage (Wismettac group holding company is listed in the Tokyo Stock Exchange). They are committed to transforming the food industry into an accelerator of the world's well-being. In North America, they do so by sharing the rich tastes and wholesome foods of the Asian cuisine with foodservice operators and retail stores.
About Crush Dynamics
Crush Dynamics™ is an innovative agritech company based in British Columbia, Canada, focused on the transformation of grape derivatives and other agricultural side streams into high-performance food ingredients using patent-pending targeted fermentation. By pioneering a new, biomechanical process, they are harnessing the power of polyphenols for food innovation while improving the sustainability of the global food chain. Through natural, proprietary upcycling, we Crush Dynamics transforms food to taste better, be healthier and always be cost-effective.