Innovation That Matters

Top 10 food & beverage business ideas in 2006

Food & Drink

We’re deviating from our regular schedule to bring you the best new business ideas of 2006. Below, our personal favorites from the food & beverage industry.
  1. Local shrimp farming: Who ever said everything is going to be outsourced, from salary slips to agriculture? In The Netherlands, Happy Shrimp is working hard to build Europe’s first tropical shrimp farm, located in the very non-tropical port of Rotterdam. Promising fresh (‘superfresh’) shrimp, aimed at local restaurants, the business is taking on low cost shrimp farming in Asia. It does so by smartly capitalising on trends that the competition may find it hard to latch on to. More »

  2. Sipping flavour into milk: Sipahh, a new twist on the traditional straw, is filled with naturally flavoured beads that dissolve and impart flavour to cold white milk as it is sipped through the Sipahh. As the tagline says, “Insert into cold milk, Sip, and say Ahh!” Sipahh straws come in six fun flavours (Strawberry, Chocolate, Caramel, Banana, Toffee Apple, Cookies and Cream and Choc Mint), contain no artificial preservatives or colouring and less than half a teaspoon of sugar. More »

  3. Dessert-only restaurants: The newest addition to the niche restaurant scene is the dessert bar. Room 4 Dessert (New York), Espai Sucre (Barcelona) and our most recent spotting, ChikaLicious, limit their menus to creative concoctions that satisfy even the most ardent sweet tooth. A tiny 20-seat eatery in New York, founded by husband and wife team Don and Chika Tillman, ChikaLicious offers a 3-course menu for USD 12, consisting of a sweet amuse, the customer’s choice of main course dessert, and petit fours to top it off. More »

  4. Indian Pret a Manger?: British Tiffinbites is a chain of Indian food outlets, which might well be the first real Indian fast food brand. The company gets its name from the classic stacked metal boxes that are used to carry home-cooked Indian lunches. Tiffinbites has replaced tin with plastic, but aims to keep the traditional, home-cooked quality. Food is centrally prepared in North-London, using fresh ingredients and with a much lower fat and oil content than regular Indian take-outs. More »

  5. Customer-made flavours: Austrian manufacturer Frenkenburger is asking customers to come up with new flavours for its all natural hemp milk drink, Trinkhanf. Made from ground hemp seeds, hemp milk is highly nutritious – hempseed is high in protein, amino acids and essential fatty acids, making it one of the most nutritionally complete food sources. But it doesn’t taste of much. More »

  6. Ice cream factory in a vending machine: Banana ice cream with peanut butter cups mixed in? Not a problem for MooBella, a high-tech vending machine that makes ice cream to order in 45 seconds. Because it uses flash freezing instead of the standard slow churning method, MooBella can produce ice cream on demand from room temperature ingredients. More »

  7. Bamn! Rebirth of the automat: Photos by kind permission of Matt Jacobs, Capn Design. The hottest new eatery in New York won’t get rave reviews for fine service provided by its waiters. It doesn’t have any. Nor does Bamn! have tables, cashiers or any of the other basic amenities diners have come to expect. Instead, Bamn is a throwback to the first half of the 20th century — it’s an automat diner. Windowed compartments display hot, fresh food. Customers throw in a few coins and are rewarded with instant gratification. More »

  8. Happy healthy meals: School lunches are a hot topic across the world: from British celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s Feed Me Better campaign, to Two Angry Moms trying to improve school lunches in the US. Both are aiming to get junk food out, and bring whole foods in. The situation is slightly different in The Netherlands, where children traditionally went home for lunch, and school cafeterias are an anomaly. These days, however, more and more Dutch children are ‘staying over’ for lunch at school. Soda and chips are gaining ground, and childhood obesity is on the rise. More »

  9. More beer for women: It seems an international race is on to get women to drink more beer. Following our previous coverage of Karla, a functional German beer for women, comes a related spotting from Poland. Karmi, a regional brand produced by the Polish division of Carlsberg, is a dark beer that has been around for a while, and is characterized by its sweet caramel flavour. Categorized as a near-beer for its low alcohol content (0.1%), the drink has been revamped and is now being targeted to women. More »

  10. Meal prep goes uptown: While suburban households across the country are welcoming fix-and-freeze dinners to their tables, an urban version of the concept just opened at 63rd and Third in New York. Since New York real estate prices don’t allow for huge communal kitchens, Really Cool Foods has altered the prep kitchen model into ‘component cooking’. Customers select a recipe, grab the colour-coded components (vegetables, meats, sauces, etc), and get cooking. More »