Tackling waste, one snack at a time
Food waste continues to be a significant issue worldwide, and it is not only the consumer’s fault. Around 2.2 million tons of valuable food is thrown away during the industrial processing, that is – even before reaching the consumer. Lisa, Sandra and Pascal (from left to right) are on a mission to change this with their startup “Zero Bullshit”.
EIT Food startup success story: Zero Bullshit Company
The idea for a sustainable food product came in 2018 during the EIT Foodio Food Solution Master Class with students from universities in Helsinki, Madrid, Hohenheim and Tel Aviv. The problem is that one-third of the world’s food is wasted in production, but it is still rich in proteins, fibres and minerals. Lisa, Sandra and Pascal were developing two solutions in entirely different teams. In the end, Sandra’s team won the innovation prize with their crunch topping made from leftovers of protein-rich dairy products. In 2020 Lisa and Pascal also participated in the EIT Food SeedBed Programme with their initial idea for a sustainable dip made from food production’s waste.
“The kick-off in Helsinki was a really special experience, where participants from all over Europe were involved in exchanging ideas and insight. We got valuable feedback from mentors about the brand design and pitching and managed to build a network of contacts.”, explains Sandra, co-founder of Zero Bullshit.
Because their product ideas complemented each other, Lisa, Sandra and Pascal decided to join forces into building a startup together. They founded “Zero Bullshit Company” at the beginning of this year, and the team started developing the “Retter Kräcker” (rescue crisps). More than 50% of this product comes from food production waste that could otherwise end up in landfills, making this tasty snack great for the consumer, as well as for the environment.
“We wanted to have a name that stands out. Our product is sustainable, nutritious and healthy, hence it contains zero bullshit.”, says Sandra.
With the boost from EIT Food, they believed that the product could be commercialised. In September, the team participated in the Food Startup Campus, where they pitched their idea during a virtual market place and they went on to win the first prize: a test listing for REWE Süd, one of the biggest supermarket chains in Germany.
“Now, the Retter Kräcker is set to appear on the shelves in 2021, and we could not be more thrilled. There comes a point where you have to take a risk and share your idea on a bigger scale. But if you love and truly believe in what you do, you can overcome any obstacle.”