Nowadays, food is so much more than mere nutrition. It is an expression of individualism and personality. Consumers are increasingly keen to eat healthily and responsibly. Our plates reflect this development, at home as well as in the restaurants. And the drive to innovate is boosting the number of products available to us, too. The Federation of German Food and Drink Industries (BVE) reports that as many as 40,000 new products are launched every year. Today, variety is key. To what extent does this make the creations of start-ups more interesting? And how can the innovative products reach consumers?
NX-Food is a trailblazer for innovation in the food industry. The innovation hub of METRO is looking for new technologies, impulses and products. Developments that can make their way into retail and reach the masses. Its start-up shelf is an initiative that brings new food products to the market.
A lot has happened since METRO’s hub for food innovation was established around a year ago: in early 2018, NX-Food launched the first wholesale listing for insect-based products in Germany – just 3 months after the new EU directive on novel food came into force. The team soon entered into multiple partnerships.
An interview with Fabio Ziemssen, Director Food Innovation NX-Food, METRO AG:
Fabio, looking back on one year of NX-Food, what is your personal verdict?
The last year was intense for us at NX-Food. It was time-consuming but also full of new, interesting, inspiring encounters and flavours. A few people get together. At the right point in time. In the right place. And they bring to the table all the skills that are needed in a team. That’s what we did and what makes my team special to me. I learned how important passion, creativity and authenticity are for success. And, of course, no team can thrive without humour and mutual trust. This is how we managed to start a lot of projects and help set the food scene in motion last year.