Considering the thriving start-up industry in Israel, along with the high percentage of vegans (5.2% according to The Central Bureau of Statistics), it’s only natural that the food-tech industry is vibrant and fast growing.
The Food tech industry derives from various needs. First, the vegan, vegetarian, and most of all flexitarian populations are fast growing across the world, especially as gen Z becomes the main consumer segment. Second, food crisis and ecological concerns, challenge suppliers to provide more efficient food options. Third, these days everyone is seeking protein sources, so a greater variety of protein is welcomed by the customer who is always intrigued by novelty.
There are various food tech start-ups in Israel; one large segment is start-ups focused on developing meat substitutes, like Rilbite and SavorEat. Other start-ups such as Eat Jet and MeaTech are developing 3D printers to produce meat alternatives, as well as companies producing meat tissues in labs, for example: Aleph farms and Future Meat Technologies.
Putting the meat field aside, there are great efforts in the industry to find other sources of protein. Amai Proteins for example, develops sweet protein as a sugar substitute. Kinoko-Tech uses mushrooms to produce a unique protein source, while other start-ups and companies base their products on chickpeas and other legumes. Other protein sources include insects, looking at Hargol Foodtech and Flying SpArk for example.
Another interesting protein-related innovation is coming from Zero Egg. Zero Egg is a start-up which develops egg alternatives that can be used to make an omelet or cake at home but also can be used industrially, so companies can offer vegan versions of their products more easily, or even produce all new products that couldn’t be developed beforehand.
Regarding environment awareness, there are quite a few start ups developing eco-friendly solutions. One intriguing food innovation is by IncrediBowl, as they develop edible tableware to reduce plastic usage and waste.
AI technology-based start-ups also contribute in the food tech industry, from predicting agriculture yield to predicting food trends.
As food tech advances, many international and local food companies are showing interest in this field. Strauss, for example, has invested in various food tech start-ups through its unique platform “The Kitchen”. Among the start-ups Strauss supports: Yofix, Amai Proteins, Aleph Farms, Better Juice, Zero Egg, and more. More recently, Tnuva established its own start-up support platform called “Capsule”, cooperating with Amazon. This program is an addition to another program by Tnuva cooperating with TechForGood Rally.