Coca-Cola and Danone among founding members of China food tech hub

Move to foster cooperation between startups and biotech firms, flavour houses, and food companies

Bits x Bites, the Chinese food tech and venture capital, has joined forces with a multinational consortium to launch the China Food Tech Hub, a new model to foster cooperation between startups and corporations in collaboration with biotech firms, agricultural processors, flavour houses, consumer food companies.

Coca-Cola, Danone, PepsiCo Greater China and General Mills are among the 10 founding members.

Matilda Ho, founder and managing director of Bits x Bites, explained: “Like most parts of the world outside of EU and US, food tech is still in its infancy in China and there hasn’t been a strong ecosystem to support startups in this space.

“As China’s first food tech venture capital, we see an opportunity to bridge and strengthen these partnerships and hopefully make it easier for startups and corporations to share insights and work together.”

Bits x Bites wants the China Food Tech Hub to provide a neutral platform for companies to cooperate with startups and each other as a smarter way to innovate, tackle business challenges, and create new growth opportunities.

Through regular meetings, the companies will exchange startup insights and work with food tech startups to explore pilot projects and other forms of collaboration.

All of the founding member companies in the China Food Tech Hub are multinationals that are looking to grow their established presence in the Chinese market and increase their cooperation with early-stage food tech companies. These companies include:

  • Coca-Cola
  • Danone
  • General Mills
  • Givaudan
  • Griffith Foods
  • Louis Dreyfus Company
  • Novozymes
  • Nutreco
  • PepsiCo Greater China
  • Puratos

Food meets biotech

Commenting on the initiative, David Machiels, R&I Director Asia Expansion and Innovation Acceleration at Danone, said: “The Chinese market evolves at an incredibly fast pace. To maintain our edge in the categories where we play, we believe that it is key to be able to identify emerging new ingredients, technologies, product formats and business models in order to define new innovation opportunities for our consumers."

For Machiels, by working with the startup and corporate community through the China Food Tech Hub, Danone wants to contribute to further build the food tech ecosystem in a collaborative way.

TC Tan, Novozymes VP, Food & Beverages Business Operations, Asia-Pacific, Middle East & Africa, added: “At Novozymes, innovation is the key to our business and in helping our customers drive business growth.

"With the ongoing consumption upgrade and increasing consumer focus on health, wellness and natural products, we look forward to exploring collaboration opportunities with food and beverage startups and other stakeholders to bring forth even more impactful innovations to meet the diversified demand of the Chinese consumers.”

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