The Netherlands is putting itself back on the map as a cheese country. Mr. & Mrs. Watson – a vegan food-tech company based in Amsterdam – is launching the first cheese wheel made from protein rich plant milk this year. A global first. Like animal-based Gouda cheese, the plant alternative is fermented in the traditional way and is full of healthy proteins. The proteins are extracted from faba beans, so there is no cow involved. Today, Mr. & Mrs. Watson announced a second seed funding round for the launch of the plant-based sliced cheese in specialty stores and supermarkets at the end of this year.
Mr. & Mrs. Watson made its name in recent years with cashew-based cheese alternatives, such as Camemberti. For the past three years, the food-tech company has been working hard on a new breakthrough in its lab in Amsterdam: sliced cheese based on proteins extracted from fava beans. By combining a traditional fermentation process with advanced techniques, the product offers a revolutionary alternative to traditional Gouda cheese.
A new standard
“The demand for plant-based protein alternatives is increasing dramatically,” says Nick Piña, co-founder of Mr. & Mrs. Watson. “There is already a very good response to this with fantastic plant-based meat substitutes. But while the innovations in the plant-based meat segment follow each other in rapid succession, the plant-based cheese segment has lagged behind until now. For example, many products have little nutritional value. It is time that beautiful, traditional and high-protein cheese substitutes are introduced to the market that are accessible to the general public. With our plant-based sliced cheese, we are setting a new standard in terms of nutritional value, craftsmanship and taste.”
Like animal-based Gouda cheese, Mr. & Mrs. Watson’s plant-based alternative is an artisan product. Piña: “Making cheese is a centuries-old Dutch craft. A craft that we embrace and will take into the future. We first make plant milk from locally grown faba beans. This milk is then fermented in a traditional way. Then we pour the cheeses into traditional cheese moulds. The result is the famous Dutch cheese wheel that you can cut slices from in the store. An experience not yet known in the plant-based cheese segment.”
Second seed funding round
In 2021, Mr. & Mrs. Watson raised 700,000 euros during a first seed funding round. Today the company announces a second seed funding round. The money will be invested in launching the product in Dutch supermarkets and specialty stores in the fourth quarter of this year. The goal is to roll out internationally within two years.
About Mr. & Mrs. Watson
Mr. & Mrs. Watson began in 2017 as a plant-based restaurant, specialising in homemade cheese alternatives. Its offerings were awarded a PETA Award for “best vegan cheese”. Due to the popularity of the products, Mr. & Mrs. Watson opened a new production facility and food lab in early 2019. The entrepreneurs behind the brand used the corona lockdown as an opportunity to bring the products to the consumer market and open a web shop. Meanwhile, Mr. & Mrs. Watson is a vegan food brand with a focus on the innovation of vegan cheese alternatives. Changing the world with good food. That’s the dream. Good for nature, animal welfare, humanity and – last but not least – our taste buds.