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Four Food Startups for a Healthy Tummy

A “startup” by definition is a company that starts with an idea, secures financing, develops a structure and implements operations. Startup companies are booming in the food industry internationally. Food startups are changing the way people shop and think about food. Food startups was a 1.1 billion dollar industry in 2014 and is projected to be an 18 billion dollar industry by 2018. What may have been driven by pre-packaged meals for the weight-loss industry has now blossomed into healthy and delicious meals for the entire family. The idea of the wholesome meal is more and more intertwined with technology as the food industry makes use of components such as big data, artificial intelligence, nutrigenomics, and delivery drones.

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What makes a food startup a healthy choice?

What do most people do when their food supply is low, and they just don't feel like going out to the grocery store? They order pizza, Chinese (complete with deep-fried egg rolls and wontons) or submarine type sandwiches smothered in mayo and other sauces. Trying out a food startup company may be a better option for the following reasons:

• Healthier eating- Food startup companies are based on using healthy and often organic foods, certainly much more nutritious than a pepperoni pizza or cream cheese wontons. The meals and recipes are balanced, and many companies have vegetarian and options for dietary restrictions.

• Potentially saves money- Most of the meals offered by various food companies range from about $9 to $15. That may sound a little pricey but consider by the time you ordered your pizza with three ingredients and tipped the driver you ended up spending $30.00. You thought you would eat the left-overs the next day, but after suffering indigestion all night you ended up throwing four slices in the circular file.

• Potential time saver- Though some of the companies require you follow a recipe and cook the food, you are still saving a trip to the grocery store and all the hassle that goes along with it.

• Enriches family life- Preparing and eating nutritious meals with your spouse or your kids is a fantastic and healthy way to spend time together.

Four Great Food Startup Options

• Togle- Togle is a United Kingdom based company which works directly with Whole Foods and Marks and Spencers grocery stores. Togle offers organic and high-quality food. They get the food directly from the store and not a warehouse. They pride themselves on terrific customer service and delivery times of an hour or less. Their targeted customer is the busy professional. The minimum grocery order is only €20 and that includes free delivery.

• Blue Apron- Blue Apron is a fast growing U.S. company. They supply the groceries and recipes for exquisite meals. You do the cooking, but that's part of the fun. They have plans for couples and families. Three meals a week for two people run about $60.00 and, if you're tired of going to the liquor store, they also have a wine club.

• Hello Fresh- Hello Fresh truly is an international company. It has offices in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Belgium, Austria, and Australia. They have a large selection of plans and pricing options. They also pride themselves on nutritious and fresh ingredients. Hello Fresh features vegetarian and glutton-free options.

• Din- Din is the local inspiration of San Francisco couple Emily and Rob LaFave. They offer those in the Bay area a wide array of plans from two meals a week to five meals a week. The meals average about $15 but are pre-cooked and usually require minimal preparation. The best part is they are inspired by superb local chefs. Again, $15 for a meal may seem expensive, but when you consider what a gourmet meal would cost in San Francisco, it is a bargain.

These food startup companies represent just a few examples of a new but booming industry. There is a tremendous market for the local entrepreneur or international investor. Hopefully, the focus on nutrition and quality will be sustained. Certainly, there may be room for lower cost options to appeal to all budgets. One of the central tenants of this industry, however, is helping busy people to enjoy and benefit from healthy eating.

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