Making Whey Without the Dairy Curds, Now Brought to You by ADM

(Bloomberg) -- Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. has entered into an agreement with Perfect Day, a startup that makes animal-free dairy products, to make whey on a commercial scale using fermentation.

Whey, normally a byproduct of cheese production, is a common ingredient in energy bars and pricey protein shakes. According to a release from Berkeley, California-based Perfect Day, the two companies will scale up production of dairy-free whey proteins for use in food products.

Sales of substitutes for animal products are on the rise. About an eighth of all milk bought in stores is not from cows, according to Nielsen data released earlier this year, and commissioned by The Good Food Institute, which represents the plant-based foods industry.

Imitation meats have risen more than 20 percent, while non-dairy yogurts, cheeses and ice cream have jumped 40 percent and more, according to the commissioned data. That compares to gains of 2 percent for retail food sales generally.

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