Hollywood star Natalie Portman is financially backing a French startup looking to produce the "holy grail" of the growing plant-based meat industry.
Paris-based company La Vie recently raised 25 million euros ($28.3 million) from investment funds and climate-conscious celebrities like Portman, an avowed vegan.
If not the first to bring plant-based bacon to the market, La Vie's founders are banking their success on mastering imitation pork fat, setting it apart from other brands.
"We're the only ones in the world today to have succeeded in developing a vegetable fat that cooks, fries, infuses and browns" like animal fat, enthused the company's chief executive and cofounder, Nicolas Schweitzer.
Startups and established food manufacturers alike have been rolling out a variety of products that aim to replace beef, chicken and pork with plant-based ingredients.
A growing number of consumers are seeking to reduce or eliminate meat from their diets over concerns including animal rights and the industry's impact on the environment.
According to a 2021 report by market research firm Euromonitor International, more than one in four consumers globally say they are trying to limit their meat intake, in addition to the 10 percent of people who are vegetarian or vegan.
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