Growthwell Group, One of South East Asia’s Leading Player for Plant-Based Alternatives Raises US$8 Million for Regional Scale-up

Plans include the establishment of an end-to-end technology centre in Singapore, an investment in Israeli food tech start-up ChickP, and the launch of chickpea protein-based seafood alternative series


SINGAPORE - Media OutReach - 27 April 2020
- Growthwell, a leading manufacturer of plant-based alternatives for meat
and seafood for the South East Asian market since 1989, today announced that it
has raised US$8 million in a funding round led by Temasek, with other investors
DSG Consumer Partners, Insignia Ventures, Genesis Ventures, Brandify and Mr Koh
Boon Hwee participating. The
proceeds from this funding round will accelerate Growthwell's growth into
alternative proteins and future food solutions, taking its vision of
sustainable plant-based choices to a global stage.  

Growthwell Group: Powered by two generations of
From left to right: Mr Justin Chou, Executive
Director (Son), Mr Chou Shih Hsin, Managing Director (Father) and Colin Chou,
Commercial Director (Son)

Growthwell's growth
plans include the setup of an
end-to-end technology centre in Singapore focusing on R&D and
manufacturing, an investment in Israeli food tech start-up ChickP, as well as the launch of chickpea
protein-based seafood alternative series using ChickP's proteins.

Existing Meat-Replacement Market

Today, global consumer
interest and demand for plant-based meat alternatives are significantly
increasing, with the global plant-based protein market expected to grow
approximately 9% yearly between 2020 to 2025, achieving revenues of over US$7
by 2025; yet, the Asian market remains largely untapped.

Growthwell's vision is
to be Asia's leading plant nutrition food tech company, with an aim to care for
100 million lives with
sustainable and nutritious plant-based choices while reducing the world's
overall meat consumption. In line with this vision, Growthwell will be setting
up a state of the art, end-to-end technology centre in Singapore focusing on the
R&D of novel plant proteins and manufacturing. Targeted for completion by
first quarter of 2021, the facility will have the latest food technology
applications, high moisture extrusion (HME) capabilities and a fully automatic
manufacturing production line to scale production and cater to the strong
demand for plant-based meat and seafood alternatives in the region. This strategic
setup dovetails with Singapore's strengthening position as an IP hub and
Southeast Asia's technology capital, and serves to contribute towards
Singapore's food security imperatives.

Highly Adaptable
Superfood as Seafood Alternatives

Growthwell has also committed
to a significant stake in an Israeli food tech start-up, ChickP, to develop
innovative plant proteins and to launch the world's first 90% chickpea
protein isolate specially designed for plant-based dairy and meat alternatives

through patent-pending technology. This plant protein was jointly developed by
ChickP with the faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment of the Hebrew
University of Jerusalem. Compared to the current market option of 70% chickpea
protein concentrate, ChickP's breakthrough offers the world its first
neutral-taste, allergen-, gluten- and GMO-free 90% chickpea protein isolate
that is high in nutrition and provides a strong, smooth texture and emulsion
stability with no compromise to taste and flavour.

One innovative
application of ChickP's protein is in seafood and meat alternative products,
through Texturized Vegetable Protein (TVP) and HME.
Chickpea-based TVP/HME has clean label qualities and the potential to be a highly
adaptable superfood
with its several nutritional characteristics -- high
protein, high fibre, low carb, low sodium. Its neutral taste, which does not require
further masking through sugar or flavour additives, allows it to be easily
adapted into highly delectable products, providing an edge over other
conventional Asian plant-based meat alternatives such as gluten-based mock meat.

Chickpea-based TVP/HME, Growthwell is currently developing chickpea protein-based seafood
alternative collection -- ChickP
Squid, ChickP Crab Patty, and ChickP Shrimp -- which will be free of
allergens, gluten, lactose, and hormones
, making it one of the safest proteins available for consumption.

Bolstering its
distribution networks

Growthwell is ready to
tap into the plant protein market by leveraging its supply chain capabilities,
manufacturing know-how, and extensive distribution network to scale its growth.
Beyond its current focus on the mass production of ChickP protein isolate and
developing new ChickP protein products, Growthwell aspires to expand
distribution of ChickP protein products across key Asia-Pacific markets such as
China and Australia and develop new plant-based product offerings, including dairy
alternative products such as chickpea-based milk and ice cream, in 2021.

In line with its
distribution plans, the company
has appointed Country Foods, a wholly-owned subsidiary of SATS Food Services
and one of Singapore's primary food importers, distributors and manufacturers, as
its main distributor and partner. With several exciting collaborations in the
pipeline, this
partnership will allow Growthwell to tap on Country Foods' extensive
list of clienteles in hospitality, food services, retail, wholesale, airlines,
and governments.

With an innovative
growth mindset, Growthwell seeks to develop and supply products beyond just
meat-alternatives and is at the forefront of driving meat-free sustainable
innovation in Asia.

"As a
leading manufacturer, we aim to capitalise on the growing global demand for
plant-based alternatives in the areas of meat and seafood. The recent Covid-19
pandemic has revealed the vulnerabilities of our food supply chains" says
Justin Chou, second generation leader and Executive Director of Growthwell
Group. "Our decision to build a manufacturing facility in Singapore is a timely
solution to tackle the food security issue. Ultimately, Growthwell strives to
be the local and regional champion in supporting the drive to achieve long-term
food supply stability."

[1] Market research by

About Growthwell Group

in 1989, Growthwell Group has been the trusted one-stop meat-free solutions
provider in Singapore for F&B businesses and organisations around the
world. Armed in research and development, Growthwell Group is the leading plant-based
food solutions company in Singapore that helps F&B organisations obtain
high quality meat-free products while providing excellent logistics support and
customer service for continual growth and success. With an intention of making
the world a better place, Growthwell Group has evolved from a manufacturer of
plant-based alternatives in Asia to that of an innovative plant-based food
technology company. Equipped with food technology, manufacturing and
distribution capabilities in Asia, the group provides end-to-end plant-based
food solutions directly to their valued partners and consumers globally. 





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