Foodtech in Europe: 30 Promising Startups Defining the Industry

Published on Oct. 11, 2021

We can’t take our eyes off of Europe. The food industry is facing a new beginning, with a wave of European Foodtech startups starting to emerge. Despite the pandemic, the industry stayed strong, keeping the money raised as of 2019 (€2.7B).

Now that food delivery startups are reaching maturity, it is time to welcome a new generation of tech companies that will transform primary production. Agtech is the space everyone is looking at and the one that will experience a significant change in the following years.

At Plug and Play, we’re constantly on the lookout for the most promising startups in the field, those that will define the next generation of foodtech in Europe. ”Plug and Play Food is expanding to Europe to create a new food ecosystem of European research centers, universities, startups, and large corporations focusing on making the food production systems safer and more sustainable,” said Anjuli Manche, International Business Development Analyst at Plug and Play.

Introduction: Our Views on The Foodtech Ecosystem in Europe

As part of the European Green Deal, the European Commission has established a Farm to Fork Strategy to make the whole Food Supply Chain more sustainable in different ways.

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Plug and Play’s mission is to contribute to this plan and use innovation to help and solve some of the most pressing challenges (climate change, preserving biodiversity, food safety…) in the Food Industry. According to the Global Director of Plug and Play’s Food program, Brian Tetrud, “access to capital and customers with multi-billion dollar sales channels dramatically accelerates a startup’s growth trajectory. Food technology is only as valuable as the scale to which is accessible to the world. VC and CVC funding works hand in hand to foster growth in innovative solutions, and in Europe, we are finding more and more of these solutions are ready to scale globally.”

Plug and Play Food has brought all their international Ventures team to release the European landscape overview with the top 30 startups to take a look at in these next months. The selection is divided into six main categories and challenges that define the most exciting scenarios for Foodtech in Europe: Ingredient Innovation, Personalized Nutrition, Agtech, Sustainability, Food Safety, and Consumer Engagement.

The selection has been made according to our Ventures team criteria, seeking the startups that have engaged better with our corporate partners, have shown their potential and disruption in several case studies, and their track record in the time since creation.

The Startups Revolutionizing Foodtech in Europe

We have chosen five foodtech startups that are changing the industry. These companies are all innovating in food ingredients. If you want to discover startups in other fields, such as personalized nutrition, agtech, food safety, sustainability or consumer engagement, download our free ebook.

Posidonia (Belgium)

Posidonia helps food professionals to differentiate by reducing the use of salt while keeping taste by adding Posidonia, a 100% natural sea salt with only 8% sodium. According to Paloma Mas, Ventures Associate at Plug and Play Food, “salt is everywhere, and this company has helped companies like Delhaize, Carrefour, Starbucks, and many others reduce their use of salt significantly.”

Kern Tec (Austria)

Through the development of a highly innovative, industrial process, Kern Tec upcycles fruits stones of apricot, cherry, plum and peach - a byproduct in the fruit industry - to a new, sustainable high value resource. Some of the products include: edible, Cosmetic Oils (high in oleic- linoleic acids, Vitamin E, smell and taste), peelings for cosmetics (grinded, natural shells), pet industry (fibers), plant-based proteins and nut applications

Mirai Foods (Switzerland)

Founded in 2019, Mirai Foods AG is a young cellular agriculture startup that aims to bring Cultivated Meat to the masses. Their mission: create improved meat that gives all the taste and nutrients of "legacy meat" but is produced in a clean-room environment by growing animal stem cells into pure meat.

This article is just a taster — Download our free ebook and discover the startups shaping these trends

Core Biogenesis (France)

Core Biogenesis is a biotechnology company building next-generation recombinant protein production technologies. The company uses proprietary gene editing and plant biotechnology to drastically reduce the cost of making growth factors. The growth factors are molecules used in the clean meat and cell therapy industries.

FermBiotics (Denmark)

Fermbiotics is a company developing natural fermented seaweed and plant products that support gut health for food ingredients, dietary supplements, and medical foods by combining prebiotics, probiotics and bioactive compounds.

What does the future of Foodtech in Europe look like?

Europe needs to step up into the global foodtech game. The agtech scenario is waiting for their first European unicorns to shine. Other categories like food safety and sustainability are so high demanding that entrepreneurs should find challenges to solve that disrupt the market.

And it seems this growth comes with perfect timing. Global investments in the Foodtech ecosystem have grown a staggering 137% between 2017 and 2020, with a 69% increase in Europe alone. At a global level, startups are raising more capital, with $26.1B raised in 2020 only.

It’s time for investors to bet on the agtech solutions to make it shine. LATAM and the US are already having an eye on Europe. At Plug and Play, we're going to increase our foodtech activities in Europe so that we can be part of the next successful wave on Footech in Europe.

​​Are you a corporation looking to connect with startups in the food industry? At Plug and Play, we fast-track innovation in food & beverage, by giving you access to our food accelerator programs, to the latest trends, and to the best startups in the field.

At Plug and Play, we drive corporate innovation by connecting leading corporations to future-thinking startups. Get in touch today and talk to our experts.