Traditionally strong in the food, agriculture, and nutrition sectors, Switzerland, aims to drive food tech innovation by leveraging its world-class research institutes, solid technological know-how, highly qualified workforce, change-minded consumers, and leading players across the ecosystem.
Relying on its prolific agricultural tradition, the country now looks set to become one of the leaders in worldwide efforts to develop new solutions, tools, products, and services that support sustainable, more resilient food systems. A recent Accenture report published in 2021 identified four major trends driving food tech innovation in the country:
- Precision farming
- Sustainable protein
- Recycling & Upcycling
- Transparency & Traceability
The country is home to many international companies in the food and nutrition space, such as Nestlé, General Mills, Chiquita, Givaudan, Tetra Laval, and DSM-Firmenich. It also hosts 26 corporate R&D centers dedicated to food technologies, including 10 from Nestlé alone. The country is a hotbed of research and innovation, as is reflected by its consistent top performance in the Global Innovation Index. In 2021, Swiss companies once again filed the most patent applications per million inhabitants (969), with food tech as the 2nd most patented domain after pharma. Switzerland is also among the highest spenders on R&D in relation to its GDP.
The Accenture report notes that, although witnessing strong growth in recent years, the Food Tech segment of the Swiss startup ecosystem represents a thin margin of the total startup investments in 2020.
With more than 300 players already identified in the food and agriculture ecosystem, Switzerland is still a relatively hidden, but highly competitive, food tech hub, providing great opportunities for growth in the market. “As people have focused more heavily on their gut health over the past couple of years, we have seen an increase in interest from international customers and started to examine potential new locations abroad. Switzerland, a known hub for both food and biotechnology, emerged as the perfect place to launch our international expansion.” Sunny Jain, CEO & Founder, Floré by Sun Genomics.
Global Food Tech community, Food Hack, based in Switzerland recently published an article mapping out the food tech ecosystem in Switzerland represented by companies such as Yasai, Flavor Wiki, Caulys, Planted and others…
If you are interested in Switzerland’s agrifood ecosystem, the Greater Geneva Bern area (GGBa) is the official investment promotion agency for Western Switzerland. The agency advises and assists foreign companies active in innovative sectors in setting up business operations in the region. The GGBa’s support is tailor-made, free of charge and confidential.
Mark White, Director USA
Image provied by the Greater Geneva Bern area.
You must log in to post a comment.