Aiming to inspire a love for healthy eating from a young age, Norwegian early-stage startup Chew has moved quickly to snap up Finnish player Carrot Kitchen. Chew is now planning to consolidate itself in the Nordic market before expanding.
It’s reported that the majority of kids don’t eat enough vegetables. In fact, ultra-processed foods seem to be the norm rather than the exception. According to one study, almost a third of children aged 5-10 years old eat less than one portion of veg a day – and it’s a food habit that continues for life, as well as leading to health complications.
Founded in 2021, Chew is a new player in the food market, and it’s on a mission to change the outlook for the next generation’s diet. The startup has developed an online, interactive cooking platform – tailored to the ‘tik-tok’ generation. It provides kids aged 6-14 years old with fun cooking courses in combination with educational content and games. The idea is to help develop cooking skills from a young age and nurture a more educated generation about nutrition through the power of gamification and digital tech.
Whilst it’s still a fairly new player on the market, the Norwegian startup is moving fast to lead the market – having just snapped up Carrot Kitchen to expand into the Finnish market.
Launched in 2020, Carrot Kitchen is a pedagogical cooking app targeting 6-13 years-old kids in Finland. It’s since been downloaded more than 40k times worldwide. Developed by Olli Freese, Piritta Koivisto and Emmi Kuusikko, the startup combines pedagogics and food into a gamified mobile app to teach lifelong cooking skills.
Mano Rashidi, Founder and CEO: ”The Team behind Carrot Kitchen has developed an amazing app and we look forward to integrating it to our offering with our mission of inspiring and educating kids around the world towards healthier and more sustainable eating habits. Getting children to eat healthier and to have a more varied diet is a common problem worldwide to which we hope we have an educational and inspirational solution in Chew.”
Chew, developed by Mano Rashidi and Silje Rosness Dahle, operates with a vision to educate, inspire and encourage kids to eat healthier and more sustainable through a combination of gamification and recipes from well-known chefs and food influencers. The founders, parents themselves, recognised that children tend to be more open to healthy food and vegetables if they have power over creating what they eat.
Aside from being able to snap up its Finnish competitor, the young startup has also completed more than 10k lessons since launch and is used in schools as part of Food and Health classes.
Olli Freese, Carrot Kitchen: “We couldn’t think of a better option than Chew to get behind Carrot Kitchen with the shared mission and passion for kids cooking.”
So far, the company has been backed by Nordic Angel Investors Are Berg Hjelle, Erik Tjelta, Arild Haavik, Gohar Avagyan, Christophe Joyau, Javad Mushtaq, Magdy Shehata and Danish VC; Accelerace.
Chew wants to bite into global markets and this acquisition will certainly help them do this, becoming a leading player in the Nordics. The plan is to continue this trajectory and expand into the UK, US and wider European markets over the coming years.
Mano Rashidi: “We see huge interest in cooking on SoMe (TikTok, Youtube etc) towards kids, however often a more passive consume. Our goal is to harness this interest with clear step-by-step videos and a pinch of gamification to create journey-based learning. Much like any game where you start at Level 1 and want to advance to the next level and so on. Food influencers are on the rise and Chew’s goal is to be an interactive platform where the users can increase their interest in cooking, food and recipes.”