The Canada-based startup recently received a $1m investment, which will be put towards expanding the Beyond Foods’ engineering and sales teams as well as develop new partnerships with key organizations, universities, and retailers.
The funding round was led by a number of investors including professional hockey players of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnepeg Jets as well as cable communications executive Stu Rath and environmental technology inventor Jamie Bagnell.
“I’ve been involved with Beyond Food since its inception; the company is breaking new ground in sustainable food technology,” said Rath.
Addressing food waste at the retailer level
Beyond Food was founded in 2017 by angel investor Brian Lowe, former NHL player TJ Glaiardi as CMO, and scientist Dr Darren Burke as CEO who were frustrated by the amount of waste produced by the food industry in North America (in Canada the amount of food that goes to wastes adds up to $31bn annually).
The startup launched with a small friends and family funding raise to kickstart the business.
“Our work on creating a clean food upcycling technology was very important for Darren and I. We have backgrounds in science and athletics and are both passionate about the environment, health and fitness,” Galiardi said.
After two years of research, Galiardi and Dr Burke, identified that one of the biggest culprits of food waste in the food production and distribution is at the retailer level where roughly 10% of food waste stems from.
“We discovered that grocers were writing off hundreds of thousands of dollars of produce each week,” Dr Burke said.
Their solution? Beyond Food intercepts ‘late in life’ produce approaching its expiration date and about to enter a landfill.
The company converts the organic material at scale into a nutritious powders using the company’s patent-pending Zero Waste Pod -- a modular facility about the size of a shipping container that can process aging produce into fine-milled whole plant powders “packed with nutrients with a long shelf life,” the company said.
Also referred to as its ‘Nutrient Upcycle Pod’, the movable unit is built to handle all produce processing in the most energy efficient manner, completely capturing all CO2 byproduct from machinery output, the company claims.
In an email, Dr Burke told FoodNavigator-USA: "Generally speaking, our Zero Waste Pod is a custom-equipped container that is easily transportable and set up at a grocer’s warehouse to convert fresh, near the end of life produce into a powder."
“We are building a revolutionary technology and company. Our Zero Waste Pod is a first in this race to tackle the large challenges related to the excessive food waste occurring in North America and beyond,” said Dr Burke.
This month, Beyond Food will begin production of its Zero Waste Pods and by April 2019, aims to establish partnerships with national grocers who can directly unload its near-expiration date fruits and vegetables with the startup.
The powder produced by the Beyond Food’s Zero Waste Pods will target the food ingredients and sports nutrition sectors.
In 2018 Beyond Food Inc. entered its first target market with the launch of NSF Certified sports nutrition brand, TDF Sports, which features the powders produced by its pod units.
The product line includes vanilla and chocolate flavored protein powders, vegan multi-vitamins, and other supplements designed for performance and health. It is currently sold to numerous professional teams in all major sports and in retail locations across Canada and the US.
Beyond Food also works as an ingredient supplier to a number of other sports nutrition brands.
The company will continue to expand into new categories that can use its powders as a nutritious, shelf-stable food ingredient.
“This has the potential and scalability to transform food waste and the planet,” added Galiardi.