Gold & Green: Sustainable meat alternative made from Nordic oats

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Gold&Green is a Finnish design-driven tech company focusing on nutritious, tasty and sustainable meat alternatives made from Nordic oats and selected legumes.

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Gold&Green Team:
Maija Itkonen, CEO
Maria Soini, Commercial Manager
Annette Kauppinen, CMO
Sanna Antola, Brand Manager

Please introduce yourselves: What does your startup do?

We are on a mission to create a healthier tomorrow for the people and the planet. Many people already realize that food is one of the most important tools to fight against climate crisis on a personal level, flexitarian lifestyle also becomes more common. However, most of the meat alternatives are based on soy, gluten or ingredients that are not so appealing to health-oriented consumers.

We offer plant-based protein products that are based on a handful of good whole food ingredients. They do not mimic meat per se, but have a balanced nutritional profile and aim to simply deliver a pleasant, transparent plant-based experience.

How did you come up with an idea and concept? What inspired and motivated you to create this product?

We are a group of designers, scientists, oat lovers and protein hunters. The idea of Pulled Oats was from with the idea of creating the “perfect protein” with nature’s best ingredients.

We were (and still are) inspired with the thought that in the new food system where startups and big companies work side by side, one can have a big impact on people’s eating habits and environmental issues even without 1000 employees and a 100 years of history behind.

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What is unique about your business idea and operating model?

Most of the food startups are simply rebranding existing technologies and products already available. We swim upstream by having our own research unit and our own pilot factory.

Our products and unique tech are patented in more than 50 countries. We try to constantly challenge ourselves to find even better solutions for plant-based products that flourish on their own without being fake, substitute or mimic.

What were the most significant difficulties you had to overcome while building your startup?

When the company was less than 12 months old, we found us in a situation where nobody wants to be at: a massive viral phenomenon was rolling over and we were not able to deliver enough products! We stretched our limits and were able to set up the new, professional factory premises in 2 months.

The period was extremely educational and forced us to be “a real company” already at a very young age.

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Where do you see yourselves and your company in 5 years?

At Gold&Green we like to say that this is a marathon, not a sprint. We will continue further developing technology platforms and strengthening our position while simultaneously setting up new partnerships around the world.

What are your expectations from the NX-Food Startup Shelf Program?

We’d like to learn more about eating preferences and consumer behavior in the German market, as well as test our assumptions of communicating the right messages.

What are your main milestones and achievements?

  • 2015: Development of the patentable new product and tech
  • 2015: Various awards: Product of the year, Best new protein, Company of the year, Quality innovation, Phenomenon of the year
  • 2016: Launched retail market in Finland
  • 2016: Alliance with our investor, partners Paulig Group
  • 2016 - 2019: Launched food service in various markets

Branding und Webseite von NX-Food werden entwickelt von dombek—bolay und Albert Naasner, in enger Zusammenarbeit mit dem NX-Food Team.