A new business called The Food Incubator has launched to help companies in the British food industry get their products to market. It will support enterprises across a range of categories, including the plant-based and health food sectors.
The incubator will help companies identify the processing options best suited to their product and the size of their business — for example, startups will require small batch runs whereas more established companies may be looking to expand their production capacity.
Companies will also be offered product testing and data analysis to help them determine how viable their production runs will be. Additionally, they will be able to take advantage of support for new product development and specialist promotional activities.
The Food Incubator will be based at a bespoke facility in Leicester, which will offer pilot food processing equipment for clients’ use. In future, it plans to expand to offer packaging consultancy and implementation.
Worldwide, a growing number of incubators are now offering support to plant-based and cell-cultured businesses, though most focus on startups. Examples include the Dao Foods Incubator in China and Spain’s FoodTech Accelerator. Many of these incubators are already producing plant-based success stories.
“The food and drink industry represents the UK’s largest manufacturing sector,” said industry expert Tom Russell, who will head The Food Incubator. “It contributes £28 billion to the economy and is growing year on year. Our team has years of industry experience to bring to the table, along with a comprehensive understanding of best-in-class thermal processing techniques and systems, compatible with achieving the relevant food safety compliance.”