General Mills’ innovation unit is now using Israel-based Remilk’s animal-free whey protein instead of sourcing the ingredient from Perfect Day in the US.

G-Works, the product innovation arm set up in 2019 by the US food giant, was incorporating Perfect Day’s animal-free whey protein in its Bold Cultr precision fermentation alternative cheese when it launched the brand in 2021.

A spokesperson for G-Works confirmed Remilk as the new supplier but declined to “elaborate on the details of the switch” when contacted by Just Food.

Since the single-flavour launch of the Bold Cultr cream-cheese alternative, two others have been added to the roster, providing a line-up of plain, strawberry and onion and chives.

A direct-to-consumer website is set to roll out in “early” February, described as a “test-and-learn” project to complement retail distribution, another spokesperson for G-Works told Just Food. Alternative-cheese shreds and slices, part of the initial Bold Cultr plans, are still “under development”.

Berkeley-based, animal-free dairy start-up Perfect Day told Just Food via a spokesperson the contract with General Mills and G-Works was always intended to be for a limited period.

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“This first step in our relationship with General Mills was always structured as a limited pilot for both companies to gain learnings in a very focused test market,” Perfect Day said. “Our business is built to empower companies big and small with our animal-free ingredient or our precision fermentation expertise, to join us in creating a kinder, greener tomorrow.”

Meanwhile, Remilk’s tie-up with G-Works marks the Israeli firm’s first commercial product launch and the company’s debut into the US market, a spokesperson confirmed.

However, Remilk declined to comment on when the contract with G-Works started nor how long it runs for.

The business was set up in 2019 by CEO Aviv Wolff and CTO Ori Cohavi. Remilk secured US$120m via a Series B funding round last year to add to its 2020 cash injection of about $11m for its microbial fermentation process to produce dairy proteins without animals.

No new funding has since been raised, the spokesperson said.

G-Works sits within what General Mills calls its “disruptive growth office” and forms part of the Old El Paso maker’s Accelerate Strategy, drawn up to enable long-term organic growth of 2-3% annually. It is separate from the group’s venture-capital arm, 301 Inc.

Three brands have emerged from G-Works so far, including Bold Cultr. Joining the line-up are Doolies, high-fibre snacks aimed at addressing constipation in kids, and Good Measure, nut butter bars and crisps targeted at consumers with diabetes.

Meanwhile, Nestlé teamed up with Perfect Day last year to develop animal-free dairy products. That partnership followed on the heels of another set up by the US start-up with Mars to launch an animal-free dairy chocolate bar, Co2coa.

See Just Food’s interview with director Amol Dixit: General Mills’ G-Works unit wants to solve the “biggest consumer problems” in food