Thanks to Our Supporters in 2021!
It’s been a big year for us at The Supplant Company, so as 2021 draws to a close we’re feeling grateful for all the wonderful support we’ve received in launching sugars from fiber into the world. From chefs, journalists, and investors, to people like you who are sharing our news (and our chocolate bars!) with your friends and family, you’re all part of our success, and we’re excited to have you along on this world-changing journey.
Our warmest thanks to everyone who has given us love this year, and especially seven-Michelin-star Chef Thomas Keller and the entire Thomas Keller Restaurant Group. Keller not only developed the recipe for our luxurious premium chocolate bars, but demonstrated the versatility of Supplant sugars from fiber in a delicious tasting menu for our launch event at his Per Se Restaurant in Manhattan.
That wasn’t the first time Chef Keller shared some of his treats made with Supplant sugars from fiber, though. Earlier in 2021, Vicki Liviatis of KRON4 news met with Chef Keller, to hear about the cookies, ice cream, and chocolate samples he was sharing at his Bouchon Bakery, and how “Keller’s contribution to the culinary arts may well be eclipsed by his drive to curb our addiction to sugar and make us healthier for it.”
At the launch, a CityPeek contributor Humphrey tried the sample treats, and said “I want to report back that the ice cream tasted delicious, exactly as it should as per Keller’s fabulous vanilla ice cream and shortbread standards.”
We’re also grateful to the many journalists who helped us tell our story this year.
Talib Visram, of Fast Company, wrote “the founding team of Supplant, the company making the sugar, point to sustainability and health benefits, because it behaves not like a traditional sugar, but like the fiber we get from carrots and Brussels sprouts. They want the product to replace sugar at scale at multinational companies that make our iconic, sugar-packed snacks.”
Thomas Price, of Truic Startup Savant, explained that our “process uses little additional energy and helps to reduce the overall food waste across the globe. This makes the current sugar-creating process from the business a largely sustainable health solution.”
Larissa Zimberoff explained in Bloomberg why products like sugars from fiber are becoming more important: “According to a recent survey by market research firm Euromonitor, 37% of consumers globally are looking for products with no sugar, no added sugar or low sugar. Overconsumption of sugar has long been connected to disease — it’s cited as a contributing factor to obesity, which has tripled globally since the 1970s, and cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death globally. Obesity is also a factor in Type 2 diabetes, which afflicts hundreds of millions of people around the world.”
Jeff Gelski, of Supermarket Perimeter, wrote “Since it is made from fiber, Supplant offers certain benefits. It is 1.8 calories per gram compared to sugar at 4 calories per gram, said Tom Simmons, PhD, chief executive officer and founder of The Supplant Co. Supplant’s glycemic index is less than 15% of glucose, which has a glycemic index of 100, he added, and Supplant is a prebiotic.”
Emma Lowe, of MindBodyGreen, shared this personal story: “On a recent Tuesday at 9 a.m., I did the unthinkable. I ate a milk chocolate bar for breakfast. Breaking off square by decadent square in the morning light felt rebellious, and I braced myself for a sugar high, an upset stomach, a day-long headache. But the crash never came. That’s because the bar I was eating wasn’t made from normal sugar or sugar substitute, but Supplant — a new type of sweetener made from plant fiber waste.”
We were also pleased to share some of our behind-the-scenes stories with reporters.
As Mike Scialom wrote in the Cambridge Independent, “the company was incorporated in 2017 as Cambridge Glycoscience. Dr Simmons had held a postdoc and a fellowship in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Cambridge. The company originally operated there for the best part of a year in the lab of Prof Paul Dupree, who continues as scientific advisor to Supplant.”
Martita Mestey, of Authority Magazine, recounted Tom Simmons’ story of how he began partnering with Chef Thomas Keller: “It was probably the moment when I reached out to Anna Bolz, who is the pastry chef at Per Se, one Thomas Keller’s Michelin-starred restaurants in New York. I wanted to get her feedback on how we could use our new ‘sugars from fiber’ in the kitchen, and incorporate it into the recipes of top chefs. She was really interested, and introduced me directly to Chef Thomas Keller. He was intrigued too, and we started collaborating on new versions of his time-tested recipes for ice cream, chocolate, and cookies — using sugars from fiber.”
Meanwhile, Megan Poinski, of Food Dive, took readers backstage to reveal how we make sugars from fiber: “The company currently has a two-step manufacturing process — the first phase takes place in a European facility and the final processing and bagging happens in Texas — but the company is working on figuring out the best supply chain and scaling pathway. Simmons expects Supplant to fully manufacture the product in the United States soon, and its cost — which is currently high given the small scale — to come down.”
Benjamin Ferrer, of Food Ingredients First, was the first to report that Supplant sugars from fiber had been “approved through the self-affirmed Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) process,” and Ashlen Wilder, of The Spoon, shared the announcement that in June, “Supplant debuted its fiber-based sugar in the U.S. in partnership with Chef Thomas Keller. The sugar was used to make vanilla ice cream and chocolate sprinkles, and was offered at Keller’s California and New York restaurants over the weekend. Supplant is currently working with consumer brands, restaurants, and chefs to expand its product throughout the U.S. market.”
And as Lizzy Rosenberg, of Green Matters, wrote, “Simmons says Supplant has big plans — maybe future partnerships with major brands. Hopefully that will be the case, as this could lower the emissions and waste from the agricultural industry as a whole.”
Our founder and CEO Tom Simmons himself was even able to share our story in the Entrepreneurship Centre’s blog, which gave him space to inspire others interested in the University of Cambridge Judge Business School’s Ignite program, where he got his start.
We’re also grateful for the support of a growing number of partners who are helping us to get sugars from fiber into the world, by including the ingredient in their products. These include bakeries Cookie Fix in Alabama and You’re a Cookie in Illinois, and Arizona-based ice cream maker Sweet Republic.
Angela Diaz, owner of You’re a Cookie, told Bloomberg that she was initially skeptical because many replacement sugars have an aftertaste, but she pointed out that Supplant sugars from fiber “leaves no aftertaste,” and works well in melted fats or oils.
We’re also tremendously grateful to our investors, and Sam Danley, of Food Business News, who gave them a shout-out.
As Jonathan Schieber wrote in Tech Crunch, “the Cambridge scientists boasted of a technology that could produce a sweetener that would mimic not just the taste of sugar, but the caramelization and stickiness that makes sugar the go-to additive for the bulk of roughly 74% of packaged foods that are made with some form of sweetener. Their company, Cambridge Glycoscience [now The Supplant Company] could claim a huge slice of a market worth at least a $100 billion market.”
Our thanks and gratitude go to all those who are helping us get there, especially actress Ayesha Curry, professional basketball player Chris Paul, and health advocate Ryan Shadrick Wilson, who are all early-stage investors joining our initial funders Manta Ray, EQT, Khosla, Felicis, Coatue, Y Combinator, Agfunder, Melitas, Mills Fabrica, and Sake Bosch.
“Supplant is bringing us the solution we so desperately need,” Wilson told Food Business News, and added, “today, diet-related chronic diseases are a leading cause of death, and our food system is one of the biggest contributors to environmental damage. Supplant is addressing both the health of people and the planet with this incredible sugar alternative that doesn’t require us to sacrifice taste.”
Our investor and NBA star Chris Paul, put it perfectly when he said, “Sugar is in almost everything we eat. If we are going to transition to healthier food options for all — especially for people that experience high rates of diabetes and obesity like we do in Black and Brown communities — we’re going to need to change how things are made. It’s not going to happen by people magically waking up and not liking the things they like. I look forward to working with The Supplant Company to move the food system in a better, more sustainable direction.”
And finally, all the chocolate lovers who have purchased Supplant chocolate bars, shared them with their friends, family, and colleagues, and tried them in some of their favorite seasonal recipes: To thank you, we’ll be offering more deals in the coming months, so watch for them!
Thank you to everyone. We’ve come this far with all of your help, and we look forward to a bright future, with all of you and more, in 2022.