Today’s show is a bit different – instead of a normal conversation, we’re bringing you GCV’s most recent edition of the Next Wave – our monthly webinar series that features panel discussions on emerging technologies and CVC best practices.
This one deals with a really exciting new area in the food space – functional foods. Most functional foods tend to be healthy, but not all health foods are functional. Broadly speaking, functional foods are those that provide a real, tangible benefit of some kind – whether that is a boost of energy, immune system, cognitive focus, gut health, or anything else – but packaged in a familiar format, such as a snack bar, chocolate, chewing gum, or soft drink.
The panel, moderated by your truly, features Lukasz Garbowski, investment director at Btomorrow Ventures – the CVC unit of British American Tobacco and possibly the most prolific functional foods investor in the CVC world, in collaboration with whom this webinar was produced – as well as Danny Lowe, founder and CEO of functional chewing gum company Blockhead, and Melissa Snover, founder and CEO of Nourished, a producer of personalised, 3D-printed functional gummies.
We delve deep into both the investor and corporate-backed startup’s perspective on this emerging segment of the food market, including the myriad regulatory and consumer perception considerations that need to be made when producing not just food, but food that makes very specific health claims. We talk about the market opportunities that exist, how corporate investors can help startups scale in this industry, how the focus on health products has exploded in the wake of the pandemic, and how packaging health as food is far more valuable to consumers than mere supplements, thereby making it a far more attractive investment proposition.
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