What we eat and how we eat is what drives our happiness, comfort, and satisfaction. The power of food is remarkable, but sometimes we take it for granted without even knowing it. Did you know that there are 20 Micheline star restaurants in Barcelona alone? The food culture of Barcelona is full of rich flavors, unique palettes, and exquisite tastes. In fact, the longstanding connection the city has with food is so profound, it has its own Food & FoodTech Innovation Hub. Barcelona is home to many world-renowned chefs such as Jordi Cruz, the Roca Brothers (Jordi, Jose & Joan), and many more. Each one of these remarkable chefs has mastered how to express their creativity through the magic of food. Since the city is well-known for its great food cuisine, culture, and lifestyle, it is fitting that it also has a buzzing food-tech startup ecosystem where innovative companies can sprout and thrive.
In this article, you will dive into 10 unique Barcelona startups, innovating in food delivery, restaurant discovery, and plant-based food production, that have changed the game of how and what we eat.
Glovo was founded in 2015 by Oscar Pierre (cousin of Badi founder & CEO Carlos Pierre). The startup provides high-speed purchase & delivery of food, groceries, flowers, gift items, and virtually anything else you can imagine fitting in a square box the riders carry on their back. The online platform allows personalized pickup & drop-off requests in less than 60 minutes. It is accessible for both businesses and individuals and allows them to track their delivery on-demand. Their paramount success continues to be rewarded with large investments, racking up at $1.2B, from over 32 investors, making it one of the current four unicorns in Catalonia (the others being eDreams, Wallapop & Wallbox). More impressively, though, they have expanded their global operations at an astonishing rate to now almost 21 countries. Along the way, they’ve also made multiple acquisitions, most recently spending €170M on companies from Central and Eastern Europe. So if you’re ever in need of quick-time delivery of any given day-to-day items, Glovo has got your back!
Refruiting is an online service that provides high-speed delivery of fruits including; fresh fruit, fruit baskets, nuts, cereals, drinks, etc. Additionally, the platform offers customized breakfast options for mornings in the office which adds a unique touch to your delivery. You can expect a comfortable delivery experience filled with fresh fruit and tasty treats for all your co-workers and friends. It’s important to mention that Refruting received upwards of $445K in just one funding round.
Catevering has figured out how to master the delivery industry, but with a twist. Their online service, founded in 2018, is not only a delivery platform, but it is specifically for catering events. With a wide variety of catering services, you are able to compare, customize and reserve a personalized experience for your company breakfast, lunch meetings, team building workshops, and other special events. You can compare catering services throughout all of Spain and can expect a full-service delivery. Catevering has collected over €600K in investments and has obtained clients including Uber, Pepe Jeans, AirBnB, and Amazon among others.
Food & Restaurant Discovery
Wine is Social provides you with a customized review experience based on your preferences, profile, occasion, etc. After answering a questionnaire, given by the platform, you will be able to discover your preferred types of wine as well as a customized list of wines based on your taste preferences. This online platform was founded in 2012 and has had notable success after collecting $3M in funds from just 4 investors. So if you’re ever looking to expand your wine palette, Wine Is Social is the platform for you!
The mobile app-based platform, Mr. Noow founded in 2012, is a restaurant discovery service that allows you to search and browse restaurants, place orders and make payments online. The platform provides an organized selection of cuisines including; Asian, Japanese, Mediterranean, Mexican, and tapas bars, that you can choose from. So don’t stress picking your cuisine of choice, because Mr. Noow makes it easier to enjoy each meal. The future of food discovery truly starts Noow.
REIMAGINE FOOD is the first of its kind. Their focus is to rethink the world of food, cooking, agriculture, and the way we meet our food demands in the 21st century. With the collaboration of startups, top minds, major food/beverage/science companies, and investors REIMAGINE FOOD, founded in 2014, is transforming and impacting how we select, purchase and consume food. This multi-purpose platform brings together consumers and distributors in order to meet the demands of both sides of the market.
Plant-based Food Culture
Heura is a plant-based startup founded in April 2017. Heura was born to bring more options to the table for plant-based consumers. They work to accelerate the shift of a food system where animals are not part of the meat production equation. Heura is leading the way for other plant-based startups and has been recognized for its success. In April of 2021, Heura won a legal battle against the Spanish meat industry over the claim that ‘one hamburger pollutes more than your car’. Additionally, their success has allowed them to provide services in the rest of Spain and even some areas in the UK. They also received €16M in a Series A investment round led by Impact Fooding and also received financial backing from famous football players Saúl Ñíguez, Cesc Fábregas, Sergi Roberto, and Chris Smalling.
The world of plant-based food production continues to grow and NOVAMEAT is here to change the game. NOVAMEAT is a food-tech startup, founded in 2018, that strives to overcome the hurdles of today’s unsustainable and inefficient animal agriculture industry and create a healthier, more humane food system for your consumption habits. Recently, the Guardian named NOVAMEAT Steak 2.0 as the “most realistic plant-based steak” globally and included NOVAMEAT on the cover of its “Food in 2050” prediction article. So, if you’re ever looking to change your diet, make sure to try out NOVAMEAT.
Natural Machines is dedicated to inspiring you to live more sustainable lifestyles to protect our planet. Their goal is to produce a full range of innovative kitchen solutions with the intent to enhance both the quality and enjoyment of food. Their first released product was Foodini, a 3D food printing kitchen appliance that allows you to personalize food, eat healthier, improve kitchen efficiency, and lower food waste. Their services make it easier to be in full control of all your meals while also having a positive environmental impact. Natural Machines was acknowledged in the official FoodTech 500 list – billed as the Fortune 500 of FoodTech.
Ethics coffee Cold Brew is an infusion of cold water and finest coffee (100% Arabica), grown in the most efficient and sustainable way. They are committed to actively inspiring and encouraging you to take part in the revolution towards a sustainable future by democratizing ethical, natural, and transparent processes of making coffee. They have worked for over a year to offer a unique coffee experience that connects simplicity, aroma, flavor, health, and activation without leaving negative traces on your body, community, and the planet.
So now that you know more about the culture of Barcelona food-tech startups, it’s time to get cooking (or ordering)! With tons of excitement revolving around the food industry, demonstrated by the successful startups above – especially the heavy-weight Glovo and fast-growing Heura, there are abundant possibilities about how to change your diet, eating habits, and preferred ways of consumption.
This is by no means an exhaustive list as the industry is only going to improve from here with your help. So if you think we missed anyone, just let us know here.