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8 Trends in Vegan Meat, Egg and Dairy to Watch for in 2022

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Another year in the books, another Veganuary.

I think we can agree by now that veganism itself is not a trend — sales of plant-based food continue to grow rapidly. With the relationship between industrial animal agriculture and climate change still a pressing issue, there’s no reason it should slow down anytime soon. Plant-based food, it turns out, is big business (to the tune of an estimated $7 billion in 2020). And in business, there’s always got to be something coming down the pike. The realm of plant-based meat, dairy, and egg alternatives should be no exception.

Based on what we’ve seen in 2021, there are some projections we can make about what’s going to be new and interesting in plant-based food this coming year. We’ve been hearing a lot lately about cell-cultured meats and half-meat, half-veggie hybrid products, but good old vegan proteins aren’t being left behind. New innovations and business strategies continue to proliferate the plant-based food space.

From fermentation creations to celebrity-owned brands, here’s what I’m expecting to see more of in 2022.

Star-studded and dairy-free

From fitness to craft spirits, you know something has become a cultural mainstay when celebrities start putting their faces on it. The tail end of 2021 has seen a couple of celebrity brand debuts — and for products that are decidedly dairy-free. In early December, Cardi B announced the release of her new alcoholic novelty: Whipshots. It’s vodka-infused whipped cream that just so happens to be dairy-free.The marketing for the product so far isn’t making a big deal about the non-dairy aspect, which speaks to how normalized non-dairy products have become. (That said, Cardi B isn’t shy about her interest in going vegan.) Elsewhere in the music world, record producer Jermaine Dupri recently introduced his own brand of vegan ice cream, JD’s Vegan. It’s made from a coconut cream base and set to be sold in Walmarts around the country. The dairy alternative market is expected to reach a value of over $40 billion by 2026. It seems likely that more stars of the entertainment world are going to cross over and begin selling their own plant-based products going forward. 

Related: From Fine Dining to Fast Food: Where Plant-Based Food is Going in 2022

Jumping ship for plant-based meat

The saying adapt or die is as true in the business world as anywhere else. And curiously, we’re seeing some of the world’s biggest meat companies do exactly that — adapt. Some, like JBS, the Brazil-based company that holds the title of largest meat producer in the world, are working it into their business strategy by introducing vegan chicken alongside their traditional meats. In other cases, big-time executives in the food industry are pivoting to plants: i.e, David Hoffman, former Dunkin’ CEO who has just raised $2.7 million for the vegan bacon brand Hooray Foods, and Doug Ramsey and Bernie Adcock, the execs who recently left their long-held positions at Tyson to work with Beyond Meat. These are big career moves, but they shouldn’t be much of a surprise. The market for plant-based food has been growing rapidly and is expected to continue doing so for the foreseeable future. It’s just good business.

Lamb-free kebabs

Plant-based burger patties are practically commonplace nowadays. But vegan lamb? That’s something we don’t see very often, if ever. British culinary giant Marco Pierre White recently announced that he’ll be serving not just beef, but whole-cut lamb made by Israeli company Redefine Meat at his U.K. restaurants. And the British brand Wicked Kitchen has recently launched a vegan lamb alternative into the retail space. If lambless lamb goes over well with consumers, it probably won’t be long until it’s readily available in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Related: Vegan Brands Are Swinging For Our Greatest Hope: Gen Z

Cruelty-free crudo

It’s not as though vegan fish alternatives don’t exist — they’ve been offered at vegetarian Chinese restaurants for ages. Sophie’s Kitchen and Good Catch have both had plant-based seafood in the retail space for several years. 2021, however, saw the introduction of sushi-grade vegan tuna to the raw bar. Kuleana’s vegan tuna is made from a mix of plants including algae and the fungus koji, and it’s not just another bone thrown to the vegans. Time Magazine recognized it as one of the 100 best inventions of 2021 (also on the list: the Covid-19 vaccine). It’s soft-launching in retail markets and restaurants around the U.S., but if Time’s enthusiasm means anything, it likely won’t be long before we start seeing it everywhere.

Taking the milk out of milk chocolate

Vegan candy, especially chocolate, has until now mostly been a niche dominated by specialty brands like Amy’s and Unreal. Now, finally, we’re seeing legacy brands jumping headfirst into plant-based waters. Kit Kat launched a vegan version of its classic candy bar in several international markets earlier this year. German confectioner Ritter Sport recently announced a forthcoming line of vegan bars as well. The list goes on: Cadbury and Mars have already debuted vegan milk chocolate confections, and Lindt plans to do so this January. Although, it might be some time before you see non-dairy milk chocolate at your local 7-Eleven. Most of these products aren’t yet being introduced to the U.S. market. But, if all goes well, it’s only a matter of time before they start migrating out of Europe.

Related: Plant-Based Eating Isn’t Just Salads And Beans. The Vegan Dessert Market Continues To Grow.

Better-for-you burgers and chick’n

The nutritional value of plant-based meat alternatives has long been a subject of debate among nutritionists, consumers and business leaders. I have argued in the past that the relative unhealthiness of a Beyond or Impossible burger compared to kale or traditional black bean veggie burgers is actually part of its value. But that, of course, doesn’t speak for everyone. Impossible Foods tweaked its patties a couple of years ago to contain less saturated fat and other unwanteds. Beyond Meat followed suit earlier this year when it released a retooled, lower-fat version of its flagship patty as well as a new one that’s even lower in fat. Now, instead of makeovers, some plant-based brands are going for nutritional gold right out the gate. Case in point: Nowadays, maker of vegan chick’n nuggets, boasts a short and legible ingredient list and an impressive calorie to protein ratio. Expect to see more of this from existing and newborn brands in the coming year.

The latest alt-milk: potato

You didn’t think the dairy alternative industry was done exploring new ingredients, did you? UK supermarket chain Waitrose named potato milk as an up-and-coming product to look forward to in 2022. It’s being praised in part due to its sustainability. Sure enough, Swedish brand Dug will be expanding from Europe to the U.S. in the coming months. With over 20 million tons of potatoes produced in the U.S. each year, it’s only a matter of time before some competitors sprout.

Fermentation of the future

The latest, and perhaps most philosophically interesting development in animal-free food recently, has been the use of fermentation to create proteins that are chemically identical to the ones that come from animals. Perfect Day is an industry leader, providing brands like Brave Robot and soon, General Mills, with casein and whey grown in a facility, not harvested from actual cows. San Francisco-based brand The EVERY Company has developed a chickenless egg white protein that’s already being offered as a smoothie ingredient at Pressed juiceries. These products are hard to label — they’re cruelty-free, but are they vegan? They’re animal-free, but not free of animal proteins? But for folks who want to eat ethically and sustainably without sacrificing the tastes they’re accustomed to, they could be a game changer. Another SF-based startup called New Culture raised $25 million in funding to support its quest for cow-free — but not dairy-free — cheese.

Beans and greens are great and all, but sometimes a vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian or reducetarian just wants something hearty and familiar. Plant-based and food-tech meat, cheese and egg alternatives are anything but stagnant as a market sector. They’re experiencing new developments and innovations, raising a lot of seed funding and getting the attention of the entire food industry. And I, for one, could really go for a cruelty-free, environmentally friendly and relatively healthier cheeseburger in 2022 and beyond.

Related: Plant-based Meat Has Officially Reached ‘Global Phenomenon’ Status

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Better together: Offsetting cybersecurity’s labor challenges with API integrations

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The labor challenges afflicting cybersecurity teams far and wide are no secret. A razor-tight hiring market coupled with surging demand and an accelerating threat landscape has created a perfect storm of complexity, resulting in a widening skills gap that is driving higher levels of burnout and human error across the sector. In fact, Verizon’s independently commissioned 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report found that 82% of breaches today involve some degree of human error. Whether it’s an unsuspecting end user or a bleary-eyed analyst, the vulnerabilities caused by cognitive overload shouldn’t be overlooked.  

Take the recent high-profile Uber data breach. A malicious actor, posing as an internal IT administrator, used digital collaboration channels to trick an Uber employee into giving up their VPN credentials, leading to a total compromise of the rideshare giant’s network infrastructure. The breach exemplified the consequences of a social engineering attack targeting the always-on hybrid workforce. And with the rate of such attacks accelerating in volume and velocity, it’s clear that more visibility of these threats is needed for security teams to effectively remediate them.

Many organizations are investing in a plethora of new, best-in-class security products in response to staffing shortages. However, reactive patchwork spending on the industry’s latest niche products shouldn’t be viewed as the answer, as the tool sprawl often creates additional complexity that hurts organizations more than it helps. Enterprises, on average, have 60 to 80 different security monitoring tools in their portfolio, many of which go unused, underutilized or forgotten. Forcing security teams to master a myriad of tools, consoles and workflows shifts priorities from managing risk to managing technology.

An integrated cybersecurity framework

The companies best positioned to offset cybersecurity’s labor challenges are those adopting best-of-breed security tools and platforms that offer a deep library of API and third-party integrations. Above all, an integrated framework empowers organizations to effectively navigate their unique environments by consolidating tools and reducing human error through the following three processes:

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  • Improved protection via security intelligence and threat sharing: This enables rapid recognition and response to incoming threats via machine learning analytics tools, strengthening a human analyst’s ability to formulate swift and comprehensive cyberdefense measures.
  • Improved efficiency via automation: This enables offloading of repetitive and mundane manual tasks to AI-enabled tools, streamlining human workflows by accelerating and improving key facets of incident response and vulnerability management.
  • Improved prevention via sharing and consolidating tool data: This enables complete, real-time visibility into an organization’s entire security environment to promote the creation of targeted alerts that uncover unknown threats.

In collaborating with a wider range of security vendors, organizations leveraging API integrations benefit from the combined knowledge of all integrated platforms to greatly improve overall security posture. The extensive access to timely threat intelligence allows security teams to align prevention, investigation and response plans across multiple security controls, as well as increase the speed of their detection and remediation efforts.

Amid the widespread adoption of cloud-based hybrid work environments, it’s increasingly clear that organizational security architectures must consist of scalable, tightly integrated solutions that combine the right balance of automated prevention, detection and response capabilities to effectively protect data across its lifecycle.

Enhancing detection and increasing cybersecurity efficacy

An open API integration framework is the embodiment of unlocking strength in numbers. It stitches together the critical functions and processes performed by foundational security tools — email security, endpoint security, web security, NDR, data security — into a single meshed framework that operates in unison and shares centralized threat intelligence data across its ecosystem. By connecting all the pieces of the puzzle, organizations gain the resources to enhance their prevention and detection capabilities in complex environments.

In one scenario, an API framework could enable automated processes to continuously flow between an email gateway and security service edge (SSE) to corresponding SIEM/XDR systems. This would allow security teams to share rich logging, metadata, indicators of compromise, malicious URLs, user activity, data movement and machine learning analytics in real time. The AI-powered SIEM platform automates the analysis of that threat data, sifting through the noise to generate actionable alerts with contextual information for security teams. Meanwhile, the real-time contextual insights provide simplified guidance for analysts to alleviate potential threats and, if needed, formulate a swift response to an attack.

With access to a wider range of threat data touchpoints, cybersecurity teams can also create customized scripts within the overarching API library. This gives them “targeted capabilities” that more directly align with their specific needs and skillsets. For instance, the team could create a script that simultaneously analyzes email security logs from Vendor A, data protection logs from Vendor B, web security click logs from Vendor C, and spam filter logs from Vendor D, based on which intel is most relevant to their specific use case. Filtering the exceedingly high volumes of incoming alerts enhances the efficiency of the entire team, empowering analysts to identify needles in the haystack by prioritizing the right alerts at the right times for maximized protection.

Automating manual processes and workflows

Despite the growing number of innovative, best-in-class products available on the market today, it’s important to remember that a multi-vector social engineering attack is exceedingly difficult for hybrid security teams to combat regardless of the tools in their stack. Quick and agile responses are non-negotiable in these situations, but with resources stretched thin and employees working from multiple locations, executing swift corrective action free of human error is easier said than done. Even the most experienced and skilled security teams are susceptible to mistakes while trying to remediate an attack. Therefore, identifying how to automate well-defined processes wherever possible is imperative for tightening these response durations and ensuring security teams can remediate quickly and effectively.

With access to an open API library, organizations can integrate the capabilities of additional AI/ML security tools into their existing security architecture to automate the repetitive steps of protection, detection, response, mitigation and intelligence sharing. Whether it’s informing an endpoint security provider of an emerging alert, or securely moving data from one storage solution to another, API-driven automation can handle the routine, error-prone tasks cybersecurity teams perform every day. Streamlining these otherwise human-centric workflows allows overstretched analysts to instead focus on more critical threat assessments requiring extensive time and attention. That, on a macro level, strengthens the security posture of the greater organization.

There’s no magic bullet that will completely reverse cybersecurity’s labor challenges in the immediate future. But there are proactive steps organizations can take now to provide the critical support their security teams need today. For effectively navigating a complex threat landscape, there’s no better place to start than with the applied adoption of a deep API integration framework.

After all, cybersecurity is a team sport. Why defend alone when you can defend together? 

Joseph Tibbetts is senior director for tech alliances and API at Mimecast.

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It’s foie gras season in unicorn land • TechCrunch

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W

elcome to the TechCrunch Exchange, a weekly startups-and-markets newsletter. It’s inspired by the daily TechCrunch+ column where it gets its name. Want it in your inbox every Saturday? Sign up here.

With most startups getting repriced behind closed doors, we love getting data that gives us a glimpse of what’s going on. This week, our new information comes from EquityZen, which shared insights on secondary stock sales. EquityZen also put up a few IPO predictions that gave us food for thought. Let’s explore. — Anna

A glimpse of repricing

How do you know when a unicorn has lost its billion-dollar valuation? Usually you only find out long after the fact, when — and if — the company raises a down round that makes it clear that its equity valuation is no longer in the unicorn realm.

The thing is, not many founders want to advertise that they have raised capital at a lower valuation than their previous round; in most cases, they just won’t disclose their new valuation.

As market observers, this leaves us with little data on a topic that our readers do care about: What kind of repricing they could expect. This is why we were grateful for Instacart, which made it public that it reduced its valuation through a 409A price change. This wasn’t good news, but it was a helpful data point for everyone involved. However, that was back in March.



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This Top-Rated PDF Solution Is 66% Off Now

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Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Paper has made its way largely out of business, but that doesn’t mean you don’t still work with documents regularly. Instead, we’re just working with them differently: with the dreaded PDF. These static files can be great if you’re positive that a document is ready, but a serious nightmare when you have to make changes. When you’re working with a lot of PDFs, you need a quality digital solution.



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UPDF Pro is one of the top-rated PDF solutions on the market. Geeky Gadget writes, “UPDF is a potent PDF editor and PDF converter designed to stay up with advanced technologies. It ensures that whichever features you use are up to date. UPDF not only converts PDF to Word but can perform many advanced editing.” Fossbytes adds, “UPDF doesn’t have a boring interface like other PDF software. The design is stunning and eye-catching. On top of it, it is convenient to use. You wouldn’t be bothered with a complex design that is very time-consuming.”

These are just the tip of the iceberg of positive reviews for this all-in-one PDF solution for individuals and businesses. With it, you can edit any PDF document across Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android devices, adding or deleting text, editing fonts and color, and much more. The tool allows you to add, crop, rotate, replace, extract or delete images, watermark documents, and password-protect them for elevated confidentiality. You can also easily annotate PDFs, highlight, underline, or strike out text, add shapes and notes, and much more. Finally, it’s even easy to convert any PDF to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and a ton of other file types in just a click.

Working with PDFs has never been easier than with a lifetime subscription to UPDF Pro. Grab it on sale for 66% off $149 at just $49.99, the best price you’ll find online.

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