5 Innovators to Help you Boss your New Year’s resolutions
Wednesday 17th January
January - a ‘dry’ month of big plans, resolutions and self-promises to pursue *that* dream, make *that* big career change and follow *that* diet to transform you into a healthier and happier version of yourself.
We do put a lot of pressure on ourselves don’t we??? Here at YFood we’re of the belief that small changes can make a big difference and what better way to start with your health? Whether you’re looking to try a new form of exercise, eat more plant-based food, or generally look after your gut a little better, we’re profiling five Food Tech companies that’ll help you give your body some love whilst also driving a more sustainable food system.
All innovating in the spaces of health and nutrition, our picks are taking these sectors into incredible new directions, from harnessing the power of algae to create more sustainable health supplements, to making delicious plant-based ready meals to rival any meat alternative or using AI and genetics to help make more personalised food and fitness choices.
Simris is a pioneering agribusiness growing algae to produce omega-3 oils and other supergoodies as a healthy and sustainable alternative to fish oil. They run one of the world’s most modern commercial algae farms in a little village in Southeastern Sweden and integrate circular concepts and industrial symbiosis to produce the world’s finest plant-based omega-3. For example, the carbon dioxide they use to grow their algae comes from the Absolut Vodka distillery as a by-product in their wheat fermentation process, and waste heat is provided by a nearby seed producer.
We absolutely love their innovative approach that not only provides an animal free omega-3 alternative to fish oil but also challenges the status quo across their whole production chain, thereby creating products that are healthy for both people and planet.
Fredrika Gullfot, Founder & CEO says, “The food sector is one of the largest causes of climate change, overfishing, destruction of ecological habitats and lifestyle diseases, yet we are absolutely dependent on it for our sustenance. We cannot free ourselves from the food sector, we need to transform it at its core…This is the question where innovation has to come from, and not just another paleo bar brand ‘because market opportunity’.”
See more of Simris when Mashable visited their farm as part of London Food Tech Week 2017.
64% of the world’s population now actively exclude foodstuffs from their diet, yet searching for suitable foods on supermarket websites or in store is a serious challenge. Spoon Guru brings us next generation food search and discovery using the latest advances in AI and machine learning. It help shoppers navigate an often confusing abundance of food choices to suit their own personal dietary needs and enables food businesses to refine their product offering based on individual consumer profiles.
As a team that has lots of intolerances and dietary needs between us, we love Spoon Guru because whether you’ve got a nut allergy, follow a vegan diet or simply want to eat healthier options, they make it super easy to find all the products and recipes out there that fit your wellbeing, lifestyle and medical needs. Spoon Guru also works with retailers such as Tesco to help them provide better, more personalised shopping experiences and is also in discussions with retailers around the world to take on the $130 billion global e-commerce market too.
Markus Stripf, Co-Founder and CEO says, “We want to see an end to consumer frustration. If you have any specific dietary needs you should not be penalised and it should be just as easy to find appropriate foods for your unique needs as it is for anybody else. We want Spoon Guru to be at the forefront of bringing about this transformation and want to lead the charge for hyper personalisation and tailored food choices everywhere.”
Read more from Spoon Guru’s Nutrition Manager Alexis Poole on the benefits of a plant based diet.
Allplants are starting a plant-powered revolution with their hand-prepared dinners delivered to houses across the UK. Their exciting menu pushes the boundaries of what you thought was possible with plant-powered dining (from Jerk Jackfruit, to Kimchi Grain Bowl, and their new Polpette meatballs), every dish is nutritionally designed as a great source of protein and rich in other key nutrients such as Calcium, Iron, B12. As regular customers, we can vouch for how delicious these ready meals are!
On why he started the business, Co-Founder Jonathan Petrides says, “When I started to eat “vegan”, I was aggravated three times a day, whether out and about or in a supermarket, by the complete lack of quality or convenient options for my plant-based diet. Alex (my brother and Co-Founder) and I realised that this lack of ease and pleasure is THE massive barrier holding back a tidal wave of adoption for plant-based lifestyles – and given our experiences, skillsets, passion and belligerent grit this was a unique opportunity to make a massive dent in inspiring the next billion plant-powered people. Since that moment, in early 2016, we’ve never looked back.
Gone are the days of one-size-fits-all diet and fitness regimes as DNAFit is changing the face of the health and wellness industry. Through genetic testing and data analytics, it gives its customers the key to understanding their DNA and the chance to take advantage of ultra-personalised recommendations to their fitness, diets and wellbeing.
The process is simple. Using the at-home test kit, you provide a small saliva sample and send it to the DNAfit lab. They extract the DNA to produce a profile of how you respond to different forms of exercise, sports and food so you can personalise and optimise your exercise and diet choices going forward. Originally a niche and expensive product, the costs associated with genetic testing are rapidly decreasing, and with consumers demanding more transparency and access to data in all aspects of life, we can really see services like DNAfit becoming a staple very soon. Our CMO Athena got the test before Christmas and loved the results. The reports gave her meaningful recommendations which she used to kick start 2018 and have already made a noticeable impact!
Co-Founder and Head of Product Andrew Steele says “Your DNA is yours. It’s who you are. It’s the building blocks which makes you. We’re trying to change the way people think about fitness and nutrition. From professional athletes to absolute beginners, to people just trying to live a healthier life, we’re trying to provide that genetic information so they can make better informed decisions.”
You can read more Andrew’s story and how DNAfit broke the startup mould in growing the business on our blog.
Last but not least Vita Mojo provides software solutions for restaurants and also created the world’s first personalised restaurant. With three sites in London that act as testing grounds for their technology, Vita Mojo give their customers full control over and transparency of what they are eating. Breaking the restaurant mould of standardised menus, Vita Mojo’s software and fully customisable menu lets their customers choose the exact ingredients, quantities and even macronutrients that go into their meal. Their technology also streamlines the restaurant operations so that each unique meal is ready in a matter of minutes, and even better, avoids surplus waste by allowing the customer to choose the amount of food that suits them. Win win!
Co-Founder and Managing Director, Nick Popovici says “There are, we believe a lot of problems with the food system today, many of which stem from both industrialisation and standardisation. One of the biggest issues that we see is that industrial food production is traditionally quite an opaque system… The landscape is changing though as people demand more visibility over what is in their food and how it was created…Once it becomes easy and normal for people to have well sourced, non processed food, they will demand it and the wider food chain and large suppliers will have to respond to that demand. In our book, that would be a huge positive for both the environment and people’s health in general.”
Vita Mojo secured investment from Elior Group after meeting at London Food Tech Week in 2016. You can read more about it here.
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