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20+ nutrition experts and entrepreneurs reinventing the way we eat

Being a nutrition expert and founding a startup - is this something special? Actually, yes! For the list below we researched over 20 founders with a background in nutrition or food science, food technology or dietetics, who founded their own food tech startup. We believe we need much more of such founders - combining entrepreneurial spirit, innovative thinking, social responsibility, and sustainability.

Ten billion people are estimated to live on planet earth by 2050. If we continue to eat as we do now, almost one in two of them will be overweight or obese. According to scientists at the University of Berkeley, the average global temperature has risen by about one degree Celsius compared with the pre-industrial era. Part of the explanation: greenhouse gas emissions from a food industry largely driven by efficiency and profits. We need solutions that make our food system sustainable - for our planet and for us.


Consumers are turning to start-ups that are transforming the industry with sustainable, responsible, and transparent business models. Disruption in the food sector began 10 years ago with startups that simplified meal delivery such as Delivery Hero or Hello Fresh. Six years ago, start-ups foscussing on brand innovations entered the market. Just Spices and Foodspring are well-known names from this segment. Today, start-ups and investors are increasingly focusing on scientific and technological innovations that address customer needs and can be patented at the same time. Almost eight billion euros have been invested in this new category of start-ups since 2015, which are growing at an average annual rate of 33 percent, according to the study "The State of European Food Tech".


However, founders with a degree in nutrition or food science are currently underrepresented. And yet, these experts are the oneswe desperately need in the food tech sector: They drive technological innovations based on their specialist knowledge. We believe: It is important to showcase successful entrepreneurs in the food sector to inspire others. In this article we present 20 entrepreneurs who are successfully turning our industry around. Enjoy your meal!


20 Startups - from plant-based to Sober Drinks


plant-based food


1. Hülsenreich: Snacking for planetary and personal health - Emilie Wegner

HÜSLENREICH produces delicious and healthy snacks made from chickpeas. The snacks are rich in protein and fiber, organic and vegan. The chickpeas are also perfect as a topping for soups or salads. In addition, growing chickpeas is good for our soils. This fact makes chickpeas not only healthy but also a sustainable snack. Hülsenreich was founded by Emilie Wegner, who studied Nutrition Science at the University of Halle-Wittenberg.

Founded in: 2019

Country: Germany

Investors: Yes

Stage: Seed



2. La fille du boucher: Vegetarian diet made easy - Auriane Borremans

LA FILLE DU BOUCHER distributes ready-to-eat vegetarian and vegan bowls. Auriane graduated in Food Science and Innovation at the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, Italy. She comes from a family of butchers and wants to convince people of a vegetarian diet in a playful and simple way, without having to rely on artificial meat.

Founded in: 2022

Country: Germany

Investors: No

Stage: Seed



3. Malunt: Savory snack revolution in the shape of bars - Marie-Luise Ueckeroth

Marie’s startup ‘MALU NUTRITION GmbH’ is committed to making the nutrient-rich composition of food the new benchmark and to making the food industry a little bit cleaner and more sustainable. The first product line consists of savory bars which are launched under the brand MALUNT. The bars are all natural, plant-based, organic, gluten- and nut-free, and contain no artificial additives. Founder Marie studied Nutrition Science at the Justus Liebig University in Giessen.

Founded in: 2022

Country: Germany

Investors: No

Stage: Seed



4. Neggst: Egg enjoyment for everyone - Verónica García Arteaga

NEGGST (VEgg Gmbh) is a plant-based egg consisting of egg white and egg yolk - just like its animal-made counterpart. The basis for the purely plant-based and sustainable egg is legume proteins. Unlike hen's eggs, Neggst products contain no cholesterol. Co-founder Verónica García Arteaga holds a PhD in Food Science and Technology from the Technical University of Munich.

Founded in: 2021

Country: Germany

Investors: Yes

Stage: Seed

Website: www.neggst.co



5. nude.o: The most sustainable almond drink - Hannah Samira Schmidt

NUDE.O is the first base for homemade almond drinks. It is a natural, organic and clean label product full of nutrients. Furthermore, it offers barista foam and maximum flexibility. Compared to an almond drink in a TetraPak, the nude.o almond drink base causes up to 80% less transport emissions. nude.o founder Hannah will graduate next year with a degree in Nutrition and Biomedicine from the Technical University of Munich.

Founded in: 2021

Country: Germany

Investors: No

Stage: n.a.

Website: www.nudeo.co



6. Planted: The new standard for plant-based meat - Eric Stirnemann

PLANTED makes tasty meat from alternative proteins, focusing on the perfect bite. Planted is committed to using only natural ingredients and no additives in all its products - making it a healthy and sustainable option for everyone. Further, Planted wants to encourage better health, good taste, animal welfare and the environment through its products. Co-founder Eric studied Food Science at ETH Zurich.

Founded in: 2019

Country: Germany

Investors: Yes

Stage: n.a.



7. vly: Sustainable pea-based milk alternatives - Moritz Braunwarth und Nicolas Hartmann

VLY markets plant-based milk and yogurt alternatives based on pea protein. The company's goal is to make plant-based nutrition as balanced, delicious and, above all, as easy as possible. At vly, no less than two members of the founding team have nutrition-related backgrounds. Moritz studied Food Technology at the Technical University in Berlin. Nicolas has a degree in Medical Administration, Nutrition and Medicine from the Fachhochschule des Mittelstands.

Founded in: 2019

Country: Germany

Investors: Yes

Stage: Series A



SUSTAINABILITY


8. air up: Transforming tap water into a tasty beverage - Fabian Schlang

AIR UP is a revolutionary drinking system that flavors water by scent alone. Through the power of the pods, still or sparkling water is transformed into the taste of cola, peach and more. Further, the pods contain no sugar or artificial additives. At the Technical University of Munich, air up co-founder Fabian graduated with a degree in Food Technology and Biotechnology.

Founded in: 2018

Country: Germany

Investors: Yes

Stage: Series B

Website: de.air-up.com



9. Frudist: Tasty preservation of overripe fruits - Alica Lammerskitten

FRUDIST has developed the world's best freeze-drying process that preserves all the vitamins and nutrients of fresh fruit and enhances the flavor and aroma of the fruit. Frudist fruits are 100% natural and contain no additives, added sugar, stabilizers, or preservatives. The innovative process can palatably preserve fruit that is already too ripe for retail. Co-founder Alica studied Agricultural and Food Economics at Osnabrück University of Applied Sciences.

Founded in: n.a.

Country: Germany

Investors: n.a.

Stage: n.a.


10. Ooble Innovations: Declaring war on plastic straws - Divya Mohan

OOBLE started as a university project to find a sustainability gap within the food packaging industry. With over 1 billion straws being used every single day globally, there was a clear need for a sustainable solution. Ooble's straws are not only sustainable and functional, but edible as well. Founder Divya graduated with a cross-university degree in Food Innovation and Product Design (FIPDes program).

Founded in: 2022

Country: Sweden

Investors: No

Stage: Seed



11. Tenetrio: Sustainable alternatives for our precious dogs - Dr. Ina M. Henkel

TENETRIO develops high-quality and delicious snacks for dogs based on insects.The use of insects provides a sustainable alternative source of protein. The products are suitable for allergic dogs and completely grain-free. Each Tenetrio product is developed and manufactured by nutrition and animal health experts. Co-founder Dr. Ina M. Henkel holds a PhD in Experimental Nutritional Medicine from the University of Potsdam.

Founded in: 2017

Country: Germany

Investors: Yes

Stage: Seed


12. Wheycation: A step towards circular economy - Doris Erne

LOKALGENUSS AG develops and markets healthy and tasty food products by upgrading (upcycling) by-products from food production. The focus is on finding solutions for the holistic use and upgrading of Swiss whey and marketing high-quality, whey-based, functional products under the brand WHEYCATION. Co-founder Doris studied Food Science at ETH Zurich.

Founded in: 2018

Country: Switzerland

Investors: Yes

Stage: Seed



Personalization and Digitalization


13. Bio & Me: Greater well-being through gut-friendly foods - Dr. Megan Rossi

BIO & ME sells granola, porridge and muesli that is good for the gut. Each Bio & Me recipe has been individually developed by Dr. Megan to ensure it is beneficial to the microbes living in the gut. Dr. Megan is a registered dietitian, nutritionist, and research fellow at King's College London, and is known as a world-leading gut specialist with a PhD in gut health.

Founded in: 2019

Country: UK

Investors: Yes

Stage: n.a.



14. FoodPunk: The future of dietary consulting is digital - Marina Lommel

FOODPUNK combines dietary counseling and software development. Clients receive personalized, digital nutrition programs, played out via an award-winning AI-based app. The FoodPunk digital coach also considers each person's individual goals, body needs, allergies, intolerances, and health conditions. The FoodPunk community currently counts over 100,000 customers. Founder and nutritionist Marina graduated from the Technical University of Munich.

Founded in: 2015

Country: Germany

Investors: No

Stage: -

Website: foodpunk.de



15. Insentials: Modern nutritional supplements specifically for women - Amandine de Paepe

INSENTIALS sells nutritional supplements that are individually tailored to the needs of women. The supplements contain few, bioavailable and optimally dosed ingredients to ensure high absorption by the body. The company stands for full transparency and clean ingredients. Founder Amandine studied Food Management in the Netherlands at Wageningen University.

Founded in: 2021

Country: Belgium

Investors: Yes

Stage: Seed



16. MixDeinBrot: Wholesome baking mixes for a healthier lifestyle - Mona Glock

MIXDEINBROT offers high-quality organic baking mixes and organic flours. All products are produced in cooperation with a workshop for the disabled in the Stuttgart area in Baden-Württemberg. All products are gluten-free. A change in personal diet and a preference for wholesome ingredients, among other things, led founder Mona to study Food Science and Technology at the University of Hohenheim.

Founded in: 2015

Country: Germany

Investors: n.a.

Stage: n.a.



17. Nori Health: Improving quality of life for chronically ill people - Lisa Booth

Today, more than half of all adults live with a chronic disease. NORI HEALTH provides evidence-based digital therapies for people living with inflammatory diseases such as Crohn's Disease or Colitis. The goal is to improve quality of life and reduce symptoms like fatigue, pain, and anxiety. Co-founder Lisa graduated with a degree in Nutrition and Food from San Diego State University in California.

Founded in: 2017

Country: Netherlands

Investors: n.a.

Stage: n.a.



Healthy Ageing


18. Avea Life: Health and wellness for everyone - Sophie Chabloz

AVEA provides evidence-based nutritional supplements to support longevity goals and overall wellness. Avea's vision is to optimize people's health and longevity through nutritional supplements and health education. Sophie Chabloz is co-founder of the startup and holds a degree in Food Science from ETH Zurich. The startup places a high value on evidence and therefore collaborates with scientists in the field of longevity.

Founded in: 2021

Country: Switzerland

Investors: n.a.

Stage: n.a.



Sober Drinking


19. NONA Drinks: Aperol Spritz without alcohol? Coming right up! - Charlotte Matthys

NONA creates premium non-alcoholic spirits as an alternative to the classic gin and spritz cocktail. The high-quality products are distilled from only the finest natural ingredients and are produced in Belgium. Founder Charlotte’s love for nature and her interest in Food Technology led her to study Biotechnology, Food Technology and Nutrition at Ghent University.

Founded in: 2018

Country: Belgium

Investors: n.a.

Stage: n.a.



20. The REAL Drinks Co.: Fermented tea as a healthy substitute for champagne - Adrian Hodgson

THE REAL DRINKS CO. produces naturally fermented sparkling tea, making it a real alternative to sparkling wine and champagne. The products are alcohol-free, contain little sugar and no artificial additives. Co-founder Adrian holds a PhD in Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism from the University of Birmingham.

Founded in: 2017

Country: UK

Investors: n.a.

Stage: n.a.


 

Which founder should be as well on this list? Please share them with us via hello@nutrition-hub.com. This TOP-20 list was researched and created by Alina Demke. Alina is a food economist and founder of the startup cravy foods. With cravy foods, Alina is also pursuing the mission of making the food industry more plant-based and sustainable.

In cooperation with Simone Feiler, Head of Corporate Brand Communication, R-Biopharm AG. R-Biopharm, global market leader in test systems for allergen analysis, is also an internationally recognized top supplier of test systems and services for Food and Feed Analysis, Clinical Diagnostics and Nutrition Care.


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