Copenhagen-based foodtech startup Reduced scores €2.9 million to take on food waste

Food waste is a growing problem that we simply can’t continue to allow. It’s bad for the food supply chain, and the environment, and, intolerable in the context of global food shortages. To solve the issue, foodtech startup Reduced is using taste. 

Danish startup Reduced is on a mission to solve one of the biggest challenges of our time – food waste. And they are doing so by enhancing excess produce. Founded in 2020, the young company has just cooked up €2.9 million in a fresh funding round led by Vækstfonden and VÅR Ventures, alongside Rockstart, Pollen Capital and business angels.

Food waste is a global problem – and it impacts on an environmental level, a societal one, and a financial one. Tackling the issue can make society more sustainable, the planet healthier, and businesses have improved revenues across all levels of the food supply chain, from farm to fork. 

Reduced wants to make it as easy as possible for consumers to reduce food waste and are doing so through taste. It’s reported that taste is the most important consideration for consumers when choosing a product and so the Danish startup is harnessing the power of our tastebuds to reduce waste. The company uses vegetables, protein and other sources of nutrition left over from the food industry to create high-quality food products – namely base ingredients and flavour enhancers. 

One example is the development of stock. Stock is one of the main ingredients and elements of professional and home cooking. It’s also a product that can be easily made with vegetable and alt-protein sources. Reduced uses the ‘ugly’ veg that is rejected by supermarkets (simply because it doesn’t look ‘pretty’ enough to hit the shelves), seaweed and other products in its recipes. 

Mark Durno, Managing Partner AgriFood, Rockstart stated: “It is past time that we valorise food industry side streams into delicious products that consumers and chefs love. Rockstart invested a third time in REDUCED because they are well-positioned to make this impact thanks to their rare team of chefs, technicians, biochemists and trailblazers.”

Reduced’s flavour solutions are centred around umami and match well with plant-based meat analogues. In addition, its flavour solutions are organic, without additives and made from side streams and excess produce. The company uses ingredients that traditionally wouldn’t be used – because of texture, shape, size or colour. Reduced doesn’t discriminate food for these reasons – focusing on the food quality rather than aesthetics. 

In the Copenhagen-based production facility, the startup uses fermentation techniques to create its unique products which, unlike traditional other natural plant-based flavour enhancers such as miso and tamari, take significantly less time to produce. The team are disrupting the food industry and pushing producers and stockists to reconsider how they approach food waste – giving a much-needed wake-up call to the sector. 

Emil Munck de Voss, CEO and Co-Founder, Reduced said: “We have now built our production facility in Copenhagen and finalized new production technology for the creation of flavor enhancers from upcycled ingredients. This round will allow us to increase production with more bioreactors, hire great talent, expand distribution and go deep into the plant-based market. We are excited to welcome new investors, Vækstfonden and VÅR ventures on board and see our existing investors, Rockstart, Pollen Capital, and our business angels doing follow up investments. This shows great trust in the company and in our mission to reduce food waste through taste.”

The fresh funding will be used to develop the startup’s unique technology that’s used for the creation of plant-based flavour enhancers, expand its production facilities and attract talent.