Martin Braun-Gruppe partners StartLife to scale innovation in baking

UK— Leading European bakery, confectionery and frozen bakery supplier Martin Braun-Gruppe has partnered with AgriTech accelerator StartLife, to launch a corporate venture capital arm to invest in startups that have standout ideas in the areas of alternative ingredients, better-for-you products and tech-driven business around the category of baking.

Andreas Gockeln, corporate development manager for Martin Braun-Gruppe pointed out that while consumers are more conscious about the nutritional value of the food they consume, ingredients are not easily substituted.

“Because of food regulation, it takes a long time to get a new, alternative ingredient approved. Another challenge is that consumers are accustomed to the taste and texture of their indulgence. When consumers treat themselves to an indulgence, they don’t want to compromise on these aspects,” ​ he said.

In targeting alternative ingredients and ideas that address the most pressing challenges in the industry, Martin Braun-Gruppe’s VA will extend their focus beyond just ensuring consumer health to also ensuring the planet is in good condition.

Startups will be able tap into the Martin Braun-Gruppe`s decades of industry knowledge and ability to scale fast and grow internationally

“There is a growing desire to lower the footprint of the industry. For example, palm oil – a much-used ingredient in the industry – has a negative impact on the environment. In addition to that, we see on our markets new and technology driven business models. We are conscious of these developments and want to act on it,” added Gockeln.

Double Impact endeavor

Founded in 2010, StartLife – co-founded by Wageningen University and Research – is geared towards driving engagement within the AgriTech community and push its quest for a sustainable food system.

As Europe’s longest-running accelerator for AgriTech startups has supported over 400 startups that have raised €320m follow-on capital.

“Startups will be able tap into the Martin Braun-Gruppe`s decades of industry knowledge and ability to scale fast and grow internationally,” said Caroline Bijkerk, global partnership manager of StartLife

Bijkerk said that adding a bakery and confectionery business of this scale to StartLife’s global partnership network further braces the impact-driven startups the company supports.

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