Food tech is booming. In 2015, the industry raised a record $5.7 billion in funding. Food tech startups range from meal delivery companies and online ordering platforms to experimental marketplaces. Right now, there are also a variety of startups that are aiming to revolutionize the food industry by developing new and sustainable ways for food consumption. These companies are changing the way we eat and how our plates will look like. We picked four interesting startups that are bringing something new to the table.
San Francisco-based Bitty Foods sells cricket flour, which is a source of sustainable nutrition, packed with protein, healthy fats and micronutrients. In addition to the cricket flour, the company also sells cookies made from the flour. Bitty Foods emphasizes the sustainability aspects of using crickets in food production as they are more water-efficient than any other protein source. Even the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization have argued that edible insects may be the key to stabilizing the global food supply in their report published in 2013.
Here’s a TED Talk by Megan Miller, co-founder of Bitty Food, about the role of crickets as the food of the future.
Clara Foods is a sustainable foods company that is developing the world’s first animal-free egg white. The company aims to tackle the problems related to egg production: environmental and animal welfare, and public health compromises. Clara Foods aims to produce an egg white that is completely animal-free, salmonella and avian flu-free, and that requires less land and water inputs. To do this, Clara Foods uses biotechnology to harvest protein identical to that of egg whites purely from plants. Last year, the company announced the close of a $1.7 million in seed funding, and their first product is expected to be introduced to the markets this year.
Gold & Green Foods
Gold & Green Foods is a Finnish-based company that has developed a new plant protein food, which is made of oats and beans. The first product of Gold & Green Foods is pulled oats, which resembles the texture and the look of pulled pork. Pulled oats is a new kind of plant protein food that utilizes oats, beans and peas as protein sources. The manufacturing process of pulled oats includes only mechanical processings such as mixing, pressing and heating. When the first batch of the product was sold at a Finnish supermarket, it sold out in 11 minutes. The company aims to have its products in stores in Finland and Sweden by the end of 2016. In the area of Helsinki and Espoo you can already get pulled oats dinners delivered to your doorstep (Epic Foods!).
Impossible Foods aims to transform the global food system by inventing a way to make meat and cheese without the use of animals. Meat and cheese are produced directly from simple plant ingredients such as grains, greens and beans from which they separate the proteins, fats, and other nutrients. Proteins are then combined with vitamins, amino acids, and fats – all sourced from plants. The company’s first product, the Impossible Burger, is set to launch in 2016. Last year the company already raised $108 million in a round that was led by UBS, and included Viking Global Investors, Khosla Ventures, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Horizons Ventures.