FoodTech 500 Ranking 2022: Between Growth & Contraction

FoodTech 500 Forward Fooding

The FoodTech 500 2022 is officially out! In an event held online and in person from Barcelona, Forward Fooding published its long-awaited FoodTech 500 list. The FoodTech 500 annual list highlights the most innovative and impactful businesses at the intersection of food, technology, and sustainability, from farm to fork. The competition’s mission is to recognize and shine a spotlight on global innovators that are creating solutions to improve the global food system. The fourth edition of the FoodTech 500 in 2022 introduced the $100 Million Club and included 23 companies that had raised over $100 million in funding. The 2022 FoodTech 500 finalists collectively raised 10.7 billion euros in funding over time, had 75% revenue-generating companies, 100% of companies received external investments, and included seven publicly traded companies and eight companies valued over a billion dollars.

Some Insights

However, the global AgriFoodTech investment experienced a decline in 2022, with €30 billion invested, half compared to the previous year. The drop was attributed to various factors, including the pandemic-induced inflation that impacted the food delivery sector, leading to a market correction. The cooling of the food delivery sector also affected the valuations of startups, disincentivizing IPOs and SPACs as exit strategies. This led to a decrease in unicorn valuations, with only nine companies reaching unicorn status in 2022, compared to 35 in the previous year. In addition, companies like Instacart and Impossible Foods that had planned to go public also backed out.

Investors became doubtful of the opportunities offered by the plant-based protein sector in 2022, with sales slowing down due to inflation and consumers being less inclined to pay a premium. As a result, Beyond Meat’s stock fell by more than 83%, and Oatly’s stock dropped by 73%. However, major food companies such as Kellogg’s continue to invest significantly in plant-based foods. The plant-based sector is going through the ‘disillusion phase’ of the Gartner Hype Cycle, and the category has yet to be consolidated. Instead, investors are focusing on enabling processing and ingredients technologies to produce scalable and better alternative protein products, looking at fermentation and cellular agriculture technologies to create ‘hybrid’ products instead of pure plant-based ones.

In 2022, fermentation and cellular agriculture technologies raised €621.3M and €817.4M, respectively, and the trend is expected to continue. The FoodTech 500 has played a crucial role in identifying and recognizing innovative businesses creating impactful solutions to better the global food system. These businesses will continue to drive innovation in the AgriFoodTech ecosystem, from farm to fork and create a sustainable food system.

Who Do We Find In This Year’s FoodTech 500?

The data reveals that the top 10 companies have impressive impact metrics, including 4 billion euros raised in investments, over 3,200 jobs created to date, more than 300 patents filed to date, and serving over 48 markets. This information provides insight into these companies’ successes and contributions to various industries. Here are the top 10 companies in this year’s edition:

  1. Bowery Farming
  2. ÿnsect
  3. Plenty
  5. ProducePay
  6. Nature’s Fynd
  7. Protix
  8. Just
  9. Choco
  10. Heura

The FoodTech 500 ranking features a diverse range of companies, including 80 Acres Farms at number 11, Naio Technologies at number 12, and Square Roots at number 15. Other companies in the ranking include AGRIVI at number 17, Upward Farms at number 20, and Local Bounti at number 26. The list also includes IUNU at number 30, Breedr at number 42, Phytech at number 44, Vertical Future at number 47, and Farmbot at number 51. Companies further down the ranking include AgBiome at number 54, TiNDLE at number 56, Ljusgarda at number 62, Babylon Micro-Farms at number 112, Vertical Harvest at number 113, Urban Crop Solutions at number 118, Back of the Yards Algae Sciences at number 198, CleanGreens Solutions at number 277, and Ecobloom at number 377.

Discover the complete list on Forward Fooding’s website here.


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