The global market for the food industry will reach a worth of approximately 7,210 billion euros in 2020. And the driving forces for the future? Those are the startups. Innovative ideas might already exist, but it’s often the startups that create viable business models for these ideas. For example, meat replacements, initiatives to reduce food waste, food safety, technological innovations and personal nutrition plans. And the food industry can only benefit from all these innovations.
The importance of food startups and what they can do for the food industry is becoming increasingly known. For example, the European Institute of Innovation & Technology (EIT) Food is investing 56.4 million euros in innovative food projects this year, which is an increase of 44% compared to 2018. The EIT has set goals such as making the food chain more sustainable, improving customer confidence and informing customers about making healthier choices. The belief that startups play an important role in achieving these goals is clear – the large investment will go to, among others, more than 50 food startups in the European food industry.
The demand for nutritious ingredients, product transparency and environmentally conscious decision-making continues to grow. Startups are coming up with innovative ideas to address this demand. StartUs Insights has done research into more than 900 food startups to identify the key players in the food industry. There are many startups bringing technological innovations to the market, but who are the front runners? A 3D printer that can print healthy food, an app that brings together companies with a lot of food waste and customers who can use this waste, a burger made from soy-leghemoglobin and an app that shows exactly what is in your fridge, when it goes out of date and what kind of recipes you can create with the products. These aren’t innovations targeted for the future but are already available today.
It is undeniable that a lot of startup concepts are already performing well. Just look at HelloFresh, where you can ‘subscribe’ to meal packages, which are then freshly delivered to your door once a week – completely tailored to your personal preferences, without any extra waste. Or Deliveroo and Takeaway.com, who make ordering a meal via an app and home delivery possible. These initiatives are already indispensable in the current market.
Do you want to innovate faster? As a food company, it is important to keep up with the current market. Working together with innovative food startups can ensure that you can innovate a lot quicker. This is important if you don’t want to get passed by. A collaboration can be a win-win for both the larger companies and the startups. Where startups come up with innovative ideas, larger companies often have the resources to invest in these ideas and acquire the right knowledge. Nowadays, a lot of events are organized to bring food startups and larger companies together. For example, take FoodBytes! by the Rabobank. This event gives startups the platform to pitch their ideas to investors.