Taste and Sustainability should not be “either – or”: #Food4Future Panel at 11th German Sustainability Day

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On the 6th of December METRO AG and NX-FOOD conducted an interactive #Food4Future panel discussion at the 11th German Sustainability Day in Düsseldorf.

During the discussion, five food start-ups had 3 minutes to present their product and take questions from the audience and the panel participants. The products were presented on the Start-up Shelf from NX-FOOD in the room, so everyone had a chance to taste them.

Following participants joined the panel:

Clément Tischer, Head of Food Tech and Food Innovation NX-FOOD
Kathrin Niehaus, Business Development at METRO Cash & Carry Germany
Anthony Sarpong, Founder and CEO of Anthony’s Kitchen
Andrea K. Weber, Director Corporate Responsibility at METRO AG

Moderator: Fritz Lietsch, Journalist, publisher and chief editor of “forum Nachhaltig Wirtschaften”

SWARM Nutrition

Christopher and Timo, founders of SWARM Nutrition, encountered insect food during their long trip around Southeast Asia. On the tourist street Khao San Road in Bangkok, Thailand they tasted fried caterpillars, but soon realized that it was more of a courage test and an exotic once-in-a-life experience but not something that can change your eating habits.

Further on, they set their minds on bringing insect protein to the western diet and went on to taste everything that had six legs and two antennas.

Christopher and Timo knew that insects would not work seriously in the West, however, the outstanding nutrients and environmental benefits were supposed to convince those who value functionality and sustainability in their diet. They started cooperating with farmers in Thailand who grew insects, turned them into powder and sent them over to Germany where protein bars were produced.

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The SWARM protein bars contain crickets that are characterized by a high content of protein with all nine essential amino acids that are important for building and maintaining the muscles. The initial target group of SWARM Nutrition were sportsmen: they understand the meaning of protein and are also open to new things.

Many people are still afraid to try something with insects, so Christopher and Timo try to put their bars into an attractive package and make them look Instragrammable.

SWARM Nutrition has received a“Future Protein” Award in 2018, Food Start-up 2017 Award at StartupCon. The start-up is currently selling their product online on their website and in some of the offline stores in Germany.


Food should be healthy, easy to cook and taste good, yet not everyone can explain what healthy food really is. The market is saturated with fruit smoothies in plastic bottles, but are they as good for as we think?

oyá team wanted consumers not to assume but to know for sure that their product is healthy. They created two types of smoothies — for him and for her — organic, vegan with no undesirable additives and distributed in glass bottles.

oyá for him contains 76% and 23% of the daily vitamin C and B1 requirements while smoothie for her supports iron metabolism and contains 65% and 43% of the daily vitamin C and B12 requirements.

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“Intelligence is the new sexy,” say the founders of oyá and educate their consumers with every bottle. The herbal variety used in different smoothies represents plants of particular civilization — Maya, Inca, Aztec and others. Consumers that choose oyá not only get healthier but also discover world cultures and tastes.


Every year Europeans spend 1,2 billion of Euro on food while 800 million people in the world are hungry. Purefood uses our consuming habits to help people in need. Their main product brand is called Lycka which in Swedish means happiness or joy.

Under this brand name, Purefood produces different food products — ice cream, snacks and cold brew coffee. Every sold product buys a school meal for a kid in Burundi. So far almost 1,5 million school meals have been bought. It is great to think that ice cream which we are eating here in Europe allows kids in Burundi to have a lunch at school.

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Purefood is innovative, social and 100% organic. Lycka products are sold in Rossman, REWE, EDEKA and online. The idea of the startup is to launch 1-2 products per year in different categories. While many customers don’t know about the mission behind Lycka and just buy the products because of their taste, the Purefood team is still happy with the outcome.


NOMOO stands for no cow and produces vegan ice cream. The company would not exist if it wasn’t for Leonardo DiCaprio: In 2016 co-founder of NOMOO Jan watched a documentary called “Cowspiracy” that was produced by the Hollywood actor and decided to immediately become a vegan.

However, the existing variety of vegan products was not impressive in terms of taste. Newly created brand NOMOO took it as a goal to combine satisfaction and sustainability in their products. Because taste and sustainability should not be “either – or”.

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NOMOO ice cream is free of gluten, vegan, organic and distributed in a biodegradable packaging. “Tesla among the ice cream brands“, as the co-founder Rebecca called it during the presentation. In 11 months of operation, the start-up presented four sorts of ice cream with two more to come in March 2019.

Akal Food

The company founded in 2016 creates products from spirulina — blue-green algae containing up to 70% protein. This dietary supplement is rich in iron, vitamins A and B. The founders of the start-up use spirulina like a spice, add it to drinks and bread spreads in their raw food recipes.

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In their online shop, the start-up sells pure spirulina in three formats — powder, flakes and granules — as well as energy bars with algae. Akal Food operates in France and Germany.

The NX-Food visual branding and website are developed by dombek—bolay and Naasner Office, in close collaboration with the NX-Food team.