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Written by MicroStartups
The Asia Pacific is renowned for its delightful cuisines and burgeoning technology sector, so it’s probably no surprise the region is home to numerous FoodTech startups. These are some of the region’s most promising startups that could disrupt FoodTech and drive innovation in 2019.
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Clubvivre is a Singapore-based food delivery service offering an on-demand chef service for discerning foodies. Whether it’s a Lunar New Year celebration or an office Christmas party, Singaporeans can choose from the 50-plus chefs currently available on the platform.
Customers can order Western, Japanese, fusion, and other cuisines by selecting the chef’s profile and viewing the menu. The chef will arrive at your premises at the agreed time to prepare your chosen dishes.
While consumer-focused on-demand food delivery systems seem to attract considerable media attention, for-business platforms are helping to drive innovation in the FoodTech sector.
Australian startup FoodStorm is an all-in-one platform designed specifically for the catering industry. Offering an extensive range of features, FoodStorm’s system includes CRM, online ordering, order tracking, marketing, payments and invoicing, and reporting functions in the single platform.
With customer self-service features and real-time sales and order visibility, the system enables a streamlined process from order to delivery for both customers and catering businesses.
Malaysia-based snack-delivery startup Signature Snack lets you satiate your snack cravings with healthier solutions. Offering a monthly subscription service for users, Signature Snack gives subscribers over 50 different healthful snack options to choose from, with new snacks introduced each month.
Examples include dried fruits, nuts and seeds, granola, wholesome cookies, and energy booster trail mix. Ingredients are all natural and free of preservatives. Signature Snack also offers corporate snack solutions for workplaces.
Indonesia-founded startup MakanLuar is the leading online reservations platform for restaurants in the country. Features include e-menus, photos of the restaurant, current promotions, and, of course, 24/7 online bookings.
MakanLuar also offers a rewards system with free meals for loyalty customers. Founded in 2013, MakanLuar includes reviews and recommendations from other users. MakanLuar was acquired by Singapore-based online reservations startup Chope in 2016.
The farm isn’t the most obvious place to look when it comes to FoodTech startups, yet it’s where crops begin their lives. OneCrop is an up-and-coming Aussie startup manufacturing pre-emergent degradable agricultural films.
These films are designed to increase crop yields while reducing plastic waste in agriculture. The cost-effective film helps farmers save water (a minimum of 12%), enhances plant vigor and resilience, and boosts yields. It’s also been proven to help preserve soil moisture, increase soil temperature, and drive early germination with minimal impact on the environment.
The film is designed to work in a wide variety of climates and soils around the world. Awarded the first prize at the 2018 Future Foods Asia Awards, OneCrop has been recognized for its work in bringing sustainability, reducing waste, and enhancing efficiency to the farming process.
The supply chain ensures businesses have access to ingredients, but how do we ensure they stay fresh? South Korean startup PureSpace helps produce to stay fresh, extends its shelf life, and minimizes post-harvest losses.
PureSpace’s device uses nanotechnology-based photocatalytic coatings to completely decompose ethylene gas and airborne bacteria effectively and safely. The device is completely portable, allowing the solution to be applied at any stage along the supply chain.
Beijing-headquartered fresh produce e-commerce platform Meicai reached unicorn status in 2018, despite being founded just four years ago. Valued at $7 billion, Meicai helps small and medium-sized restaurants in China locate and purchase fresh produce from farmers across the countries.
Founded by a former rocket scientist, Meicai serves close to 100 Chinese cities. Restaurant owners can use the Meicai app not only to locate produce but order it directly from the farms. In this way, Meicai is already a major player in the FoodTech industry, disrupting the traditional wholesaler or middleman role between farmers and restaurants.
Israeli startup DouxMatok is leading the way in targeted delivery of flavor ingredients, which is focused on assisting manufacturers to achieve great flavor profiles while using less of ingredients like sugar and salt.
Designed for both food and beverages, DouxMatok’s technology relies on mineral carriers that stay longer on human taste receptors and give the impression of more salt or sugar. While the taste profile is a goal, the company is also motivated by priorities like improved health profiles, economic feasibility, and sustainable green chemistry.
The Asia-Pacific appears to be home to a long list of promising, disruptive FoodTech startups. From innovative catering platforms to solutions for sustainable farming and enhancing taste profiles, 2019 looks to be an exciting one for the region’s rapidly growing FoodTech sector. Take note of these great examples because even if you’re not in the FoodTech industry, these eight businesses will surely have some lessons that will help you to expand your startup.
Author bio: Luke Fitzpatrick is a Forbes contributor and an academic speaker at Sydney University. In his past, he has worked for startups in both South Korea and Australia.