- by Lottie Atkin
What happens when you find the ideal recipe to fit your ingredients, time limit and cravings – but you have no idea where to start when it comes to breaking down the nutritional values, additives and potentially allergy hazards? What is delicious for some can become seriously dangerous for someone else. Peanuts, shellfish and soya contain one of the fourteen worst allergies, and one of the most frequent triggers for allergies and intolerances. This can become a huge headache for manufacturers, who must therefore specify exactly what is present in their products according to the European packaging laws.
Viennese start up FoodNotify offers a service that does just that, along with labelling recipes accordingly – and all that in just a few clicks. An obligatory product specification is automatically created when you create your recipe and check recipes, and offer solutions for restaurants, catering chains, hotels, retirement homes, school canteens, hospitals and any other industry that wants to make life easier. It’s easy to navigate website is broken down into twelve categories, including– menus that contain allergies, product specification sheet, nutritional values and additives, a recipe database, a menu planner and catering cards with detailed allergies listed. It has several users and locations and is already working alongside wholesale traders Metro and AGM, according to managing director Thomas Promus.
Customers can also use the digital service to assemble menus and order ingredients from their wholesaler. The platform is able to calculate the differences between sales and the variable costs of a court, and can translate recipes into over 103 languages. ‘We have systematically supplemented them with further features.’ Promus says. ‘Eight permanent employees are already working for us, including the additional input of freelancers.’
FoodNotify is now active in Austria and Germany, and opened another office in Berlin in January. Almost 7,000 have registered on the website so far – most of them for a test run of five recipes, which was free of charge. The company made 280,000 euros in sales in 2016, and 80,000 euros the year before, according to Primus. ‘So far, we did not want any investment, even a six digit cancelled.’ He says. ‘But now we are looking for a donation of 1 to 1.5 million euros. We want to open up the German market further, and expand into Switzerland and Italy.’
Whether or not the startup will be successful is entirely dependent on it’s users – is this a necessary service, or a waste of money and investment into something that can easily be done without a separate app?