Posted in: Denmark Finland Sweden

3 Nordic Investors Views on the Future of Food

I pulled together three of the top investors in food and ag from the Nordics for a fast-paced, spirit conversation on how they view and are investing in the future of food. We have Marika King from PINC representing corporate venture capital, Lauri Reuter from the Nordic FoodTech VC looking at the bridge between science and entrepreneurship, and Gustaf Brandberg from the family office of Gullspånge Invest Re:Food, which has an evergreen strucutre. I’ve done individual episodes with each of these investors diving into their backstory and investment thesis. Find those in the show links below. This conversation was recorded at Sweden FoodTech’s Big Meet.

Episode Transcript 

Posted in: Sweden

Gullspång Re:Food Gustaf Brandberg on investing patient capital in the food system

Building a food company and transitioning to more sustainable agriculture takes time and requires more patient capital with a long-term view. Re:food is part of Gullspång Invest, a Swedish family office that operates with an evergreen structure. This means that they can invest for the long term without posing time constraints. Located in Stockholm and San Francisco,  Re:Food invested early in some of the most successful food companies that have come out of the Nordics so far like Oatly and Nick’s. The firm focuses on investing across four themes: alternative proteins & fats, regenerative farming, sustainable supply chains, and healthy diets. In this episode, Re:Food’s Co-Founder Gustaf Brandberg shares the company’s investment thesis, background, and vision for the future food system. 

Episode Transcript 

Artist Alexandra Genis on 3D printing flavor molecules

Listen again. Artist and food designer Alexandra Genis is set on challenging your notion of artificiality and what sustainability means in the context of food production. Are natural and wild foods really better? We explore her work and how artificial foods, technology, and art can help us reimagine a better food system.

  • 1:50 The Atoma project, turning individual molecules into spices
  • 2:48 The complexity of flavor and the limits of what we can taste
  • 10:45 The importance of artificial foods in a post-agricultural age 
  • 22:00 Other projects Alexandra’s worked on 
  • 24:00 Vision for the future food system

Full episode transcript. Subscribe to the podcast newsletter here.

Posted in: Sweden

ICA on shifting the Swedish food system

ICA is one of the biggest grocery retailers in Sweden. Every week, around 12 million people pass through their stores. Recognizing the important role they play in the everyday life of Swedes, ICA is intent on supporting the shift to a sustainable food system. A system that supports biodiversity, plant-based, and local foods. They launched ICA Växa, a new unit of the organization, to bring new products to market and connect with the startup community. Today, I speak with Jacqueline Engdahl, the Head of ICA Växa, to hear what exactly their up to. 

  • 6:00 ICA’s vision for the next 100 years
  • 8:50 Jacqueline’s story
  • 19:00 What ICA Växa does
  • 32:00 Different pathways of getting into ICA from pitching the category manager to the store owner or co-branding with ICA’s private label.
Posted in: Iceland Norway Sweden

Seaweed Solutions on the multi-billion market for European seaweed

Jon Funderud the CEO of Seaweed Solutions. Since 2009, they have been a pioneer in building up Europe’s seaweed production, collaborating with players across the value chain to set up and establish growing and cultivation. Seaweed is an incredible raw material. Regenerative, sustainable, and versatile seaweed is being used for animal feeds, food ingredients, biofuels, bio-plastics, and pharmaceuticals. It is estimated that the seaweed market will grow to 9.3 billion euro by 2030, 30% of which could be captured by Europe. This episode is a crash course on seaweed’s potential. We dive into what’s unfolding in Norway and beyond and why seaweed is such a big deal. 

  • 6:30 Seaweed’s many applications 
  • 15:30 The up and coming European market 
  • 22:00 Ways of farming seaweed
  • 31:30 Seaweed Solutions operations 
  • 37:00 Why industry collaborations matter

Interested in learning more about oceans and the future of food? Check out this series of podcasts. Find the full report on Seaweed in Europe here

Posted in: Sweden

Electrolux Innovation Hub's Tove Chevalley on designing a future kitchen for sustainable eating

Electrolux was founded in 1901. Today, they offer a full line of kitchen and laundry appliances, inspired by their work in designing professional products for the world’s best chefs. Tove Chevalley is the Head of Electrolux’s Innovation Hub focused on rethinking the way we cook, clean, and take care of our homes. In this episode, we dive into how the Innovation Team co-creates with chefs, teenagers, colleagues, and startups to develop new solutions that facilitate sustainable eating, better clothing care, and wellbeing in the home. 

  • 11:00 Electrolux’s sustainability targets for 2030
  • 18:12 The future kitchen in 10 years
  • 24:00 Defining sustainable eating
  • 29:00 How Electrolux sources innovation
  • 43:30 How the hub facilitates internal innovation

If you’d like this episode on sustainability innovation, check out this conversation with Carlsberg’s Sustainability Manager. You’re also invited to join our community on Instagram or check out other episodes on www.nordicfoodtech.io.

Posted in: Denmark Norway Sweden

OceanHarvest Founder Joachim Hjerl on regenerative ocean farming

Regenerative ocean farming has been identified as a key solution to climate change. It’s the practice of growing seaweed along with several kinds of shellfish like oysters and mussels not just to feed people, but also to heal the oceans. HavHøst or OceanHarvest is an NGO helping communities throughout the Nordics get set up with toolkits to grow, harvest, and eat from the sea without harming nature or existing underwater ecosystems. In this episode, Joachim Hjerl shares how a crazy idea of growing 20 oysters in Copenhagen’s central harbor became a movement of blue community gardens. 

  • 7:30 An intro to regenerative ocean farming 
  • 14:30 Growing a network of community-supported farms
  • 23:00 Working with policymakers to enable solutions 
  • 36:00 Creating a market to support supply
  • 43:00 Cultural acceptance around new foods 

For more conversations, join our community on Instagram or check out other episodes on www.nordicfoodtech.io.