InFlavour: A home for F&B startups

InFlavour: A home for F&B startups

The food and beverage industry isn’t an easy place to be a startup. The global F&B market size is expected to grow to USD $8.9 trillion in 2026, at a CAGR of 8.7% – and while that growth means there’s a lot of opportunity, it also means there’s a lot of competition.

One of our big goals at InFlavour is to create a home for startups. A place that entrepreneurial founders can find knowledge, collaborators, investors, and inspiration – and gain visibility on a global platform.

We want your startup to be a success. Because we know that as the industry strives to strike a balance between sustainability, profitability, and food security in an uncertain world, it’s innovative startups that can make change happen fast.

The challenges for startups in F&B

The market is packed with major enterprises that can bring new products to market at speed. And that makes it tough for startups to stand out and find a footing.

Those fledgling businesses that are able to differentiate enough – and move quickly enough – to compete with established companies also face the realities of a highly regulated industry, in which they must navigate complex rules and regulations in order to operate legally and safely.

It’s also very expensive to establish and operate a business in this space. Startups need to invest in equipment, ingredients, staff, licensing, and often need a physical site to work from.

Many of the costs involved are variable and hard to plan for in the early stages when cash flow is unstable – ingredient costs, for example, can vary depending on the season and weather events, as well as geo-political issues that drive inflation.

But there are huge opportunities for strategic startups

In spite of challenges, the food and beverage industry is rich with opportunity for the startups that take a strategic path and connect with the right partners.

Key opportunities right now include:

  • Innovative food delivery and online ordering services. Digital platforms have become increasingly popular with consumers, and although mid-pandemic spikes may have levelled off, people have become accustomed to the hyper-convenience now available to them. Digital services and an online presence are now a crucial way for startups to access a larger audience and compete with larger, more established brands.
  • Plant-based and healthy food products. Consumers are increasingly interested in plant-based and health-focused food – consulting firm BlueWeave expects the global plant-based food market to reach a value of $22.27 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 11.82%.
  • Innovative food manufacturing. From plant-based proteins to 3D printed food, agile startups are using new technologies to create new, sustainable systems for food production. The plant-based protein market is predicted to reach $17.4 billion by 2027 – so there are lucrative opportunities here.
  • Customer-experiences that go above and beyond. Customer experience is incredibly important for all industries in the current consumer market – and startups that are able to develop innovative, enjoyable, and memorable experiences can differentiate from competitors.

For example, we love Yummy Future, a 2018 startup that makes robotic barista machines that minimise labour costs for coffee shops. And Mezli, a startup founded in 2020, that combines the culinary delights of food cooked by a Michelin-starred chef with the affordability of a robot. Menus are curated by human chefs, then food is cooked and served by an autonomous chef robot – so restaurant-goers can enjoy Michelin quality meals for prices as low as $6.99.

Startups can use InFlavour as a catalyst for growth

This industry has a lot to offer to those startups that can overcome obstacles and capitalise on rising trends and innovative technology. There’s huge potential – but everyone needs a bit of support in order to gain traction.

If you’ve launched a food and beverage startup – or you want to – then InFlavour is the place for you to catapult your business towards success. Taking place in Riyadh at the end of October 2023, you’ll meet over 200 industry investors, as well as a broad range of industry leaders and potential mentors who can help you build your business.

And you could be one of 50 new businesses to compete in our startup competition to win cash and equity prizes – as well as gaining visibility in front of the top global investors, F&B incumbents, and food-focused consumers. You’ll achieve the kind of reach that usually takes years.

But perhaps most importantly, you’ll learn that when industry professionals at every level get together in the same room, everyone puts competition aside for a moment – so you can enjoy the chance to share knowledge and collaborate towards a thriving, vibrant food industry.

Register now

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