Affordable Nutrition Scale-Up Challenge
EIT Food and Blendhub have joined together to support this initiative to make nutritious food more accessible and affordable in Europe. The Affordable Nutrition Scale-Up Challenge invites start-ups and scale-ups to submit their solutions that support these focus areas.
Help ensure more people have access to nutritious food in a sustainable way. Up to 10 winners will each receive services from EIT Food and Blendhub worth €25,000 to help scale and launch their powder-based product. Opportunity for further funding of up to €250,000 each may be allocated.
In strategic partnership with
When thinking about the world’s food problems, hunger, malnutrition, food waste, food insecurity, sustainability, affordability, etc., are some of the topics that come to mind. When presented with these challenges, our immediate response begins with Food Innovation. Innovating all along the food supply chain –finding new raw material sources, developing alternative nutritious solutions, and achieving more sustainable and cost-effective processes- is not an easy task. New food companies encounter barriers such as market segmentation, high development costs, lack of data to ensure success and efficient supply chains, and achieving mass-market food quality. Both the consumer and manufacturer have several factors to consider when producing and buying a food product. These factors include nutrition profile, price, dietary preferences, raw material origin, mouthfeel, texture, taste, and others. To achieve this, food companies may compromise on the quality of the product in order to save costs or rely on existing solutions that as of today we know are not sustainable in the long term nor achieve the nutritional needs they claim to achieve.
Blendhub’s expertise in powder-based food products, together with EIT’s demonstrated experience and international network, can help food companies surpass these innovation barriers and speed up the time it takes to ideate, test and launch a new product onto the market. etc, delivering more nutritious, healthier, and affordable food products to consumers.
The goal of this challenge is to ensure that more people have access to sustainable and nutritious food.
What We Look For
EIT Food and Blendhub are looking for any commercial entities such as, but not limited to, start-ups and scale-ups that have ingredients or formulas that support the promotion of healthy and sustainable diets in the EU.
Proposals are expected to demonstrate a maturity level consistent with a go to market within a reasonable amount of time not exceeding 2 years, roughly implicating a Technical Readiness Level of 6 and up.
The proposed product must be able to be formulated from powder.
The proposals can be based on either a full recipe already on the market or an innovative novel ingredient with FSA approval for use in food.
Proposed solutions can be either of the following:
- A new powder-based recipe or a significant improvement to an existing recipe with improved nutritional value, texture, flavor, mouthfeel or cost.
- An innovative (potentially underutilized) powder-based ingredient to be utilized in a final product recipe or formula.
- An improved powder-based recipe that allows for targeting new markets.
With the above in mind, we welcome proposals that address one or more of the following tracks:
Track 1: Beverage Products
We are seeking sustainable and healthy beverage products. We have seen that through these food solutions, consumers can improve many health factors such as immunity, healthy gut and digestion, weight loss management and even preventing cardiovascular and other non-communicable diseases.
Beverage solutions could include: nutritious drinks, instant shakers, both for meal replacement and/or diet fortification; sports nutrition solutions, dietary supplements, alternative protein sources, drinks from sustainable ingredients and/or local raw materials. All of these taking into account that they should start from a food powder recipe.
Track 2: Dairy Products and Dairy Alternatives
How can we lessen the environmental impact of dairy products while ensuring proper nutrition and keeping local mouthfeel and taste preferences?
We are looking for novel techniques and solutions to improve and/or substitute dairy products. These can be solutions that: promote healthy gut (probiotics, postbiotics, prebiotics), come from new protein sources, dairy substitutes with equivalent proteins and nutrition profiles, improve the methods to maintain flavour and texture, find new ways to lessen allergen impact, etc. These products could be any kind of dairy or plant-based drink, yogurt, cheese, shakes, and other traditional dairy foods.
Track 3: Bakery
Bakery products are a big part of our diet. Help us tackle the problems related to health and sustainability around this large food category. Can we reverse the rise of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus? Can we find more sustainable transport and raw material processing for bakery solutions?
These solutions could include removing gluten and other allergens, keeping raw materials local, reducing sugar content while keeping texture and taste, developing innovative solutions for fat reduced bakery, formulate new recipes to avoid CO2 footprint of ingredients’ transport, finding high dietary fiber content and whole grains with new superfoods, etc.
EIT Food’s mission is to transform how food is produced, distributed, and consumed to increase its value to European society. EIT Food accelerates innovation to build a future-fit food system that produces healthy and sustainable food for all by solving the biggest innovation challenges through trusted industry, education and research partners. We create connections right across the food system that stimulate new ideas and innovations to drive change: between startups and corporates; between food entrepreneurs and investors; between consumers and industry; between research and action; between ideas and reality; between present and future.
Blendhub aims to create more efficient and transparent supply chains by deploying a global network of multi-localized Food-as-a-Service hubs closer to raw materials and final consumers with the purpose of feeding all people in all places sustainably. Blendhub’s Food-as-a-service model helps people and companies from idea to launch of healthy and affordable food products, adapted to local preferences and pricing anywhere in the world, and doing it faster, safer, and cheaper than ever before. Check out these videos for a more in-depth look at Blendhub’s idea-to-market process: Blendhub: From idea to market
Why we are working together
We believe powder-based food products hold great promise in contributing to solving key food system challenges related to logistics and scaling, quality assurance, personalization and malnutrition. By collaborating with Blendhub, we can accelerate time to market and facilitate global scaling of innovations that contribute to the EIT Food missions.
Most promising submitted initiatives will be selected by a jury committee on pre-defined criteria (see below). Applications can take place from April 12th to June 15th 2023. An award ceremony and presentation event will take place (date TBD) with the announcement of the winning initiatives.
Up to ten winners will each receive an award package including services worth €25,000. These services delivered by Blendhub will be used to develop each Winner’s solution, opening the possibility for further funding by EIT Food.
- The award package will be used with Blendhub to activate its approach with each winner
- These services will be used with Blendhub in Phase 1 - please see below a description of the services
- Opportunity for further funding of up to €250,000 may be allocated in Phase 2 (see below)
After the viability development phase (Phase 1), EIT Food will evaluate the projects and business plans of the winners in light of further funding in an optional Phase 2.
EIT Food will allocate, as per EIT Food’s rules to do so, funding to sustain the development and scale-up of the business plan to go to market. Although EIT Food will not cap the number of winners to be funded, EIT Food reserves the right to select or not, and to fund or not, any projects.
We are looking for start-ups and scale-ups that have ingredients or formulas that support the promotion of healthy and sustainable diets in the EU.
Proposals are expected to demonstrate a maturity level consistent with a go to market within a reasonable amount of time not exceeding 2 years, thus a TRL level indicative of 6 and up.
The proposed product must be able to be formulated from powder.
The proposals can be based on either a full recipe already on the market or an innovative novel ingredient.
Submissions should include the following:
- Description of the proposed solution
- Team members biographies
- TRL level
- Letter of Intent from a commercial company or anything showing a strong interest in your initiative by a commercial company (if this is not your own company)
- High-level analysis of the market(s) you intend to address
- High-level sales strategy
The most promising submitted initiatives will be selected by a jury committee on pre-defined criteria as follows:
Additional judges from EIT Food to be confirmed.
Please note that your Application must only include non-confidential information. You will have to agree to this before submitting your final response.
How to Submit
Submit your application between April 12, 2023 and June 15, 2023 at 11:59pm CET (1 minute before midnight).
You will have to create an account before filling out the form and answering to the questions requested. You will be able to save a draft version before completing and validating your submission. Once ready to submit, you will be asked to agree with the Rules & Regulations governing the Affordable Nutrition Scale-Up Challenge. The Rules & Regulations document can be found below for your review.
Presentation of Winning Initiatives and Award Ceremony
Winners are required to make a 2 min max video to be presented at the awards ceremony - date to be confirmed.
Rules & Regulations
The Challenge is governed by Rules & Regulations, which you must agree with if you intend to submit. Please visit and download the Rules & Regulations for more information.