Bio-Planet's Food Challenge: start-up 'Marine Taste' wins the award for best product in the protein shift category

At the 'The next decade of conscious consumption' event, organised by Bio-Planet for its 20th anniversary, the 'Food Challlenge' winner was revealed today. The professional and public jury chose Marine Taste because of its innovative character. With its umami stock made of new proteins of marine origin, this Swedish start-up receives a place on the shelves of the 31 Bio-Planet stores and the webshop for 1 year. Bio-Planet also commits to giving the winning product extra marketing support.

Friday, October 29, 2021

Umami stock based on new proteins of marine origin on the shelves at Bio-Planet

"We are facing a big challenge to make sustainable food production and consumption the standard. Bio-Planet wants to continue to play its pioneering role of sustainable retailer. In dialogue with scientists, researchers, education, society, authorities and producers, we want to keep investing in sustainable food production and consumption. At this first event for professionals, organised on the margins of our 20th anniversary, we exchanged ideas and organised debates about the future of sustainable food production and consumption with all stakeholders. The 'Food Challenge' finals also took place during the event. With this contest, we want to keep a finger on the pulse of innovations in sustainable food production," says Jan Van Holsbeke, Business Unit Manager at Bio-Planet.

Food Challenge

Bio-Planet and Smart Retail Ventures (Colruyt Group's corporate venturing activity) launched a ‘Food Challenge’ in the margin of the “The next decade of conscious consumption” event. For this contest, innovative start-ups working on the protein shift or the circular food chain have the opportunity to introduce a case and pitch their product. No fewer than 36 food start-ups participated in the contest. 72% of the participants were Belgian, 67% of the entries were about the protein shift and 33% about the circular food chain.

Swedish winner

A professional jury selected five food start-ups based on a preselection pitch and a product evaluation. During the preselection, they paid attention to the product or the ingredient, the business model (technical feasibility, scaleability, market potential), the marketing strategy and the team behind the innovation. If possible, the product was tested in a tasting session. These five finalists, four Belgian and a Swedish start-up, then received extra coaching from Flanders' FOOD and Foodlab Proef! to get their stories focused for the live pitch during the event. Four of the five finalists are innovative food companies who make a difference in the protein shift. They are Yuma Food that makes crackers out of cricket flour, TAKK that produces vegetable cheese spread, Toptoh that retrieves vegetable milk from yellow split peas and, finally, Marine Taste that makes umami stock based on new proteins from marine origin. The last finalist is Bizzy Bite, a start-up that reuses residual pulp flows of smoothies to make nourishing bars; a fine example of the circular food chain.

After the gripping pitch during the event, the audience also cast their vote to determine the Food Challenge winner. The professional jury's assessment of the business potential, the flavour and texture counted for 80% of the points, the points of the audience counted for 20%.

Marine Taste was elected the first Bio-Planet Food Challenger. The product with which they won, is an umami stock without additives and 100% natural, based on new proteins from marine origin. The fact that the harvest provides several environmental benefits such as seawater filtering was the deciding factor for the professional jury and the audience.

The winner receives a place on the shelves in 31 Bio-Planet stores and the webshop for 12 months. Bio-Planet also committed to giving the winning product extra marketing support. It will receive free extra visibility in the stores and on all communication channels of the supermarket (folder, social media, website, etc.).

"We are looking back on the event and the contest with a positive feeling. Its success confirms our conviction to keep focusing on more sustainable food production and consumption," Jan Van Holsbeke concludes.


If you have questions, please contact Colruyt Group's press office via [email protected] or 0473-92-45-10.

About Smart Retail Ventures

​ Smart Retail Ventures is part of Colruyt Group and responds to the fast evolving retail landscape by giving ideas from within and outside Colruyt Group the chance to develop thanks to entrepreneurship. With incubation, acceleration and co-creation, Smart Retail Ventures supports ideas and starters to develop into an independent business or activity in a relatively short time. The focus markets of Smart Retail Ventures are Food, Health, Media & Community, Non-Food and Real Estate.