Is Sweden becoming a global plant-based leader?

Key facts:

Why it matters – DigitalFoodLab’s opinion:

Taken individually, all these announcements are interesting but not earth-shattering. But combined, it clearly indicates that a healthy ecosystem of plant-based startups and well-disposed consumers is under construction in the Nordics, especially in Sweden. The latter point may be the most important. Willing but demanding consumers keen to experiment with new foods (often more expensive, not well distributed, etc.) are key to gain feedback and fast-track the iterations of a food product.  Hence McDonald’s choice of these countries to try its vegan burger.

As shown in DigitalFoodLab’s 2020 report on European FoodTech, the Nordics are the continent’s ecosystem’s rising star. These countries are globally known for their startups focused on sustainability and anti-food waste (with apps such as TooGoodToGo or Karma). It may become a global powerhouse in plant-based and alternative proteins.

However, we can regret that after the Nordics, theses companies expand first in the US. Due to fragmented markets (both in terms of retail and consumers behaviours) Europe is not attractive enough for these fast-growing ventures.

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