International Newcomers (Part III)

10 highly promising food start-ups

The Swiss start-up Yamo does not use heat sterilization in the production of baby food. Thanks to high-pressure pasteurization, Yama foods are said to be more natural and healthier than conventional products.
imago images / Westend61
The Swiss start-up Yamo does not use heat sterilization in the production of baby food. Thanks to high-pressure pasteurization, Yama foods are said to be more natural and healthier than conventional products.

The earth's population is growing, the climate is changing and water resources are becoming scarcer. Sustainable growth is therefore high on the agenda of food start-ups around the world. The editorial staff of the Lebensmittelzeitung (dfv Mediagroup) has put together ten exciting newcomers. We present the start-ups and their product innovations in three parts. Two start-ups from German-speaking countries are also included. Part III.

Vegan lunch break: Lunch Vegaz, Germany

The organic food start-up is located in the very east of Germany, in Rothenklempenow, district Vorpommern-Greifswald. From there Lunch Vegaz works closely together with regional farmers and producers. With his team, managing director Govinda Thaler has developed a special technological process to create innovative organic fresh meals with high nutrient and vitamin content. Great importance is attached to regionality and sustainability. The ready meals can be kept for up to 30 days. Currently, about 50,000 dishes leave the factory in Rothenklempenow every month.

The vegan product range of Lunch Vegaz is available at organic retailers such as Terra, Dennree and Biopolar, but is also supplied through various foodservice organisations, including Transgourmet and Ökofrost. Since mid-2018 the range has been available in selected supermarkets of Edeka and Tegut and will also be available at Globus and Rewe in the future.

Lunch Vegaz 2017 was founded by Govinda Thaler, who started with an equity of EUR 750,000 euros. EUR 2.5 million of investment capital was raised in August 2020, thanks to venture capital investor Blue Horizon Ventures and the existing investor Genius Venture Capital.

Laboratory meat: Heuros, Australia

Heuros manufactures high-quality, GMO-free carriers for the production of cultivated meat. The food start-up from Brisbane relies on an innovative technology that will enable the production of meat on a commercial scale without the use of animal products, hormones or antibiotics. To this end, Heuros has developed a product that can effectively breed muscle cells from mammals, birds and fish. The technology is free of foetal bovine serum and other blood products, does not use genetic modification or pluripotent stem cells, steroids or antibiotics, it is said. However, the product is not yet on the market.

Founded in 2018 by Nick Beaumont, the start-up is currently in the process of completing its research and development phase and looking for seed capital investments. The first funds for setting up the laboratory have been secured. Heuros sees great opportunities in the Asian market.

Baby food revolutionaries: Yamo, Switzerland

Food for babies should never be older than the babies themselves, but fresh and natural, is the motto of the Swiss start-up based in Zug.

Yamo wants to make baby food fresher, more natural, healthier and tastier. That is why the gentle and innovative technology of high-pressure pasteurization (HPP) is used instead of the usual heat sterilization. The porridge, currently available in seven flavours, can be kept in the refrigerator for several weeks. The makers place great value on traditional recipes and refine them according to their own specifications with nutritious alternatives such as kale and lentils.

The company's products are available online via a direct subscription model and from Coop in Switzerland as well as selected Edeka and Rewe stores in Germany. Yamo is also available in organic food stores and drugstores in Zurich and Lucerne.

Founded in 2016 by Tobias Gunzenhauser, José Amado-Blanco and Luca Michas, Yamo was able to secure EUR 10.1 million in an A round of capitalization in July 2020. This brings the company's total financing to EUR 12 million. With this capital injection, Yamo intends to expand into France and develop new products.
The German version of this text first appeared on Author: Doris Evans

Rethinking Food
What the next generation of food will look like is the topic of a Digital Conference of the dfv Conference Group at the end of September. Product innovations, food start-ups, alternative protein sources and personalised nutrition are among the topics. You can find more information here