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Elisabeth Petermann

Food-investment activity is still prospering. However – the German-speaking area shows less activity in the last months. Seemingly, round here there are less innovative startups in the areas of FoodTech and AgTech, alternative proteins, plant-based food, FoodSafety, anti food waste, e-commerce solutions and digital tools/new technologies for optimization. These are at least those areas, where we could observe internationally most activity, and these are those areas, which are mostly mentioned in the context of The Future of Food.

Similarly our Startup-Monitor shows: in the DACH region Food-Startups are mostly visible in the fields of healthy meals, superfoods, snacks, regional food, a bit of indoor gardening/farming and digital gastro-tools. Is the lack of FoodTech startups due to not enough research in the field of FoodScience within DACH countries? A positive example regarding food research is the University Wageningen in the Netherlands with its Foodvalley. As also industry experts highlight: collaboration between research, big food corporates, startups, investors and governments is necessary in order to come up with innovative and, on a long-term basis, successful food concepts, and in order to enter into a new healthy, indulgent, sustainable and profitable food age. To manage this „turn“ particularly big food corporations have to engage in a cultural change process. This also means to say goodbye to some cash cows.

A new cash cow could be CBD – the non-psychoactive ingredient of cannabis with many positive effects for body and mind. Although CBD is from a consumer-perspective still partly in a legal limbo (in Austria for instance, it can be only sold as „Aroma-Product“ and is not allowed as food-ingredient), CBD is becoming the new functional food ingredient and finds more and more applications in food, beverages, wellbeing- and sports nutrition.

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