Food startups in the "new normal"

Challenges and opportunities for food startups in the "new normal"
June 2020
Food startups in the "new normal"

A few weeks ago, we held our Food Startups webinar where we spoke with three very relevant entrepreneurs in the current food startup ecosystem who are currently navigating the post-Covid landscape. We were fortunate to speak with Luke Saldanha, co-founder of Pink Albatross; Carlos Melara, CEO of Nooddle; and Ruben Hidalgo, the director of CAPSA Vida. Lantern thanks them for the their insights on facing the challenges of this totally new paradigm and finding opportunities in this rapidly changing ecosystem.

Challenges in the "new normal"

-Safe environments: office, foodservice, retail, public spaces
-Cautious consumer: established brands; growing private label; price sensitivity
-Cautious retailer: less willingness to explore new products
-Simplification in foodservice: focus on profitable operations and reducing complexity (simplification of menus and elimination of slow-moving products)
-Innovation difficulties: How do we innovate in a subdued retail and foodservice sector?
-Potential disruption in the supply chain
-Lack of access to funding can rapidly kill a startup
-Internationalization: will the world become more closed or open up again?

Opportunities in the "new normal"

-Boom in comfort foods: beer, pizza, ice cream, etc.
-Faster adoption of new habits and tools: more time at home requires better organization (maybe finally making that shopping list?)
-Cooking and nutrition: working from home and major considerations around health
-Ultra-transparency around procurement, processing, etc.
-Food for immunity: food with ingredients that boost our immune system
-Online/offline models for retail, foodservice and brands opening up a possibility for a direct relationship with the consumer
-Rural development: resilience in the face of climate worries, profitability outside of economies of scale, multi-use land, science + nature, etc.

Do you want to read the "Food and Beverage Startup Atlas"?

If this appetizer made you hungry, satisfy your appetite for knowledge about food startups. Send us an email at and we will let you know how you can purchase the "Food and Beverage Startup Atlas" (available in Spanish).

Food startups in the "new normal"Jaime Martín
Founding partner & CEO