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DigitalFoodLab Releases 2024's State of the European FoodTech Ecosystem Report

Courtesy of DigitalFoodLab
Courtesy of DigitalFoodLab

The European FoodTech ecosystem has been a beacon of innovation and growth over recent years, consistently pushing the boundaries of what's possible in the food industry. In 2024, the landscape continues to evolve, shaped by various forces, including investment trends, regulatory environments, and technological breakthroughs. This blog post explores DigitalFoodLab's latest report on the current state of the European FoodTech Ecosystem, highlighting key investments, innovation hubs, and trends that are defining the industry.

Executive Summary

2024 marks a pivotal year for the European FoodTech sector, despite a backdrop of declining investments in comparison to the peaks of 2021. The total investment in European FoodTech startups has seen a significant decrease, settling at €4.3 billion, which is a 35% drop from the previous year. However, this decline is not as steep as the global trend, showcasing Europe's resilience and growing influence in the global FoodTech landscape. Europe now accounts for 32% of worldwide FoodTech investments, a significant increase from 14% in 2020. This shift signifies Europe's maturation as a key player in the FoodTech domain, with the UK, France, and Germany leading the pack in terms of investment volume.

Investments and State of the Ecosystem

The decrease in investment volume has led to a change in the nature of funding, with early-stage deals experiencing an increase in number. This suggests a vibrant entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to innovation within the European FoodTech ecosystem. Notably, investments in delivery startups have plummeted by more than 90% since 2021, signaling a shift in investor focus towards more sustainable and technologically innovative areas within FoodTech.

Geographic Distribution & Innovation Hubs

The distribution of investments across Europe highlights a diverse and dynamic ecosystem. The UK, France, and Germany emerge as the clear leaders, with significant investments also flowing into emerging hubs such as Sweden and the Netherlands. This geographical spread indicates a robust and inclusive growth pattern, reflective of Europe's comprehensive approach to fostering innovation across the board.

Distribution by Categories and Trends

The European FoodTech sector is seeing a notable pivot away from delivery services towards more sustainable and technologically advanced areas. Investments in AgTech and Food Science have increased, pointing towards a future where technology-driven solutions for sustainable agriculture and innovative food products dominate. Furthermore, the rise of midstream investments underscores a growing appetite for alternative proteins and functional ingredients, reflecting consumer demand for healthier and more sustainable food options.

Investment Activity, IPOs, & Acquisitions

The investment activity in 2024 showcases a cautious yet strategic approach by investors, with a clear preference for early-stage investments. The year did not witness the creation of new unicorns, indicating a market correction and a focus on sustainable growth over-inflated valuations. However, the sector saw two notable IPOs and several key acquisitions by leading companies, signifying a healthy and dynamic market that remains attractive for strategic investments.


The European FoodTech ecosystem in 2024 presents a mixed picture of challenges and opportunities. While the decline in overall investment might seem concerning, the increased focus on early-stage deals, sustainable innovations, and technological advancements points towards a resilient and forward-thinking industry. Europe's role as a global leader in FoodTech is reinforced by its diverse innovation hubs, strategic investments, and a collective move towards sustainability. As the ecosystem continues to evolve, it holds the promise of transforming the global food landscape, making it healthier, more sustainable, and technologically advanced.


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