Start-up Spotlight: Cultivated seafood firm Umami Bioworks, matcha brand Aiya, new fruit snacks venture DeeFruit and more feature in our round-up

By Pearly Neo

- Last updated on GMT

Cultivated seafood firm Umami Bioworks, matcha brand Aiya, new fruit snacks venture DeeFruit and more feature in this edition of Start-up Spotlight. ©Getty Images
Cultivated seafood firm Umami Bioworks, matcha brand Aiya, new fruit snacks venture DeeFruit and more feature in this edition of Start-up Spotlight. ©Getty Images

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Cultivated seafood firm Umami Bioworks, matcha brand Aiya, new fruit snacks venture DeeFruit and more feature in this edition of Start-up Spotlight.

‘Plugging the gaps’: Market consolidation in cultivated protein sector vital to overcome ‘disillusionment’

Singapore cultivated seafood firm Umami Bioworks believes that strategic mergers are crucial to overcome doubts about the sector and achieve buy-in from major brands which can help the category scale-up.

Umami Bioworks hit the news recently for its merger with Shiok Meats, especially with both firms well-known for being cultivated seafood industry leaders and pioneers in their own right.

“The M&A really came about when we saw that the market was unfortunately turning sour and sentiment was down during this trough of disillusionment period,”​ Umami Bioworks CEO Mihir Pershad told FoodNavigator-Asia​ during the most recent episode of our Food and Beverage Trailblazers podcast.

Japan’s Aiya eyes growth opportunities in Middle East’s nascent matcha market

Japan-headquartered Aiya is looking to seize growth opportunities in the Middle East, where the matcha market is still in its infancy and has significant room for expansion.

The firm made its entry into Middle East five years ago, at a time where matcha was relatively unknown in the region.

“We are working on this market on a long-term strategy. Just two years ago, I had to explain what matcha is during the Gulfood trade show. Today, people are looking for matcha. They now know that it’s healthy and good for them, which is good for our business.

“Our aim is to bring matcha into every supermarket, every coffee shop, and every home. We strongly believe that matcha is the healthiest of all teas, having 10 to 15 times more nutrients than regular green tea,” ​Thomas Gromer, CEO of Aiya Europe, told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

Fruity feature: Supplements firm Sainhall taps convenience and wellness trends to make healthy snacking comeback

Singaporean supplements firm Sainhall is making a comeback venture into the healthy snacking category with its DeeFruit fruit snacks range, looking to tap on the rising demands for convenience and well in the region.

The firm has recently ventured into healthy snacking with its DeeFruit fruit snacks, highlighting the current environment as ideal for this venture.

“Sainhall actually launched a healthy fruit snack brand back in 1994 called McDee, but back then it was less of a focus and we were concentrating our manpower on the health supplements area,”​ Sainhall Commercial Manager Si Min Yeap told FoodNavigator-Asia​.

“Today, we are seeing a very strong trend and rise in demand for healthy snacks so have decided to revisit this snacking portfolio with DeeFruit, which is essentially McDee 2.0 – the recipe has also been revamped to improve nutritional and mouthfeel attributes, such as including rice crispies to increase that snackish feel.

Drinkable beauty: OZiva launches fizzy drink with glutathione to quench skincare needs in India

Indian plant-based nutra brand OZiva’s has launched a Bioactive Gluta fizzy drink to target common skin concerns in the country and to tap into growing demand for glutathione.

The firm believes a combination of factors such as health awareness, aesthetic aspirations, and celebrity endorsements has put glutathione in the limelight in the country.

“Glutathione, the superhero of antioxidants, has taken centre stage in India, captivating health enthusiasts and skincare aficionados alike,”​ says Mihir Gadani, co-founder and COO of OZiva.

Beyond NMN: New longevity supplement brand makes its debut in Singapore

Elivity, a new longevity supplement brand, has made its debut in Singapore and it aims to move Asia’s understanding of the category beyond the use of nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN).

Elivity was launched online earlier this year and its products have since been made available online across Asia.

Headquartered in Singapore, Elivity was established by Austria-origin husband and wife duo Hanno Hornbanger and Gerhild Hornbanger who now resides between Australia and Singapore.

"Our home market is Singapore.  We very much believe that Singapore is a very interesting market to start with for healthy ageing for two reasons. Singapore comes up with the oldest population across Southeast Asia, which is the reason why the Singaporean government is very keen on supporting the topic of longevity

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