SAN LEANDRO, CALIF. – Animal-free dairy manufacturer New Culture announced it appointed Hu chief executive officer Mark Ramadan to its board of directors.

The CEO for the better-for-you chocolate brand also was co-founder and CEO of Sir Kensington's, which produces globally inspired condiments.

"I've spent the past 12 years building brands and businesses that aim to improve the world through food, and I couldn't be more energized by New Culture's approach to doing just this," Ramadan said. "My experience in food has taught me that the best way to help people make better choices for themselves and the planet is to ask for no sacrifice in the actual tasting experience. What New Culture is doing – making cow cheese without the cow – seems to be the best possible solution for giving all of us the delicious, melty cheese we want, while creating significantly less impact to our planet."

New Culture shared that it plans this year to offer public tastings, beginning with its animal-free mozzarella, and launch in pizzerias in early 2024. The company uses precision fermentation to produce animal-free dairy products that it describes as “indistinguishable” from the taste, texture, function and nutritional content of traditional dairy.

"Mark's experience in successfully launching and building iconic and mission-driven food companies makes him a perfect fit for our board, especially since we're now gearing up for our own launch," said Matt Gibson, New Culture’s co-founder and CEO. "Our mission is to lead the global change to an animal-free dairy future, and it is a testament to the team and what we have achieved so far that Mark is joining us to accelerate this mission."

Other members of the New Culture board are: Michael Berolzheimer, founder and managing partner of Bee Partners; David Delfassy, investor at Ahren Innovation Capital; Vince Garlati of Evolv Ventures, which is backed by Kraft Heinz; Arvind Gupta, founder of IndieBio and partner at Mayfield fund; and Harry Kalms of CPT Capital.