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Food & Beverages

Foodtech Roundup

Foodtechs and innovtion hubs in Germany are at the technological forefront in developing sustainable food ingredients and fish and meat alternatives for the future.

Start up develops sustainable chocolate alternative

Bavarian start-up Planet A Foods is using proprietary technology to ferment plant-based ingredients to recreate flavors – including what it claims is the world’s first 100 percent cocoa-free chocolate – to produce food ingredients locally and sustainably, decoupled from limited land and labor resources. The company plans to launch its “nocoa” chocolate as a core ingredient in established brand candy products in Q2/23.

Cultivated seafood from fish cells

Berlin company Bluu Seafood, a specialist in commercially produced cell-based fish, has expanded its operations to Hamburg-Altona. The biotech start-up, which claims to produce Europe’s first cultivated seafood made from fish cells, was established in 2020 as a spin-off form the Faunhofer Development Centre for Marine and Cellular Technology. The expansion will see Bluu Seafood set up shop in a former marzipan factory on a 2,00 sqm site.

Vegan alternatives for fish salads

A Schleswig-Holstein start-up is producing vegan alternatives to beetroot and dill herring salads. Taste Like is a family-run venture made famous by an appearance on Germany’s popular “Lion’s Den” television programme where entrepreneurs pitch their business plan proposals to a team of celebrity investors. Founder Martina Kühn, whose parents had operated a successful fish business for three decades, set up her own business after becoming vegan in 2014. Fish is replaced by melanzani in the products that are set to hit German supermarket refrigerators after a successful trial promotion run in the Lidl supermarket chain.

Mycelium fungus for vegan proteins

A biotech start-up in the town of Jelmstorf in Lower Saxony is making use of edible mycelium fungus to produce vegan proteins for sale in a range of vegan foods including nuggets and burger patties. Established in 2019, Keen4Greens has already attracted the attention of investors including FoodLabs, Shio Capital and Sustainable Food Ventures. The company claims that its proprietary biotech and engineering technologies allow the production of sustainable, high in protein meat alternatives in just one week.

Food nutrition innovation center at former airport

A new innovation center for food nutrition is being built on a former coal transshipment site in the Tempelhof district of Berlin. Around EUR 200 million is being invested in the Food Campus Berlin project that is scheduled for completion in 2024. The new food hub will be used for production and research and development activities with the creation of an innovation and industry center for start-ups, industry actors and science. The initiative is being proposed as a springboard for solution concepts and as a platform for food industry innovation.

Hamburg Food Harbour hub

October saw the opening of the Food Harbour hub in Hamburg. The Food Harbour aims to provide a platform for food start-ups and established companies alike. As well as providing coaching and networking opportunities, the new hub will also provide small-scale production and act as an accelerator for start-ups. Five companies - including Bluu Seafood - have already qualified for longer-term support in the hub's inaugural pitch round.

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