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10 European startups shaping the future of food with tech

Food is one of those fundamental elements to everyday life and it’s a sector with all the ingredients for exciting startups – innovative minds, challenges to solve and investors ready to dig deep in their pockets. 

In Europe, foodtech startups are increasingly trying to create new solutions to today’s problems, addressing big challenges facing society. Sustainability, wellness and health are the key trends shaping foodtech development at the moment. Investments in European foodtech startups reached an incredible €9.5 billion in 2021 – 3 times more than the previous year. And 2022 is set to be an equally good year with big names really taking off.

The current foodtech moment points to new needs of consumers – namely, becoming more sustainable and eco-conscious when making decisions. Another growing trend is revolving around health and wellness as consumers have become more and more careful about their physical and mental health.

Meat production reportedly accounts for 60% of all greenhouse gas emissions from food production. In Europe, meat consumption is decreasing more and more, creating a new space in the alternative protein market, not only for vegans but also for those who want to reduce their meat consumption. Plant-based is now reaching the mainstream and foodtech innovators are helping make it happen.

It’s not just meat that we are replacing, but the market for fish alternatives has seen a lot of traction, reflecting an increasing awareness of the unsustainability of fishing methods and new technologies emerging in the sector.

In the following article, we outline the 10 most interesting startups in the foodtech sector. All of these startups have been founded since 2018.

Juicy Marbles: Slovenia-born Juicy marbles make thick juicy and ‘marbled’ vegan steaks – so they look like the old-school red meat version. The startup has created a proprietary protein texturing technology that enables them to produce plant-based whole cuts, with a healthy amount of good fats that makes the product juicier. Their team is made of 23 employees and their vision is to produce a variety of meat products that match animal-derived counterparts, such as their vegan filet mignon. This innovative startup has raised €4.6 million since its founding year 2019. 

Groots: Barcelona-based Groots is a large-scale urban vertical farm. This sustainability-focused startup is trying to bring a green revolution with its way of producing plants with a team of 22 employees. Groots’ products grow in controlled environments so that the plants grow with exactly what they need, without any waste or excess. Groots’ system is more productive than traditional agriculture, consumes 90% less water, and eliminates the need for pesticides, fertilizers and long supply chains. They grow plants throughout the year, regardless of the seasons or the weather. Thus, consumers can enjoy local products at any place and time of the year. Groots’ mission is to grow healthy, local and sustainable food. This Spanish startup was founded in 2019 and has raised €720 k.

La Vie: Paris-based La Vie is a fast-growing food tech company that is trying to disrupt meat consumption with its alternative product. Its patented vegetable fat recipe allows them to create juicy vegetable ‘meat experiences’, highly appreciated in their famous plant-based bacon. It’s about removing any excuses for not going plant-based. With a team of 385 employees, La Vie has already raised €25 million since 2019.

Revo Foods: This innovative alternative protein startup is trying to bring about a new perspective to fish consumption, offering seafood made 100% out of plants. Aiming to change the way people consume fish products, the vision is to offer delicious plant-based seafood alternatives to those who want to keep our oceans healthy and full of fish. Given the overfishing problem facing our oceans on a global level, combined with rising plastic levels in the ocean, this startup is bringing a much healthier concept to seafood. This Vienna-based startup counts 29 employees since its founded year, 2020, and has already raised €4 million.

Hooked: Stockholm-based Hooked was founded in 2019 and has raised a total amount of €5.3 million so far. It’s estimated that nearly 90% of the fish population is fully exploited and in crisis because of many things, including overfishing and plastic pollution. Still, the fishing industry catches more every year and fishing is estimated to increase another 30% in the next 10 years. Hooked and its 30 employees’ mission is to lead the transition to a more sustainable seafood ecosystem, by making tasty and nutritious fish alternatives like their 100% plant-based tuna. 

Les Miraculeux: This Paris-based startup is specializing in developing food supplements in the form of vitamin-enriched fruit gummies. The idea is to bring an alternative to consumers that want to be fully supplemented with nutrients and vitamins, but don’t want to ingest bland food supplements. These tasty fruit pectin gums, produced in a French laboratory, are made of plants and vitamins containing a combination of effective ingredients and a great taste, without sugar. Founded in 2019 the team is now counting 31 employees and has already raised €6.1 million. 

Nourish3d: Birmingham-based Nourish3d is a tech startup disrupting the nutrition industry with their 3D printed vitamin stacks which are personalized to each individual user. With their patented 3D printing manufacturing techniques and a vegan encapsulation formula, Nourish3d is able to combine 7 different high-impact nutrients, superfoods and vitamins into one gummy stack. Using 100% plastic-free packaging, and only premium, sugar-free and vegan ingredients, Nourish3d is bringing personalized health supplements in an innovative format with its growing team of 45 employees. It was founded in 2019 and has already raised €14.6 million.

Bosque Foods: Berlin-based Bosque Foods uses the power of the humble mushroom to create whole-cut meats using clean ingredients and minimal processing. Bosque Foods is using innovative technology to bring a vegan alternative to consumers, using fungi fermentation to create the next generation of meat alternatives, starting with whole-cut meat products grown naturally from mycelium. Founded in 2020 it has raised €3.4 million, picking up €2.8 million earlier this year. 

Formo: This German innovative startup is Europe’s first cellular agriculture company developing animal-free dairy products using real, natural-identical milk proteins derived from precision fermentation. Formo’s team is now made of 97 employees who are trying to bring the dairy sector to a new level. It was founded in Berlin in 2018 and has already raised €54.5 million. Going dairy-free is one of the most popular plant-based trends, with many opting to go for dairy alternatives on a daily basis. 

Divaks: Vilnius-based Divaks is a fast-growing foodtech startup that develops insect protein solutions for the food industry. They focus on making tailor-made, high-quality insect protein solutions as a new protein alternative, bringing a sustainable and interesting approach to going animal-free in our diets. With a team of 10 employees, its commitment is to use environmentally friendly by-products from the local agriculture and food industry. Divaks was founded in 2020 and has raised €3 million so far.

By the way: If you’re a corporate or investor looking for exciting startups in a specific market for a potential investment or acquisition, check out our Startup Sourcing Service!

Francesca Romana Piccioli
Francesca Romana Piccioli
Francesca Romana Piccioli is EU-Startups’ Startup Analyst, focusing on data-driven startup research and evaluations. As part of our Startup Sourcing activities, Francesca is working with corporate clients and investors to help them find the most promising startups. With a background in food technology and food innovation Francesca is a curious startup enthusiast, passionate about traveling and getting to know new ideas and products. If you’re interested in our startup sourcing service, reach out to [email protected].

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