Cutting the carbs: 18 startups reimagining the humble loaf, bagel and more

Cutting the carbs: 18 startups reimagining the humble loaf, bagel and more

By
Louise Burfitt
November 9, 2021

🍞  What is it? 

  • An oozing panini hot from the sandwich toaster. A hunk of crunchy baguette on the go. A leisurely slice of sourdough slathered in butter and jam. An Everything Bagel. The list of bread-based delights really is a long one!
  • But can we have our cake bread and eat it too? With diabetes on the rise and a move away from refined carbohydrates inspired by the keto movement, is time up for the humble loaf?

🤔 Tell me more…

  • Not according to the startups bringing bread back from the beyond. Whether it’s plant-based fibre blends or upcycled flour, could reduced-carb products be the greatest innovation since the OG sliced bread?
  • In response to rising demand, bread lovers have been busy innovating in the low- and no-carb space with the help of alternative flours, up-and-coming food technology, and much more besides... 

📈 The figures

  • According to research by Mintel, the percentage of new F&B launches that referenced the term ‘keto’ doubled between 2020 and 2021.
  • What’s more, the low-carb market is expected to grow by 6.4% by 2027.

 🤷‍♂️ Why?

  • Health is the main driver of this trend, with research pointing to the role of refined carbohydrates in diabetes. Restricting your intake helps to regulate blood sugar and control weight and risk of illness. 
  • In a related trend, increased interest from consumers in ketogenic, paleo and gluten-free diets for healthier lifestyles has helped propel what was once a pretty niche segment into the limelight. The ‘keto’ method - like the Atkins Diet before it - involves dramatically reducing carbohydrate consumption and replacing them with fat. 
  • The coronavirus pandemic has also put health at the forefront of consumers’ minds. Bread has been a popular staple throughout the crisis, but breads viewed as ‘healthier’ have done particularly well out of it. 

🔍 How is it shaping up? 

  • Low-carb breads and bakery products are often targeted specifically at keto-diet followers. Unbun Foods make grain-free, keto-approved buns, baguettes, breads, tortillas and bagels using gluten-free plant-based flours aimed at paleo and keto devotees. Uprising Foods and EatSane, both also American companies selling keto breads, also target their marketing at keto diet followers. 
  • Methods for reducing the carbohydrate content of breads differ, with some companies - check out Base Culture bread, made with arrowroot flour and flax - going grain-free. Others are planning to use fungi, like Hyfé Foods (currently in stealth development), or plant-based fibre blends, like Singapore’s Alchemy Foodtech
  • The low-carb market has recently seen a rush of funding: this year alone, Hero Bread have raised over $30m, Uprising Food raised $1.25m for its keto bread product, and Better Brand reeled in $4m to advance its ambitions to be the ‘Beyond Meat Of Carbs’. 
  • Big names are getting in on the action, too. Aldi’s been winning keto approval with its keto-friendly sliced bread while household names like Hovis are also jumping on the bandwagon
  • And it’s not just sliced bread: Better Brand are making low-carb bagels, Grain4Grain are milling low-carb flour with upcycled ingredients and Malaysia’s Kawan Food is dreaming up low-GI rotis. Meanwhile, Unbelievabuns are trying to make a tasty low-carb hamburger bun.

👀 Who? (18 companies in this space)

 ​​🥖 Case study: Alchemy Foodtech

  • Alchemy Foodtech is a food and technology company based in emerging food-tech hub Singapore, in the business of making its trademark Alchemy Fibre™ - a plant-based blend for use in reduced-carbohydrate bakery goods. 
  • Founded in 2015, the startup believes that prevention is the best cure when it comes to diabetes - so say hello to their low-carb blends which can be used in bread as well as other baked goods, pasta and rice. 
  • Made with a mix of corn, peas, tapioca, rice, beans and other plant-based sources, the blend helps to lower the glycaemic index of foods high in refined carbohydrates. This slows digestion, reduces spikes in blood sugar levels, and thus lessens the risk of developing diabetes.
  • With total funding to the tune of $3.9m, the company has completed thorough clinical trials to back up its claims - which have seen it gain the backing of doctors, and be recommended for those with chronic diet-related health issues. 
  • Alchemy is pursuing a B2B strategy, providing its ingredients to food companies and manufacturers. And accordingly, the startup’s future plans include seeking out partnerships with FMCG firms and increasing distribution.

🥯 Case study: Better Brand

  • California-based company Better Brand is baking bagels like they used to be - with a modern twist: their bagels have the carb content of just two slices of banana. 
  • And the Better Bagel (now on Version 2.0) boasts double the protein of your average bread product.
  • The startup’s stated mission is to transform the most carb-heavy foods into the least carb-heavy foods. 
  • While low-carb bagels aren’t a new innovation, they traditionally haven’t tasted the greatest. And that’s what's motivating CEO Aimee Yang. 
  • Although the company wisely won’t reveal its secret recipe, the process uses starch instead of flour to achieve its low-carb credentials. The bagels are also reportedly baked using a completely different method to the conventional. 
  • In February this year the company raised a $2.5 million funding round led by Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six, with participation of VERSO Capital, and actor Patrick Schwarzenegger and more.
  • Future plans involve branching out from bagels to other bakery products and scaling up production.

👍 The good

  • A wider choice in the low-carb space can only be a good thing. Not just for keto fans, either: low-carb products are also happy news for diabetics and health-conscious consumers. 
  • Traditionally, lower-carb choices in the bakery aisle haven’t won on taste or texture. The best word to describe them would probably be ‘stodgy’. But the latest wave of innovations is allowing carb-free products to catch up, and win over skeptical customers. 
  • In the past low-carb products have often been crammed with artificial sweeteners and additives - but with a new wave of health-conscious companies and consumers, the low-carb niche is getting a much-needed makeover. 

👎 The bad

  • It will be interesting to see how the trend for ketogenic meals develops - will the fad for low-carb, high-meat diets survive the shift to plant-based? Only time will tell what that might mean for low-carb bakery products.  
  • Not everyone is convinced of the health benefits of ‘keto’ or ‘paleo’ diets either - and the science is still inconclusive
  • It also remains to be seen how low-carb products will go down with lifelong bread lovers - can up-and-coming companies in the field appeal to even the most fervent sandwich fans? Research by Mintel shows that taste - not health concerns - remains the top trump among bread buyers. And prices are likely to be higher than for your average loaf: which customers will be willing to pay up?

 💡 The bottom line

  • Low-carb breads represent an intriguing segment, with the potential to appeal to a consumer base beyond your classic keto fan. 
  • But ultimately, success will depend on more than just intrigue. Taste, texture and health benefits are key - and startups can’t rely purely on their ‘low-carb’ appeal to do well. Nailing their formula, as well as targeted messaging, will help new entrants to the carb-free bread bin stand out.
FoodHack Database

Become a member

to get unlimited access

  • Weekly Trend Reports | Access 60+ Reports

Monthly

$20
/ month
Cancel anytime

Annual

$180
/ year
Save $60

🍞  What is it? 

  • An oozing panini hot from the sandwich toaster. A hunk of crunchy baguette on the go. A leisurely slice of sourdough slathered in butter and jam. An Everything Bagel. The list of bread-based delights really is a long one!
  • But can we have our cake bread and eat it too? With diabetes on the rise and a move away from refined carbohydrates inspired by the keto movement, is time up for the humble loaf?

🤔 Tell me more…

  • Not according to the startups bringing bread back from the beyond. Whether it’s plant-based fibre blends or upcycled flour, could reduced-carb products be the greatest innovation since the OG sliced bread?
  • In response to rising demand, bread lovers have been busy innovating in the low- and no-carb space with the help of alternative flours, up-and-coming food technology, and much more besides... 

📈 The figures

  • According to research by Mintel, the percentage of new F&B launches that referenced the term ‘keto’ doubled between 2020 and 2021.
  • What’s more, the low-carb market is expected to grow by 6.4% by 2027.

 🤷‍♂️ Why?

  • Health is the main driver of this trend, with research pointing to the role of refined carbohydrates in diabetes. Restricting your intake helps to regulate blood sugar and control weight and risk of illness. 
  • In a related trend, increased interest from consumers in ketogenic, paleo and gluten-free diets for healthier lifestyles has helped propel what was once a pretty niche segment into the limelight. The ‘keto’ method - like the Atkins Diet before it - involves dramatically reducing carbohydrate consumption and replacing them with fat. 
  • The coronavirus pandemic has also put health at the forefront of consumers’ minds. Bread has been a popular staple throughout the crisis, but breads viewed as ‘healthier’ have done particularly well out of it. 

🔍 How is it shaping up? 

  • Low-carb breads and bakery products are often targeted specifically at keto-diet followers. Unbun Foods make grain-free, keto-approved buns, baguettes, breads, tortillas and bagels using gluten-free plant-based flours aimed at paleo and keto devotees. Uprising Foods and EatSane, both also American companies selling keto breads, also target their marketing at keto diet followers. 
  • Methods for reducing the carbohydrate content of breads differ, with some companies - check out Base Culture bread, made with arrowroot flour and flax - going grain-free. Others are planning to use fungi, like Hyfé Foods (currently in stealth development), or plant-based fibre blends, like Singapore’s Alchemy Foodtech
  • The low-carb market has recently seen a rush of funding: this year alone, Hero Bread have raised over $30m, Uprising Food raised $1.25m for its keto bread product, and Better Brand reeled in $4m to advance its ambitions to be the ‘Beyond Meat Of Carbs’. 
  • Big names are getting in on the action, too. Aldi’s been winning keto approval with its keto-friendly sliced bread while household names like Hovis are also jumping on the bandwagon
  • And it’s not just sliced bread: Better Brand are making low-carb bagels, Grain4Grain are milling low-carb flour with upcycled ingredients and Malaysia’s Kawan Food is dreaming up low-GI rotis. Meanwhile, Unbelievabuns are trying to make a tasty low-carb hamburger bun.

👀 Who? (18 companies in this space)

 ​​🥖 Case study: Alchemy Foodtech

  • Alchemy Foodtech is a food and technology company based in emerging food-tech hub Singapore, in the business of making its trademark Alchemy Fibre™ - a plant-based blend for use in reduced-carbohydrate bakery goods. 
  • Founded in 2015, the startup believes that prevention is the best cure when it comes to diabetes - so say hello to their low-carb blends which can be used in bread as well as other baked goods, pasta and rice. 
  • Made with a mix of corn, peas, tapioca, rice, beans and other plant-based sources, the blend helps to lower the glycaemic index of foods high in refined carbohydrates. This slows digestion, reduces spikes in blood sugar levels, and thus lessens the risk of developing diabetes.
  • With total funding to the tune of $3.9m, the company has completed thorough clinical trials to back up its claims - which have seen it gain the backing of doctors, and be recommended for those with chronic diet-related health issues. 
  • Alchemy is pursuing a B2B strategy, providing its ingredients to food companies and manufacturers. And accordingly, the startup’s future plans include seeking out partnerships with FMCG firms and increasing distribution.

🥯 Case study: Better Brand

  • California-based company Better Brand is baking bagels like they used to be - with a modern twist: their bagels have the carb content of just two slices of banana. 
  • And the Better Bagel (now on Version 2.0) boasts double the protein of your average bread product.
  • The startup’s stated mission is to transform the most carb-heavy foods into the least carb-heavy foods. 
  • While low-carb bagels aren’t a new innovation, they traditionally haven’t tasted the greatest. And that’s what's motivating CEO Aimee Yang. 
  • Although the company wisely won’t reveal its secret recipe, the process uses starch instead of flour to achieve its low-carb credentials. The bagels are also reportedly baked using a completely different method to the conventional. 
  • In February this year the company raised a $2.5 million funding round led by Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six, with participation of VERSO Capital, and actor Patrick Schwarzenegger and more.
  • Future plans involve branching out from bagels to other bakery products and scaling up production.

👍 The good

  • A wider choice in the low-carb space can only be a good thing. Not just for keto fans, either: low-carb products are also happy news for diabetics and health-conscious consumers. 
  • Traditionally, lower-carb choices in the bakery aisle haven’t won on taste or texture. The best word to describe them would probably be ‘stodgy’. But the latest wave of innovations is allowing carb-free products to catch up, and win over skeptical customers. 
  • In the past low-carb products have often been crammed with artificial sweeteners and additives - but with a new wave of health-conscious companies and consumers, the low-carb niche is getting a much-needed makeover. 

👎 The bad

  • It will be interesting to see how the trend for ketogenic meals develops - will the fad for low-carb, high-meat diets survive the shift to plant-based? Only time will tell what that might mean for low-carb bakery products.  
  • Not everyone is convinced of the health benefits of ‘keto’ or ‘paleo’ diets either - and the science is still inconclusive
  • It also remains to be seen how low-carb products will go down with lifelong bread lovers - can up-and-coming companies in the field appeal to even the most fervent sandwich fans? Research by Mintel shows that taste - not health concerns - remains the top trump among bread buyers. And prices are likely to be higher than for your average loaf: which customers will be willing to pay up?

 💡 The bottom line

  • Low-carb breads represent an intriguing segment, with the potential to appeal to a consumer base beyond your classic keto fan. 
  • But ultimately, success will depend on more than just intrigue. Taste, texture and health benefits are key - and startups can’t rely purely on their ‘low-carb’ appeal to do well. Nailing their formula, as well as targeted messaging, will help new entrants to the carb-free bread bin stand out.

🍞  What is it? 

  • An oozing panini hot from the sandwich toaster. A hunk of crunchy baguette on the go. A leisurely slice of sourdough slathered in butter and jam. An Everything Bagel. The list of bread-based delights really is a long one!
  • But can we have our cake bread and eat it too? With diabetes on the rise and a move away from refined carbohydrates inspired by the keto movement, is time up for the humble loaf?

🤔 Tell me more…

  • Not according to the startups bringing bread back from the beyond. Whether it’s plant-based fibre blends or upcycled flour, could reduced-carb products be the greatest innovation since the OG sliced bread?
  • In response to rising demand, bread lovers have been busy innovating in the low- and no-carb space with the help of alternative flours, up-and-coming food technology, and much more besides... 

📈 The figures

  • According to research by Mintel, the percentage of new F&B launches that referenced the term ‘keto’ doubled between 2020 and 2021.
  • What’s more, the low-carb market is expected to grow by 6.4% by 2027.

 🤷‍♂️ Why?

  • Health is the main driver of this trend, with research pointing to the role of refined carbohydrates in diabetes. Restricting your intake helps to regulate blood sugar and control weight and risk of illness. 
  • In a related trend, increased interest from consumers in ketogenic, paleo and gluten-free diets for healthier lifestyles has helped propel what was once a pretty niche segment into the limelight. The ‘keto’ method - like the Atkins Diet before it - involves dramatically reducing carbohydrate consumption and replacing them with fat. 
  • The coronavirus pandemic has also put health at the forefront of consumers’ minds. Bread has been a popular staple throughout the crisis, but breads viewed as ‘healthier’ have done particularly well out of it. 

🔍 How is it shaping up? 

  • Low-carb breads and bakery products are often targeted specifically at keto-diet followers. Unbun Foods make grain-free, keto-approved buns, baguettes, breads, tortillas and bagels using gluten-free plant-based flours aimed at paleo and keto devotees. Uprising Foods and EatSane, both also American companies selling keto breads, also target their marketing at keto diet followers. 
  • Methods for reducing the carbohydrate content of breads differ, with some companies - check out Base Culture bread, made with arrowroot flour and flax - going grain-free. Others are planning to use fungi, like Hyfé Foods (currently in stealth development), or plant-based fibre blends, like Singapore’s Alchemy Foodtech
  • The low-carb market has recently seen a rush of funding: this year alone, Hero Bread have raised over $30m, Uprising Food raised $1.25m for its keto bread product, and Better Brand reeled in $4m to advance its ambitions to be the ‘Beyond Meat Of Carbs’. 
  • Big names are getting in on the action, too. Aldi’s been winning keto approval with its keto-friendly sliced bread while household names like Hovis are also jumping on the bandwagon
  • And it’s not just sliced bread: Better Brand are making low-carb bagels, Grain4Grain are milling low-carb flour with upcycled ingredients and Malaysia’s Kawan Food is dreaming up low-GI rotis. Meanwhile, Unbelievabuns are trying to make a tasty low-carb hamburger bun.

👀 Who? (18 companies in this space)

 ​​🥖 Case study: Alchemy Foodtech

  • Alchemy Foodtech is a food and technology company based in emerging food-tech hub Singapore, in the business of making its trademark Alchemy Fibre™ - a plant-based blend for use in reduced-carbohydrate bakery goods. 
  • Founded in 2015, the startup believes that prevention is the best cure when it comes to diabetes - so say hello to their low-carb blends which can be used in bread as well as other baked goods, pasta and rice. 
  • Made with a mix of corn, peas, tapioca, rice, beans and other plant-based sources, the blend helps to lower the glycaemic index of foods high in refined carbohydrates. This slows digestion, reduces spikes in blood sugar levels, and thus lessens the risk of developing diabetes.
  • With total funding to the tune of $3.9m, the company has completed thorough clinical trials to back up its claims - which have seen it gain the backing of doctors, and be recommended for those with chronic diet-related health issues. 
  • Alchemy is pursuing a B2B strategy, providing its ingredients to food companies and manufacturers. And accordingly, the startup’s future plans include seeking out partnerships with FMCG firms and increasing distribution.

🥯 Case study: Better Brand

  • California-based company Better Brand is baking bagels like they used to be - with a modern twist: their bagels have the carb content of just two slices of banana. 
  • And the Better Bagel (now on Version 2.0) boasts double the protein of your average bread product.
  • The startup’s stated mission is to transform the most carb-heavy foods into the least carb-heavy foods. 
  • While low-carb bagels aren’t a new innovation, they traditionally haven’t tasted the greatest. And that’s what's motivating CEO Aimee Yang. 
  • Although the company wisely won’t reveal its secret recipe, the process uses starch instead of flour to achieve its low-carb credentials. The bagels are also reportedly baked using a completely different method to the conventional. 
  • In February this year the company raised a $2.5 million funding round led by Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six, with participation of VERSO Capital, and actor Patrick Schwarzenegger and more.
  • Future plans involve branching out from bagels to other bakery products and scaling up production.

👍 The good

  • A wider choice in the low-carb space can only be a good thing. Not just for keto fans, either: low-carb products are also happy news for diabetics and health-conscious consumers. 
  • Traditionally, lower-carb choices in the bakery aisle haven’t won on taste or texture. The best word to describe them would probably be ‘stodgy’. But the latest wave of innovations is allowing carb-free products to catch up, and win over skeptical customers. 
  • In the past low-carb products have often been crammed with artificial sweeteners and additives - but with a new wave of health-conscious companies and consumers, the low-carb niche is getting a much-needed makeover. 

👎 The bad

  • It will be interesting to see how the trend for ketogenic meals develops - will the fad for low-carb, high-meat diets survive the shift to plant-based? Only time will tell what that might mean for low-carb bakery products.  
  • Not everyone is convinced of the health benefits of ‘keto’ or ‘paleo’ diets either - and the science is still inconclusive
  • It also remains to be seen how low-carb products will go down with lifelong bread lovers - can up-and-coming companies in the field appeal to even the most fervent sandwich fans? Research by Mintel shows that taste - not health concerns - remains the top trump among bread buyers. And prices are likely to be higher than for your average loaf: which customers will be willing to pay up?

 💡 The bottom line

  • Low-carb breads represent an intriguing segment, with the potential to appeal to a consumer base beyond your classic keto fan. 
  • But ultimately, success will depend on more than just intrigue. Taste, texture and health benefits are key - and startups can’t rely purely on their ‘low-carb’ appeal to do well. Nailing their formula, as well as targeted messaging, will help new entrants to the carb-free bread bin stand out.

🍞  What is it? 

  • An oozing panini hot from the sandwich toaster. A hunk of crunchy baguette on the go. A leisurely slice of sourdough slathered in butter and jam. An Everything Bagel. The list of bread-based delights really is a long one!
  • But can we have our cake bread and eat it too? With diabetes on the rise and a move away from refined carbohydrates inspired by the keto movement, is time up for the humble loaf?

🤔 Tell me more…

  • Not according to the startups bringing bread back from the beyond. Whether it’s plant-based fibre blends or upcycled flour, could reduced-carb products be the greatest innovation since the OG sliced bread?
  • In response to rising demand, bread lovers have been busy innovating in the low- and no-carb space with the help of alternative flours, up-and-coming food technology, and much more besides... 

📈 The figures

  • According to research by Mintel, the percentage of new F&B launches that referenced the term ‘keto’ doubled between 2020 and 2021.
  • What’s more, the low-carb market is expected to grow by 6.4% by 2027.

 🤷‍♂️ Why?

  • Health is the main driver of this trend, with research pointing to the role of refined carbohydrates in diabetes. Restricting your intake helps to regulate blood sugar and control weight and risk of illness. 
  • In a related trend, increased interest from consumers in ketogenic, paleo and gluten-free diets for healthier lifestyles has helped propel what was once a pretty niche segment into the limelight. The ‘keto’ method - like the Atkins Diet before it - involves dramatically reducing carbohydrate consumption and replacing them with fat. 
  • The coronavirus pandemic has also put health at the forefront of consumers’ minds. Bread has been a popular staple throughout the crisis, but breads viewed as ‘healthier’ have done particularly well out of it. 

🔍 How is it shaping up? 

  • Low-carb breads and bakery products are often targeted specifically at keto-diet followers. Unbun Foods make grain-free, keto-approved buns, baguettes, breads, tortillas and bagels using gluten-free plant-based flours aimed at paleo and keto devotees. Uprising Foods and EatSane, both also American companies selling keto breads, also target their marketing at keto diet followers. 
  • Methods for reducing the carbohydrate content of breads differ, with some companies - check out Base Culture bread, made with arrowroot flour and flax - going grain-free. Others are planning to use fungi, like Hyfé Foods (currently in stealth development), or plant-based fibre blends, like Singapore’s Alchemy Foodtech
  • The low-carb market has recently seen a rush of funding: this year alone, Hero Bread have raised over $30m, Uprising Food raised $1.25m for its keto bread product, and Better Brand reeled in $4m to advance its ambitions to be the ‘Beyond Meat Of Carbs’. 
  • Big names are getting in on the action, too. Aldi’s been winning keto approval with its keto-friendly sliced bread while household names like Hovis are also jumping on the bandwagon
  • And it’s not just sliced bread: Better Brand are making low-carb bagels, Grain4Grain are milling low-carb flour with upcycled ingredients and Malaysia’s Kawan Food is dreaming up low-GI rotis. Meanwhile, Unbelievabuns are trying to make a tasty low-carb hamburger bun.

👀 Who? (18 companies in this space)

 ​​🥖 Case study: Alchemy Foodtech

  • Alchemy Foodtech is a food and technology company based in emerging food-tech hub Singapore, in the business of making its trademark Alchemy Fibre™ - a plant-based blend for use in reduced-carbohydrate bakery goods. 
  • Founded in 2015, the startup believes that prevention is the best cure when it comes to diabetes - so say hello to their low-carb blends which can be used in bread as well as other baked goods, pasta and rice. 
  • Made with a mix of corn, peas, tapioca, rice, beans and other plant-based sources, the blend helps to lower the glycaemic index of foods high in refined carbohydrates. This slows digestion, reduces spikes in blood sugar levels, and thus lessens the risk of developing diabetes.
  • With total funding to the tune of $3.9m, the company has completed thorough clinical trials to back up its claims - which have seen it gain the backing of doctors, and be recommended for those with chronic diet-related health issues. 
  • Alchemy is pursuing a B2B strategy, providing its ingredients to food companies and manufacturers. And accordingly, the startup’s future plans include seeking out partnerships with FMCG firms and increasing distribution.

🥯 Case study: Better Brand

  • California-based company Better Brand is baking bagels like they used to be - with a modern twist: their bagels have the carb content of just two slices of banana. 
  • And the Better Bagel (now on Version 2.0) boasts double the protein of your average bread product.
  • The startup’s stated mission is to transform the most carb-heavy foods into the least carb-heavy foods. 
  • While low-carb bagels aren’t a new innovation, they traditionally haven’t tasted the greatest. And that’s what's motivating CEO Aimee Yang. 
  • Although the company wisely won’t reveal its secret recipe, the process uses starch instead of flour to achieve its low-carb credentials. The bagels are also reportedly baked using a completely different method to the conventional. 
  • In February this year the company raised a $2.5 million funding round led by Alexis Ohanian’s Seven Seven Six, with participation of VERSO Capital, and actor Patrick Schwarzenegger and more.
  • Future plans involve branching out from bagels to other bakery products and scaling up production.

👍 The good

  • A wider choice in the low-carb space can only be a good thing. Not just for keto fans, either: low-carb products are also happy news for diabetics and health-conscious consumers. 
  • Traditionally, lower-carb choices in the bakery aisle haven’t won on taste or texture. The best word to describe them would probably be ‘stodgy’. But the latest wave of innovations is allowing carb-free products to catch up, and win over skeptical customers. 
  • In the past low-carb products have often been crammed with artificial sweeteners and additives - but with a new wave of health-conscious companies and consumers, the low-carb niche is getting a much-needed makeover. 

👎 The bad

  • It will be interesting to see how the trend for ketogenic meals develops - will the fad for low-carb, high-meat diets survive the shift to plant-based? Only time will tell what that might mean for low-carb bakery products.  
  • Not everyone is convinced of the health benefits of ‘keto’ or ‘paleo’ diets either - and the science is still inconclusive
  • It also remains to be seen how low-carb products will go down with lifelong bread lovers - can up-and-coming companies in the field appeal to even the most fervent sandwich fans? Research by Mintel shows that taste - not health concerns - remains the top trump among bread buyers. And prices are likely to be higher than for your average loaf: which customers will be willing to pay up?

 💡 The bottom line

  • Low-carb breads represent an intriguing segment, with the potential to appeal to a consumer base beyond your classic keto fan. 
  • But ultimately, success will depend on more than just intrigue. Taste, texture and health benefits are key - and startups can’t rely purely on their ‘low-carb’ appeal to do well. Nailing their formula, as well as targeted messaging, will help new entrants to the carb-free bread bin stand out.
Weekly FoodTech Insights

Reports

Make way for the herd: the 18 European FoodTech ‘Soonicorns’ to watch
The spice of life: 20+ seasoning startups taking on the Big Spice Industry
Crop Genetics: the 15 companies working on genetically edited crops that could transform farming and food
Cutting the carbs: 18 startups reimagining the humble loaf, bagel and more
Building Bioreactors: the 20+ companies paving the way for cultivated meat (and more)
Vegan Chocolate: A look into the 20+ brands making your favorite chocolates, animal-free
Greener groceries: inside the race to make food shopping kinder on the planet
Sweetening the pill: the growth of health-enhancing gummy candies