All Food Startups are not Food Technology Startups
Food technology is one branch which streamlines processes for producing food. Food technology and science are used since ages. In India, we use food technology for some of the most basic recipes of Indian cuisine: pickle is an outcome of food preservation. Drying fresh herbs, grains, fruits et al, is one of the methods devised by food technology.
My two cents on food technology: Applying food science for preservation, processing, developing, distributing, and packaging safe food for mass consumption. Startups like Paper Boat (Hector Beverages), Chef’s Basket (Fizzy food labs), Yoga Bars, RAW Pressery et al are food technology startups, because they employ food science and technology to build a product by using advanced processes to produce, preserve & pack food.
Conversely, a “normal” food startup prepares food in a conventional way and delivers it. For these processes, technology may be used for order management, delivery tracking, and optimization. However, the crux is that the food is still prepared in a traditional way that is without using any actual food technology processes.
Though fledgling food startups are industriously trying to revolutionize packaging, I gather that only some of the established or novice food startups are working to reduce carbon footprints or wholly embrace food technology. Not overstating, but as novice startups, we need to contemplate about food technology we are using for serving quality food: are we employing quality checks to prevent physical or chemical hazards. I am not promoting the usage of additives or anything artificial, but we cannot overlook the fundamentals of food technology, can we?
In laymen terms, a food tech startup is any startup which delivers food using IT as a platform or enabler. But, my concern is that we are misunderstanding the concepts of food technology startups and food tech startups, by giving a wrong message to the ecosystem. It’s just that food tech is not the right nomenclature to address food startups which are simply using information technology and have nothing much to do with food technology. If this continues, then food technology companies who are there in the market and the potential companies will not get their share of visibility. A company which dedicatedly invests in research, development and launches a new age product: food or nutrition, have you ever thought that what would it be called?
To put the first step forward, as a co-founder of Eatongo, I think I would like to term Eatongo as an online QSR or a food e-commerce/restaurant, we are trying, but we haven’t fully adopted food technology for shaping our products: maybe this will reduce all the “glamour” but I always like to keep things real for the sake of our customers.
P.S: These are author’s personal views.
Author credit: Udit Saran (Co-Founder of Eatongo.in)