Start-up Spotlight: New Zealand's AF Drinks, Singapore's Shandi, Australia's Geezy Go and more feature in our round-up
‘Bigger than kombucha’: New Zealand’s AF Drinks eyes Asia with alcohol-free RTD spirits
New Zealand alcohol-free ready-to-drink (RTD) spirits firm AF Drinks has its eye on the Asian market after securing significant domestic retail success within a year of launch.
AF Drinks launched its first drinks, a range of gin and tonics, into the New Zealand market in December 2020, and holds the proud distinction of being the first non-alcoholic RTD spirits brand to be listed in local supermarkets.
“We’re now in some 350 stores nationwide, mainly supermarkets, including Countdown, New World, Pak’nSave and so on, and Air New Zealand also serves our spirits on their flights,” AF Drinks Founder Lisa King told FoodNavigator-Asia.
Seeding innovation: Shandi Global sets up plant-based manufacturing facility in Singapore, closes funding round
Plant-based meat start-up Shandi Global has secured US$750,000 in a seed funding round to help commercialise its plant protein offerings.
The Singapore-based B2B firm has developed a plant-based chicken protein using a unique combination of high moisture meat analogous (HMMA) extrusion method and amino acids to create products that are tender and flavoursome.
Typically, most plant-based products are made by soaking textured plant proteins, adding flavours and binders, before shaping into the desired shapes.
Shandi’s prduct is made from ingredients such as pea protein, green peas, chick peas, quinoa, flax seed, brown rice, coconut oil, mustard oil and water, with no additives including flavourings.
‘Speed is everything’: Australian e-grocery looks to reinvent local e-commerce with 20-minute delivery promise
Australian online supermarket Geezy Go has big ambitions to reinvent local e-commerce in the country by committing to deliveries within 20 minutes or less, whilst also offering consumers the same product range as conventional supermarkets at more competitive prices.
Australia’s online shopping sector has had a bad reputation for a long time concerning issues such as missing items and speed – this has seen an improvement in the past year due to increased needs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but local online grocer Geezy Go is hoping to take this a step further.
“In Australia, it is common for people to have to wait at least three to four days for deliveries and experience a lot of frustration due to the lack of efficiency – that’s what we aim to change,” Geezy Go VP of Growth and Strategy Dhruv Kohli said.
“To us, speed is everything, and the promise is to deliver groceries within 20 minutes – at present our average delivery time is 11 minutes. There is no minimum order needed for this, and delivery costs are standard at A$3.99 (US$2.92)."
Low GI waffles: Singapore start-up AuroraFood commercialising platform for bakery applications
Singapore-based food tech start-up AuroraFood is commercialising its glycaemic index (GI)-lowering platform, starting with the launch of a waffle premix later this year.
The platform revolves around its proprietary formulations which contains active ingredients from berries and cereals with the ability to lower GI spikes.
AuroraFood said its technology aims to transforms sweet indulgences into healthier and diabetic-friendly food choices, and has applications in the bakery, confectionery, and beverage industries.
The start-up was founded in 2020 by Dr Jing Gao and Dr Xiaoxuan Jin who have research experience in bakery products as well as functional foods.
“We focused on diabetes because it is a huge global problem. About 463 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes,” said Gao.
New kids on the block: Tempeh producer Plant Power marks online presence in UAE with Kibsons listing
UK tempeh brand Plant Power is marking its first online presence in the UAE with a launch through online grocery retailer Kibsons.
Specialising in Indonesian tempeh products, the firm will sell its full range of tempeh products including smoked tempeh, oriental, BBQ, original and curry.
“We always wanted an online presence in the UAE market so the dream was to get involved with the market leaders,” said Lawrence Hill, the founder of Plant Power.
“We noticed they had a huge range of plant based, but no tempeh, so it was a win-win for both of us.”