Four European FoodTech Startups Offering Alternative Protein Sources for Eco-Friendly Dining

16 Mar 2023

Four European FoodTech startups are leading the way by introducing a diverse range of alternative protein sources to the market. With the negative impact of traditional meat and dairy production on the environment, many food companies are now turning toward alternative protein sources. This has given rise to the FoodTech industry in Europe, which is now driving the movement toward a sustainable food future.

In alignment with this, from plant-based proteins to lab-grown meat, these startups are providing consumers with a variety of options that are both sustainable and healthy. By doing so, they are making it easier for individuals to make the transition away from traditional meat and dairy products.

Here’s the Complete Story

There has been a significant shift in the food service industry toward adopting alternative protein sources as a core component of their menus. Many restaurants have already begun offering plant-based burgers, such as McDonald’s, but this is just the beginning.

In an interview, Martin Davalos, a partner at the Czech investment firm McWin, discussed the potential impact of new technologies on the food industry. 

According to Davalos, “the introduction of these technologies, particularly in the area of alternative protein, has the potential to fix the broken food system and address rising inflation and food and energy prices across Europe.” 

The introduction of these alternative protein sources is beneficial not only for the environment but also for animal welfare. With the production of meat and dairy products being one of the leading causes of greenhouse gas emissions, it is essential that we find alternative solutions that are sustainable and ethical. The FoodTech industry is now providing these solutions and making it easier for consumers to make conscious food choices. 

Furthermore, these alternative protein sources are not only better for the environment and animal welfare but also for human health. Plant-based proteins are often rich in nutrients and can provide individuals with all the necessary proteins and vitamins for a healthy diet. Similarly, lab-grown meat is produced in a controlled environment, which eliminates the risk of bacterial contamination, making it a safer option than traditional meat. 

Here's the List of Startups

Companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods have significantly impacted the market with their plant-based meat alternatives. These products are now widely available in grocery stores and restaurants across the continent and have been embraced by a growing number of consumers.

Following the same trend, Europe is also showing keen interest in alternative protein edibles, including several startups, such as 


Arkeon, an Austrian startup, claims to have a unique selling point for its alternative protein source, which is not just carbon-neutral but carbon-negative. Its process involves converting captured carbon dioxide into amino acids, which are the chemical building blocks of proteins. Arkeon can produce all 20 proteinogenic amino acids in a single continuous fermentation process, making it a groundbreaking innovation in the alternative protein industry. The company can also link these amino acids into peptides, which can be used in meat substitutes and other food products.

According to the BIS Research report, the global fermented plant-based alternatives market is expected to reach $422.26 million by 2026, with a CAGR of 5.0% from 2021 to 2026. 

Arkeon's decarbonizing fermentation process is based on the use of an ancient microbe called archaea. The founders, who are microbiologists, were inspired by the discovery that archaea could be used to create amino acids, which led to the creation of the company in 2009. Arkeon's pioneering technique has attracted the attention of AgTech and FoodTech accelerator ICL Planet Startup Hub, which recently invested about $3 million (2.75 million euros) in the company to help it scale production and explore new opportunities. 


Similar to Arkeon, Yeasty, a Paris-based startup, is also pursuing a two-fold objective with its sustainable protein source. The company utilizes waste yeast from the beer industry and converts it into a high-protein ingredient for use in meat substitutes, sports nutrition, and pet food. This approach promotes a more sustainable food system and assists brewers in disposing of waste products.

Yeasty recently announced a successful fundraising round, raising $1.48 billion to expand its manufacturing process and collaborate with food manufacturers to test recipes. Yeasty aims to construct an industrial site with an annual production capacity of 5,000 tons by 2025 as part of its future plans.


Recently, there has been significant attention on cultured meat as an alternative protein source, where real animal cells are cultivated for food without the need for actual animals. One recent development in this field was the creation of the world's first cultivated meat prototype using microalgae by Czech startup Mewery, which could be a breakthrough in developing the cellular agriculture techniques required to make cultured meat commercially viable.

According to the company's press release, using microalgae in the cultivation process eliminates the need for animal-derived fetal bovine serum, reducing costs while enriching the final product with additional nutrients. Mewery's founder and CEO, Roman Laus, stated that the company is working on developing its own biobank to ensure a consistent and abundant source of pig cells, which will bring them closer to large-scale production.

Hello Plant Foods

Hello Plant Foods, a startup based in Madrid, is gaining popularity for its plant-based substitute for foie gras called Fuah. The recipe includes mostly water, cashew nuts, lentil flour, and coconut oil. Despite its simple ingredients, it has become a favorite among consumers and has sold out across Spain, with 35,000 units sold by the end of the year - 30,000 more than what the company had initially planned to deliver to grocery stores for the 2022 holiday season. 

The success of Fuah is proof that innovative alternative protein solutions can be developed not only in labs but also in kitchens. By combining the right flavors and simple ingredients, FoodTech companies like Hello Plant Foods can meet the demand for locally sourced products.


The alternative protein industry is rapidly growing and becoming a key player in the food system. As more consumers become aware of the environmental and ethical concerns surrounding animal agriculture, the demand for alternative protein sources is only expected to increase. With continued innovation and investment in this space, we can hope for a more sustainable and equitable food system in the future.

Interested to know more about the developing technologies in your industry vertical? Get the latest market studies and insights from BIS Research. Connect with us at [email protected] to learn and understand more. 


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