10 of Europe’s most promising food box startups speeding through 2020
by Daria Kholod
Recipe and ingredient subscription boxes are definitely a convenient way to make meals without planning recipes and going to the supermarket.
By delivering the exact amount of each ingredient needed for each recipe together with cooking instructions, they not only provide a convenient service, but also save waste. With the corona virus outbreak making these home delivery food companies more popular than ever, many of these teams have gone from fast-growing to super sonic.
With this in mind, we scouted out the startups founded in the last 5 years, analysing their team size, expansion initiatives, funding and more, to curate a list of the coolest and speediest teams operating in Europe.
Mindful Chef – Mindful Chef is a health-focused recipe box service from London launched in 2015 by school friends Giles, Myles and Rob. The company delivers ethically sourced ingredients from small UK farms and producers to create nutritious and low-carb meals. On top of that, for every ordered meal, the startup donates a school meal to a child in poverty. So far, Mindful chef have delivered over 6 million meals across the UK. In 2019, the startup nabbed a €6.6 million Series A investment.
Pasta Evangelists – Pasta Evangelists is the recipe box service which offers a weekly changing menu of fresh pastas, sauces and garnishes sourced from Italy and available for delivery across the UK including Northern Ireland, Channel Islands and Scottish Isles. The startup was founded in 2016 in London by Genoa-born Alessandro Savelli with the mission to enable customers to prepare a restaurant-quality pasta dish at home. In February 2020, Pasta Evangelists raised around €3.9 million investment to accommodate their growth. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the company has experienced a considerable increase in new customers.
Frichti – This Parisian startup is an “everyday caterer” whose mission is to allow all those who want to eat well but do not have time to cook to do so. Frichti combines an online supermarket with recipe kits service, including pizza, pasta, burger, tacos, desserts and many other kit types. Founded in 2015, the startup raised around €7 million Series B investment in 2019, and has grown a team of 200+ people. Starting with delivery around Paris, the company has been extending its services as recently as April of this year. What’s more, Frichti relaunched their B2B canteen 2.0 service to guarantee the safety of their customers with their 100% digital meal delivery service during the confinement.
My cooking box – My Cooking Box is an elegantly branded pack that contains everything necessary to recreate an Italian gourmet dish at home, sticking to a chef’s recipe. The ingredients are all Made in Italy and long-life, to ensure that a customer can cook whenever they want and with no waste. The delivery is made in Lombardia region, including Milan, Brescia and Bergamo. The startup founded by Chiara Rota in 2015 raised €1 million in 2019 for the development of boxes with traditional recipes of each Italian region. During the pandemic they’ve been successfully serving their growing community, and just a few days ago launched a new box in collaboration with Calvé sauces and CHILI entertainment.
Ekomenu – Founded in Amsterdam by Jack Stroeken, Ekomenu is a foodbox scheme focusing on healthy menus for the conscious consumer and consumers with specific needs, including vegetarian, vegan, low carb, gluten free, lactose free, pregnancy, diabetes, weight loss, protein rich and other diets. Founded in 2017, the startup delivers a meal kit which comprises 20-30-minute recipes and fresh 100% organic ingredients via home delivery and pick up in the Netherlands and Belgium. Ekomenu prides in its no waste policy, with the exact amount of ingredients needed. In 2019 the startup secured €313K equity crowdfunding via Symbid, and during the pandemic launched a new box collaboration: the ‘Green Pharmacy’ of herbs and greens.
Allplants – Allplants, founded in 2016, has been doing rather well lately, having raised €3.9 million via an equity crowdfunding campaign this March. The London-based veggie meal delivery company works by choosing 6 meals (from 22 options) to go in the box, which is then delivered to the customer’s door whenever they like. All packaging materials are sustainable, in line with their philosophy. So far, the team has grown to 60+ employees, and shows no signs of stopping.
Oddbox – Oddbox, founded in 2016, is a sustainable fruit and vegetable box delivery service. Created by a husband and wife team, the startup is on a mission to solve food waste and deliver a box of funny and odd shaped vegetables to your doorstep, ready for cooking. The UK startup has achieved over 400% growth the past 12 months, and raised funding of €3.2 million this March. Right in the middle of the pandemic they received so many requests from outside their ambit, that they quickly expanded their reach to meet fast-growing customer demand.
Marley Spoon – Marley Spoon, founded in 2014, is all about meal kit boxes. The startup takes care of all aspects of cooking preparation, from getting the right ingredients, weighing out exactly what you need, and providing the recipe. Benefits include leaving behind the hassle of grocery shopping, producing zero food waste and having more time to cook. Originating in Berlin, the company now delivers in many countries (Austria, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Sweden, US), partnered up with Martha Stewart the famous cook for their US launch and has a team of 400+.
GRIM – Founded in 2018, GRIM is on a mission to deliver boxes of healthy vegetables, which might not fit the typical appearance criteria of being sold in a supermarket, right to people’s homes. In 2019, they grew their revenue by 700%, and closed their crowdfunding campaign at 400% over the target. The Copenhagen-based team is expanding their team due to the growth they’ve seen recently and announced just last week that they will be expanding to many new areas in Denmark to serve over half of the Danish population.
Food in the Box – Based in Madrid, this team is bringing the recipe box idea to Spain. Created by Fabián León, a finalist from the Spanish version of MasterChef, the team is young and has quite a strong social media following. Since starting in 2015, the food box has grown to offer different weekly meal boxes, such as paleo, vegetarian and vegan, each with all ingredients and recipe included. Users can check the recipes coming up for the next week online, and order accordingly. The startup has so far closed both seed and angel funding rounds, and is positive for the future.