Disruptive food startups – relevant innovations or merely superfluous and expensive alternative products?

We often hear that startups in the food industry have no real potential for disruption because they cannot compete with established players in terms of price and processes.

In our blog post we have collected 15 disruptive food startups that, like Little Lunch GmbH, have captured a significant market share or, like YFood Labs GmbH, are creating new market categories with the idea “snacks for in-between”.

Our conclusion: With some brands like Thomas Henry GmbH & Co. KG or fritz-Kulturgüter GmbH we almost forget that they were once startups. Food startups can manage to take relevant market shares from industry giants like The Coca-Cola Company or Schweppes and establish themselves successfully in the long term.

The following brands will be introduced

Against thirst
Against hunger
For taste
For in between

Against thirst


Category: Cola

Until fritz-kola entered the market, many people asked the question: Cola or Pepsi? Since its foundation, the company has developed strongly: with less sugar, more caffeine and bottling in glass bottles, fritz-kola was able to gain a foothold in the supposed oligopoly.


Category: Drink Chocolate

For all cocoa lovers who do not want to do without caffeine, koawach is expanding the existing drinking chocolate range on the market with a caffeine-containing chocolate drink. Faitrade and sustainably packed.

Thomas Henry

Category: Bitter lemonade

Not only in bars, but also on the supermarket shelves, it is impossible to imagine life without the brand launched in 2010. In the meantime, the Berlin based company exports to more than 50 countries and has been able to position itself as a noticable competitor to Schweppes.

True Fruits

Category: Smoothies and juices

The True Fruits founders have successfully brought smoothies to Germany and claim the position of market leader since 2015 with a share of over 50%. They have also revolutionized the juice market with their partly controversial slogans. Eckes-Granini holds 35%.

Against hunger


Category: Cereal bars

The market for muesli bars was dominated for years by Corny and Seitenbacher. Hafervoll’s natural bars with little sugar and hearty flavours were successful in this sub-category. The company was sold to the Krüger Group in 2019.

Little Lunch

Category: Instant soup

Little Lunch has strongly influenced the traditional market for ready-made soups with its high-quality soups from the jar. With sales of 14 million euros (2019), they added the segment of organic ready-to-serve soups to the market.


Category: Products made from dough

The manufacturer of low-carb pasta quickly gained a foothold in the market. Recently, the Cremer family business from Hamburg acquired a majority stake in Lizza, at a valuation basis of 8 million euros.


Category: Cereals

With a wide variety of flavours, MyMuesli has successfully positioned itself alongside Kellog’s, Nestlé and Kölln with annual sales of 59.6 million euros. New: personalised DNA muesli.

For taste

Bone Brox

Category: Broth

Recently praised in Hollywood for its high-quality ingredients, Bone Brox brings the nutrient-rich bone broth to Germany. Bone Brox complements the traditional broth market with a premium broth segment containing collagen power.

Just Spices

Category: Spices

Just Spices has revolutionized the market, which was previously dominated by traditional spice manufacturers. Recently, the Düsseldorf startup received funding over 13 million euros – from Bitburger Ventures, among other investors.

For in between

Freche Freunde

Category: Snacks for children

In 2010, Freche Freunde took advantage of the trend towards healthy food to add “Quetschies” and fruit snacks to the children’s snack market, which until then had been dominated by biscuits. In 2018, the Swiss food company Hero took over the majority of the company.


Category: Sausages

Grillido has expanded the sausage category with its premium products. Their high-protein sausages, to which e.g. spinach and feta cheese are added, they have opened up the market for sports nutrition.

Luicella's Ice Cream

Category: Ice cream

With Luicella’s Ice Cream, unusual ice cream flavours are entering the market. The combination of their ice cream parlours, DIY kits and ready-made products in the supermarket is unique to date.


Category: Salty snacks

Since entering the market, Wildcorn has been able to expand the popcorn segment with savoury and sweet varieties – as a clean label: without added sugar and preservatives. Cooperations with Amazon and Eurowings have played a significant role in this.


Category: Drinkable Meal

YFood has revolutionized the market for the “snack for in-between” with a new drinking meal. They provide a nutritious and healthy meal for those who have little time to spare.

isabella schweidler

Get in touch

Isabella Schweidler
Junior Innovation Strategy Manager
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