Our Innovation Analysts recently looked into emerging technologies and up-and-coming startups working on solutions for the food sector. As there is a large number of startups working on a wide variety of solutions, we want to share our insights with you. This time, we are taking a look at 5 promising clean label startups.
Heat Map: 5 Top Clean Label Startups
Using our StartUs Insights Platform, covering 1.116.000+ startups & emerging companies, we looked at innovation in the field of food tech. For this research, we identified 88 relevant solutions and picked 5 to showcase below. These companies were chosen based on a data-driven startup scouting approach, taking into account factors such as location, founding year, and technology among others. Depending on your specific criteria, the top picks might look entirely different.
The Global Startup Heat Map below highlights 5 startups & emerging companies developing innovative clean label solutions. Moreover, the Heat Map reveals regions that observe a high startup activity and illustrates the geographic distribution of all 88 companies we analyzed for this specific topic.
Nova Farina – Gluten-Free Ingredients
“Clean label” refers to a consumer trend that calls for the use of minimal ingredients in the production of food products. Driven by health-conscious consumers who care about what goes into their food, the trend offers cleaner alternatives to existing food products. For example, many consumers have been shifting to a gluten-free diet in recent years. Clean label startups offer gluten-free ingredients, as well as food that is free from any preservatives or other chemicals.
Nova Farina is a British startup that produces healthy, nutritious, gluten-free ingredients. It controls the entire supply chain to convert the highest quality pulses into a range of high protein and high fiber flours, crumb, and derivative ingredients. These clean label products are free from major allergens, as well as any additives. They also have a low glycemic index to aid the management of blood glucose levels.
Tastes Natural – Taste Modulation
A common hurdle in pursuing a healthy diet is that clean food often tastes bland. Added sugars, sweeteners, and artificial flavors contribute to how foods taste and clean label foods, which lack these ingredients, often taste very differently. Clean label startups are working on taste modulators that preserve the original taste without adding artificial flavors.
The US-based startup Tastes Natural offers organic, all-natural ingredients that enhance the taste of food, nutraceutical, and pharmaceutical products. TruBlock, the startup’s patent-pending process, binds ingredients with negative tasting compounds that drop off in the digestive system. The reactive process removes the bitterness of active ingredients to enhance the taste of healthier food options.
Paragon Pure – Flavor Encapsulation
In addition to taste, flavor encompasses the smell and texture of the food and is even more crucial for the consumer experience. Clean label alternatives are minimally processed, lack added ingredients, and have a significantly different flavor as compared to processed foods. With flavor encapsulation, a protective envelope encapsulates the flavor. This allows clean label startups to offer the same flavor experience as with traditional foods.
Paragon Pure is a US-based startup that develops natural food products that adhere to clean label standards. CaptaClean encapsulates flavors within mixtures based on whole flours and grains. The startup’s proprietary clean label drying technology adds a protective clean label carrier and enhances dispersibility and stability. The startup creates its products with minimal processing of real food ingredients.
Plantcraft – Plant-Based Protein
The demand for plant-based alternatives to meat, as well as startups that produce them, is on the rise. For vegan consumers who also prefer clean-label foods, plant-based meat is often not a viable solution. It takes a lot of preservatives and other additives to make the plant-based product look and taste like actual meat. However, innovative solutions now combine the promise of both plant-based protein and clean label.
German startup Plantcraft provides plant-based protein solutions for the food and beverage industry. Its method is different from conventional plant-based meat production. Plantcraft’s products do not contain stabilizers, emulsifiers, synthetic acidity regulators, flavor enhancers, or any other additives. With just pseudocereals, green bananas, legumes, and herbs and spices, it offers a clean label, plant-based deli product range.
True Elements – Ingredient Traceability
In addition to an aversion to chemicals, the uncertainty about the origin of each ingredient is a strong reason consumers look for clean label options. With a maximum of five ingredients, clean label startups are able to own the entire supply chain. This allows them to precisely determine the source of origin for each ingredient from any batch.
True Elements is an Indian startup that produces whole-food, plant-based products. It sells a range of breakfast products, such as oats, granola, and muesli, and snacks that do not contain any added chemicals, preservatives, or sugar. The startup allows customers to trace the entire journey from the farm to the kitchen for the purchased products. This includes when and where ingredients were picked for each specific pack.
What About The Other 83 Solutions?
While we believe data is key to creating insights it can be easy to be overwhelmed by it. Our ambition is to create a comprehensive overview and provide actionable innovation intelligence so you can achieve your goals faster. The 5 clean label startups showcased above are promising examples out of 88 we analyzed for this article. To identify the most relevant solutions based on your specific criteria, get in touch.