Plant-Based Products and Ready Meals

01/12/21 01:47 PM Comment(s) By FIAL

Fable Food Co | Celebrating Australian Food and Agribusiness Innovations 2021 

Already a vegetarian for four years and driven by a mix of health, environmental and ethical reasons, Michael Fox was looking for a career change when he delved into the current industrial animal agriculture landscape. He felt he could contribute to a reduction in reliance on meat as a protein source. He looked at the already crowded plant- based alternative category and wondered how to differentiate. An avid farmers’ market shopper and cook, he wanted to find a natural, minimally processed meat alternative, and quickly settled on mushrooms. 

Fox established Fable Food Co with Chris McLoghlin, an organic mushroom farmer and expert in regenerative agriculture, along with Jim Fuller, a fine dining chef hailing from Texas. Fuller was inspired by Heston Blumenthal’s scientific approach to food and has devoted the last 12 years to mycology — the science of mushrooms. He developed a slow-cooked barbeque that comprised 65% shredded shitakes and natural minimally processed ingredients. Blumenthal himself took part in product trials and added the product to the menu at fine-dining venues in his Fat Duck Group. 

Since launching in December 2019, Fable products have found their way into 250 cafes and restaurants including Blumenthal’s renowned UK venues and 25 SaladStop! outlets throughout Singapore. The pandemic sped up the retail launch, with the company’s base products and a new line of ready meals hitting the shelves in Harris Farm Markets and Woolworths stores in the first half of 2020. Fable has also tackled the home meal kit sector, with both Marley Spoon and Hello Fresh! offering Fable Food alternatives. 

FIAL supported Fable Food Co through its grant program, backing that was integral in the development of the company’s ready meal products. Michael says it was the starting point for everything, with the company now well into its mission to reduce reliance on industrial meat agriculture. Fable Food Co aims to roll out into QSR chains this year and to increase international expansion into the UK, Singapore and the US.