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28/09/2022

The new cheesemakers of French Tech

Biotech French tech

In the foodtech sector, new players are emerging to tackle the cheese market. In France, this market is estimated to be worth €8 billion. Who are these new cheesemakers attracting investment funds? Here’s an update from the experts at AURIS Finance, a consultancy specialising in mergers and acquisitions.

Their names are Nutropy, Standing Ovation, and Bon Vivant. These three start-ups are the rising stars of the French foodtech industry. Their motto: offer cheeses made from plants or from the culture of casein, a protein derived from cow’s milk. They are responding to the rapidly growing demand from consumers who want to keep their favourite foods tasting good, while reducing the impact on the environment. Environmental concerns are growing among the younger generation, who are less inclined than their elders to eat cheese regularly (in France, 31% of cheese purchases are made by people aged 35-49, compared with 17% of those under 35).

New consumption patterns

While the cheese market in France remains dynamic, with over 92% of French people claiming to buy cheese at least once a week and average consumption at almost 30 kilos per person per year, new trends are emerging in favour of more responsible consumption. According to the French dairy industry, nearly 2 million tonnes of cheese are produced in France each year, with a total turnover of €39 billion. Between 1,500 and 1,800 different types of cheese are currently produced in France. It’s a very dynamic market, and one that is always alert to new developments. The growing number of vegans is part of this search for products that are more respectful of the environment and animal welfare.

Innovation and biotechnology

It is in this context that new players in the French foodtech sector are emerging. One of the pioneers in France is Nouveaux Affineurs, which has developed plant-based cheeses. In February 2020, the start-up completed a funding round of €2 million with the Demeter, Newfond, and Beyong Investing funds. This round of funding has enabled the company to reach industrial scale. In addition to work on plants, the hopes of the French foodtech sector are pinned on the cultivation of casein, the main protein in cow’s milk. Two French companies stand out in this race for innovation: Nutropy, whose R&D work on precision fermentation has raised €2 million, and Standing Ovation. The latter is now at an advanced stage. Romain Chayot, co-founder of the start-up, told the newspaper Les Echos: “Our technology is now fully developed, and we can go to production on a commercial scale”. Standing Ovation has just raised €12 million to support its development. It’s worth noting that in this race for innovation, the giants of the sector are keeping a close eye on the development of new production processes, as demonstrated by the presence of former Lactalys boss Michel Leonard on Standing Ovation’s board of directors.

Get the support you need

PeakBridge, Seventure Partners, Big Idea Ventures, and Good Startup are all foodtech-focused funds looking to position themselves in tomorrow’s technologies. Given that the market potential is so large, these funds do not hesitate to invest in start-up companies at a very early stage. At AURIS Finance, our experts are available to assist entrepreneurs at every stage of their fundraising and development process.

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#Food, Beverage & Agribusiness #Financing & Fundraising