Better Dairy and THIS lead food and drink firms recognised in 2024 Startups 100 list

By William Dodds

- Last updated on GMT

THIS produces meat alternative products and placed ninth on the list. Credit: THIS
THIS produces meat alternative products and placed ninth on the list. Credit: THIS

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Several food and drink firms were named on the Startups 100 list for 2024, an annual index of the UK’s best small companies.

The top rated food and drink business on the list was Better Dairy, which finished just outside the coveted top five in seventh place. THIS placed a few spots back in ninth, while Bio&Me, Hoxton Farms, Cask Trade, IMPOSSIBREW, Julienne Bruno, Bold Bean Co, Milky Plant, SRSLY Low Carb and Ujamaa Spice were also named in the 2024 edition, the 16th time the list has been published.

Based in Hackney, London, Better Dairy develops dairy alternative products that 100% animal-free. Founded in 2020, it has raised $20m (£15.7m) in funding to date and employs a team of 25 scientists that are working to find new ways of creating tasty plant-based cheeses, yoghurts, ice creams and more.

Fellow top 10 finisher THIS is a manufacturer of meat substitutes based in Hammersmith, London, that has products stocked with retailers such as Tesco, Morrisons, Asda and Sainsbury’s. With a range that features chilled, frozen and to go options, it is also a certified B Corp.

Richard Parris, editor at Startups, commented on the number of food and drink firms within the top 100 that have made sustainability a central part of their ethos.

Fighting climate change begins from our dinner plates​,” Parris said.

To hit ambitious climate targets, we’re going to have to tackle a meat-eating culture that’s been built on a foundation of intensive farming. And that’s where these exceptional UK startups come in. Whether it’s supplying lab-grown dairy products with no farmed animals needed; creating convincing plant-based meat alternatives; or simply producing the best chickpeas I’ve ever tasted, each of these businesses has an authentic and exciting approach towards sustainable eating."

Andy Shovel, co-founder of THIS, recalled that he first learned of the Startups list in 2008 when he was just starting his entrepreneurial journey.

He added: "They’ve held huge esteem in my eyes since then, and we’re all hugely honoured to have been placed so highly on the list this year. The accolade is a testament to the tenacity and innovation embedded across the team​."

In other news, Heineken has confirmed the sale of the historic Caledonian Brewery site in Edinburgh.

Related topics NPD Start-ups Plant-Based

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