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.
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.
Björn Öste founded Oatly with his brother Rickard in 1994. Fast forward to today and Oatly IPOed in May 2021 at a value of $10 billion. But how did this startup from Lund, Sweden become the world’s leading alt-milk brand? In today’s episode, we cover Oatly’s startup journey from the early academic days focused on lactose intolerance to the development of their famous barista strategy. We also cover the brothers’ other entrepreneurial endeavors to develop food with clear health benefits.
The story of Nick’s begins in 2014, when a Swedish serial entrepreneur with a background in mechanical engineering was diagnosed as pre-diabetic. Niclas Luthman had to change his diet, but he still loved and craved sweets. This led to him tinkering around in the kitchen and creating a line of “better for you” snacks and sweets that have no added sugar, gluten, or palm oil. Nick’s products involve an enormous amount of R&D. enabling them to achieve new food feats like offering an ice cream with 70% fewer calories than other leading brands. Nick’s recently closed $30 million in funding, launched its ice cream in 4,000 stores across the US, and has expanded into 15 European markets. Tune in for this startup’s how I built this story.
Gustav Johansson is behind Swedens largest vegan food blog – Jävligt Gott. He’s also the author of two vegan cookbooks – one covers Swedish comfort food and the other is for athletes in collaboration with the World Wildlife Fund and the Swedish Olympic Committee. Gustav’s work is fascinating. His work centers on using his platform to make it easier for people to chose a planet friendly diet. He does so by developing a trove of recipes that don’t require consumers to sacrifice the tastes they love or dishes they grew up with in order to eat more sustainably. He also works with supermarket chains and food entrepreneurs to ensure that the vegan products people want make it to market. He also develops recipes for new products to make sure there are resources available online for how to use them.
Since 2010, Södertälje Municipality in Sweden has served public school lunches that are healthy for students and the planet. The initiative is known as Diet for a Green Planet. Our guest today is Sara Jervfors who is the Head of the Diet Unit in Södertälje Municipality and an architect of the system. We talk about what a diet for a green planet is, how more municipalities could transform their lunches to meet these parameters, what incentives are missing to encourage such a diet, and how parents and kids have responded.
If you’re into food and find yourself in Sweden, then one of your first points of contact should definitely be Sweden FoodTech’s Johan Jörgensen. The org is fully focused on developing the ecosystem through community, events, and biz dev assistance. Johan is an Internet entrepreneur turned investor with 20+ years of experience under his belt. He was once voted Best Investor in Sweden. Listen in as we discuss the ins and outs of Sweden’s FoodTech ecosystem including Stockholm’s plans to become a future food city.