2019's top food & drink startups
Food, glorious food. It's arguably one of the best parts of living. And we're not the only ones who think so. The food and drink sector of the startup industry is booming, and we're certainly not complaining. Here are 13 of our favourite food and drink startups to keep an eye on (and sample) over the next year. WARNING: DO NOT READ ON AN EMPTY STOMACH.
Food startups that help you save money
Nez is a favourite here in our office. It helps you discover the best food and drink offers around London, and the deals you can get are insane. It delivers deals on local food straight to your phone and has over 401 partners across the capital. Last week I got a huge portion of paella for a mere £3.50, and it kept me full for probably about 4 days.
This fast-growing team creates delicious recipes that students can actually cook on a student budget. They now have over 180 thousand Instagram followers, with thousands of views on each Youtube video. Every recipe feeds four people for £10 and under, and they’re really damn good. Ben Lebus, the founder, also did some serious hussling when they were first starting out – he even hid Mob leaflets in pizza boxes whilst working as a Deliveroo driver.
Food startups that help you save the world
This app focuses on reducing food waste and allows users to pick up (perfectly good) restaurant leftovers! The website reveals that, in the UK, over 10 million tonnes of food is thrown away yearly. That’s a lot of food. But by signing up to the app, you can purchase surplus restaurant food at a discount and help reduce greenhouse emissions. I have got SO much Sushi on this one.
Jenny Costa founded Rubies in 2011 to combat the growing food waste problem and its huge environmental impact. They save surplus fruit and vegetables by turning them into condiments including jam, chutney, ketchups and relishes. Despite the environmental factor, Rubies say that most people buy the products for the taste, then read the story behind the brand and love the product even more!
Moving Beans was born when a group of coffee-lovers met a group of science-lovers and combined to make something magical: biodegradable coffee capsules made with delicious coffee. They are Nespresso-compatible, compostable, and keep your coffee fresh. Standard capsules can take up to 500 years to decompose, with the plastic and aluminium having a detrimental efffect on the environment, so the change that Moving Beans has made is incredibly significant!
This street food social enterprise is based out of Pentonville Prison and has a stall just down the road from us at Leather Lane market (Thursday and Friday!). They provide training, qualifications and opportunities, teaching valuable business and enterprise skills as well as providing access employment and support upon leaving.
Food startups for your sweet tooth
Launching at our local Leather Lane market in 2014, Crosstown doughnuts were the first street food stall to accept card payments with no minimum or maximum charge. Now, they have a presence at markets across London, 11 stores, and offer catering for events. They offer recyclable packaging where possible, have recycling stations in every store, and in 2017, created a vegan sourdough base for their doughnuts.
Founder Meg started making small batches of vegan, organic, raw chocolate in her kitchen in 2014. Now it’s sold in over 20 countries by more than 150 stockists and has over 248 investors. Moreover, the writer of this blog post can confirm that this chocolate is damn good.
Naked Dough launched the UK's first Cookie Dough Café as a pop-up in London’s Old Street underground station in June 2017. Since then they have also popped up in Top Shop, Oxford Circus, intu Lakeside and Westfield London. Co-Founders Jen Henry and Hannah Adams, and the Naked Dough team, also appeared on BBC Two's Million Pound Menu which is now broadcast around the globe on Netflix. Alongside their ludicrously moreish (and utterly Instagrammable) egg-free raw Cookie Dough, Naked Dough offers Dough Milk, Dough Freaks, Ice Cream and more. Their permanent flavours include the ever-popular Unicorn Food, Nak-Ed Sheeran and vegan Buttery Biscuit Base. Naked Dough are super-excited to announce that some delicious new Autumn products are falling into their cookie dough kiosk at The Stables Market in Camden from 28th September, and they'll be GIVING AWAY 300 FREE Chocol-IT Dough Pops from the kiosk at Camden Market on Monday 28th October.
Food & drink startups to help your health kick
These grown-up soft drinks with a kick were born when friends Julia and Kerstin wanted to enjoy fizzy drinks without the sugar crash. Their key ingredient is cayenne pepper and the drinks have less than 4.8g of sugar per 100ml. In 2014 they set up a lab at the back of a small shop in Shoreditch – now they’re supplying to Ocado, Tesco and Wagamama. They must be doing something right!
Founder Tara wanted to create a progressive protein brand, which was all natural (and vegan friendly) without compromising on taste. Moreover, the brand is passionate about uniting women through fitness events, and their website is a haven for delicious recipes.
Founded by two ex-bankers, this startup has just secured its stage A funding. They make (delicious) gluten free tortilla chips and crackers. Featured in the Jewish Chronicle, they’re hiring now!
This company was started to counteract the huge crashes of coffee and sugary lows of energy drinks. Matcha, a Japanese green tea left, is loaded with natural caffeine, and a calming amino acid. The product is 100% vegan and packed in an aluminium can so it can be easily recycled! At their first pop-up in Shoreditch, they used a new SMS platform for ordering, so that anyone who had ever ordered from them before could text them, and have their drink waiting!
This company is all about ‘dropping the alcohol, not the flavour’, and proudly states that they are the only LGBT alcohol free brewers in the country. They’ve already won Young Entrepreneurs of the Year at the Wales Start Up Awards in 2019, despite the idea behind Drop Bear Beer occurring less than 12 months ago.
And that's the end of the list! Make sure you try some of these delicious products. And if any of the companies are reading this and have any spare snacks lying around…our address is 14 Rosebery Avenue, London EC1R 4TD.