© Frischepost

Fresh, Healthy, and Sustainably: Local Food from Innovative Startups

Apples from Altes Land, and milk from cows from the fVier- und Marschlande: regional products are in fashion and a breeding ground for creative startups

A look at the Hamburg StartupMonitor: // reveals: there is no shortage of creative minds in regard to novel food concepts. Many of these start-ups have a sustainable, and to be more concrete, regional or local character. Such a startup is “hand-to-hand”: http: //, founded in 2009 by Frank Doose and Saskia Ludwig.

Graduate economists, they were looking for a sensible business idea and started with the distribution of apple spritzers, produced with apples from fruit orchards of Altes Land. Meanwhile, “hand-to-hand” also offers rhubarb and blackcurrant spritzers. Per litre sold, ten cents flow into charitable projects. Available in glass bottles and PET boxes for a retail price of 1.19 euro for 500 ml, the spritzers are sold by Edeka, the Budnikowsky drugstore, and organic food shops Hamburg and Schleswig-Holstein. Even on the island of Sylt and in Germany’s capital Berlin, you will find hand-to-hand spritzers now on the shelves.

Fitness Drinks from the Region

From the region is also the claim of the founders of “KaleandMe”: http: // The Hamburg-based startup has been selling sells cold-pressed fruit juices in six different variations in its own online shop since May 2015. Annemarie Heyl and her colleagues are giving their healthy fitness drinks appetizing names like “Rosy Roots” or “Catie Carrot” to market them. “The idea was born during a holiday in Cape Town. There, cold-pressed juices are a true hype”, says the co-founder of the company. As far as possible, all ingredients are from the region.

Production takes place in a factory on the Lüneburg Heath. Unlike hand-to-hand, KaleandMe relies on a strong online presence with a virtual shop and takeaway. Beautiful snapshots with the healthy juices are showcased on the company’s “Instagram Channel”: https: // And business is good: In the meantime, the three founders are so busy that they both quit their jobs as consultants.
A Clear Reference to the Product

Such a meteoric star, however, is not enjoyed by every startup. Even though the development of sustainable food product sounds romantic, it is associated with quite a few obstacles and hurdles in reality. In an “Interview with Hamburg Startups”: http: //, Daniel Plotz, co-Founder of energy drinks 1337mate, calls raising capital as biggest challenge. “Food, crafts, etc. are not yet regarded as sexy by investors”. Tech startups have it much easier to attract the attention von investors. This is due to the hype surrounding successful apps and platforms, and, on the other hand, on the scalability.”

This general attitude is not quite understandable for Plötz:” None of the food startups, which I know, has is considered “organic” or “vegan” just to make quick money. It’s their philosophy and mission.” Even though Plötz did not want to insinuate that software startups do not stand behind their product, he still has the impression that tech startup correspond more quickly to a hype and try to see how fast they can exploit a trend to earn as much as possible in a short period of time.

Local Producers Online

Whether intended or not, food startups with a regional focus are the trend. Their clientele is already seen as a newe type of consumer. “In their purchase decision, the LOHAS, short for Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, put special emphasis on health aspects and sustainability”, explains Prof. Dr. Harald Heinrichs, Professor of Sustainability and Policy at the University of Lüneburg. Originally from the US, the term has become popular in Germany in the mid-2000s.

The food trend has also been picked up by Juliane Eichblatt and Eva Neugebauer, founders of Frischepost. Unlike their counterparts from KaleandMe or hand-to-hand, the entrepreneurs did not develop a product of their own, but sell existing produce through their platform. At their online supermarket “Frischepost”: https: //, customers can buy products from manufacturers in and around Hamburg.

The choice is wide: In addition to fruits and vegetables, the online store provides dairy products, eggs, baked goods and meat, as well as processed products, such as juices, soft drinks, dressings and soups. For transparency, a mission statement by each individual producers is portrayed on the site. All food deliveries are fully sustainably, with all produce distributed by electric bicycles.

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