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FoodTech: Greater Zurich's impact on global innovation

Exploring the future of FoodTech in the Greater Zurich Area.

The Greater Zurich Area is an essential player in the FoodTech sector, actively shaping our global future. In the food industry worldwide, it's hard to find a product that the expertise and innovation of Swiss companies have yet to impact. Switzerland's achievements can be seen in various aspects, such as advanced technology, significant patents, and infrastructure. 

The Greater Zurich Area is a hub for innovative revolutions

The region's strategic location, rich history, and the collaborative efforts between industry leaders and innovators make it an exceptional center for FoodTech. FoodTech in GZA aims to tackle global challenges such as ending world hunger, reducing climate impact, conserving resources, increasing food accessibility and affordability, promoting regional production, fostering harmonious human-animal relationships, streamlining food deliveries, and enhancing daily convenience.

Let's explore further the reasons behind GZA's influential role in the FoodTech industry. Examining the factors that make Greater Zurich a global pioneer provides insight into its potential. Look at the key drivers for GZA's success in the FoodTech industry.

  1. Golden era of food technology: We are currently experiencing the beginning of a prosperous era for Food Technology. GZA is at the forefront of this evolution thanks to its continuous progress supported by extensive research and development. There has never been a better time to start a business, with new and established companies making significant progress. For further information, look at the Swiss Food and Nutrition Valley.
  2. Digital transformation: The food industry can only do with digitalization. GZA has an advanced digital infrastructure that enables the integration of tech-driven solutions for more sustainable and efficient food production and distribution.
  3. Gigantic food region with resources: GZA is part of Switzerland's expansive food region, home to top universities, groundbreaking startups, and major food corporations. This community offers unmatched opportunities to gain knowledge, explore innovation, and connect with a vast network of influential players in the industry.
  4. Active stakeholders and advanced tech: Many people involved in the economy are working towards better nutrition, creating new meat substitutes, improving agricultural automation, and reducing waste. Digital technologies such as data analytics, robotics, and artificial intelligence are essential for the successful transformation of the food industry.
  5. Rise of circular economy: GZA is leading the way in circular economy practices. In September 2022, Zurich residents voted to incorporate the circular economy into the canton's constitution, showcasing the region's commitment to sustainable practices.
  6. Switzerland's innovation leadership: In 2023, Switzerland clinched the title of the most innovative country in the world for the 13th time in a row. The nation's excellence in sectors such as knowledge, technology outputs, and creative outputs solidify its reputation as a hotspot where visionary ideas are born and new technologies emerge.

Here are the benefits for businesses

After identifying the critical factors behind GZA's emergence as a FoodTech hub, one may ask, "How does this benefit businesses?" The answer lies in the numerous opportunities offered by this influential area:

Research and development hub: GZA's location near top universities and research institutions provides a prime platform for FoodTech startups and businesses. This environment offers easy access to talent, cutting-edge research, and potential collaboration opportunities.

Sustainable production: Businesses prioritizing sustainable and environmentally friendly production methods will find a supportive market and infrastructure in GZA's push for circular economy practices.

Tech-Driven solutions: The focus on digital transformation presents opportunities for businesses providing AI, robotics, and data-driven solutions customized for the food industry. GZA's state-of-the-art digital infrastructure guarantees seamless integration and scalability.

Alternative foods and meat substitutes: Businesses in the meat substitute industry have a large potential market due to increasing demand, technological advancements, and consumer interest in innovative products.

Convinced? Dive deeper with our expertise

Convinced? Dive deeper with our expertise

Our knowledge of the FoodTech industry is not only based on data and analysis and comes from years of hands-on experience, successful collaborations, and innovative ventures. Our expertise in this rapidly growing industry has allowed us to successfully navigate its complexities and assist numerous businesses in achieving success. Please don't start your FoodTech journey by yourself; let our experts guide you. Contact our colleague now to receive customized advice and gain insights.

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Discover leading examples

The Greater Zurich Area's strategic location, modern infrastructure, and thriving ecosystem are ideal for FoodTech innovation and investment. Here is a list of well-known companies that have benefited from the advantages of the Greater Zurich Area:

Bühler, which has its headquarters in Uzwil, is a name that stands out in the food processing industry. Every day, two billion people consume food produced with Bühler's equipment, underscoring the company's global footprint. Bühler delivers machinery specialized for health-centric, portable snacks like protein bars and baked waffles as consumer preferences evolve. Their commitment to sustainability goes beyond meeting market needs. They are dedicated to reducing water and energy use, as well as minimizing waste. Bühler's innovative concept of Food Parks exemplifies this commitment by streamlining the entire production value chain in one efficient and environmentally-friendly hub. They are truly shaping the future of food technology.

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Established in 2020, Yasai represents a fresh and innovative perspective in the FoodTech landscape. Yasai's team of 20 professionals evidences its growth trajectory after raising an impressive 10 million through crowdfunding. Yasai promotes Vertical Farming as the sustainable future for urban vegetable cultivation in developed countries. Currently, the firm specializes in herb production using water or hydroculture. However, Yasai's vision extends beyond this. They aim to curate specialized cultivation techniques tailored for various vegetables, ensuring versatility and adaptability. Yasai is leading the way in transforming urban agriculture.

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YASAI

Since its inception in 2019, Planted has established itself as a plant-based meat alternative industry pioneer. Based in Switzerland, Planted stands out as the nation's largest producer of plant-based meat, boasting the highest resale rate among meat substitute products. Their rapid and consistent growth, a workforce of over 200, and ambitious expansion plans demonstrate their innovation and market appeal. Having already spread its branches to Germany, Austria, France, Italy, the UK, and the Benelux countries, Planted's rapid rise in the FoodTech industry sets it apart as a leading player in Europe.

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Based in Zurich, iSense is revolutionizing the food and flavor industry with its innovative approach to aroma benchmarking. The start-up's unique taste management software precisely defines and benchmarks flavors, filling a gap in a sector that previously lacked standardized "taste language" and measurement.iSense streamlines flavor selection, comparison, and creation for food and flavor giants via SaaS portal. With notable partners like Nestlé and Japan's Takasago, iSense emerges as a formidable FoodTech disruptor.

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Eaternity, an ETH spin-off launched in 2014, holds a vast database detailing the ecological footprint of 80,000 dishes and 100,000 products. This platform is a game-changer for restaurants, food producers, and consumers alike, emphasizing climate impact, water use, animal welfare, and rainforest preservation. Eaternity's insights are trusted by major players in the gastronomy industry including Compass Group, Dussmann Group, and Aleyna, as they aim to promote sustainable eating practices.

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Thought For Food (TFF) aims to modernize the food and agriculture sectors by fostering innovation. The "TFF Digital Labs" are a digital platform designed for the food and agricultural sectors. Providing access to interactive resources like open-source hardware, advanced tech, and mentoring, TFF bridges global talents. Today, with over 30,000 members from 180+ countries, TFF promotes collaborative breakthroughs in areas like regenerative agriculture and meatless protein development. Their approach emphasizes sustainable agriculture and innovative protein alternatives, embodying the future of food.

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Founded in 2018 in Zurich, Umami has reshaped agriculture through vertical farming. Harnessing technology, they produce crops independent of seasonal weather, drastically reducing food wastage and carbon footprint. Their city-based location shortens supply chains, providing fresh produce directly to urban consumers. By cultivating a self-sustaining ecosystem without artificial fertilizers, Umami showcases how tech can make farming more sustainable and efficient.

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Yamo, based in Zug, produces organic baby purees and oat drink yogurt without additives. Their reach spans seven countries, offering a combination of classic nourishment and contemporary distribution, with half of their sales conducted online. Yamo relies on trusted partners for raw material sourcing and shipping, while utilizing in-house expertise for product development, marketing, and e-commerce. This FoodTech company seamlessly combines natural ingredients with digital technology, paving the way for healthy baby nutrition.

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Contact us

Can we put you in touch with a peer company or research institute? Do you need any information regarding your strategic expansion to Switzerland's technology and business center?  
info@greaterzuricharea.com