Mass production is now an integral part of our supermarkets. Rack after rack you see identical products appearing and being made on a large scale. Meanwhile, there are also start-ups that are betting on quality. They connect us with small wine producers, make us eat ice cream with less sugar or introduce a portion of fruits and vegetables into our daily routine.
Wine per subscription
Our Daily Bottle
turns the normal way of buying wine completely upside down. “We offer a wine subscription ,” says Isabeau Sas, founder and driving force behind Our Daily Bottle.“Every month you discover two new wines with us. With each delivery you will also receive a magazine in which we tell the story of the wine grower and the wine region for example. We want to create a surprise effect every month,” says Isabeau.
In their monthly deliveries, they place a strong emphasis on the story behind the wine. “There is a huge oversupply of, mostly, industrial wines in the supermarket. So it’s becoming difficult to get the produce from smaller farmers into people’s homes.”
“With our service, consumers once again know what’s in their glass, who made the wine and the story behind it. Because our wines are always from small family farms.”
“They are the product of sustainable agriculture and usually organic or biodynamic,” explains Isabeau.
The idea of Our Daily Bottle comes from Isabeau’s long experience in the wine industry. “I’ve been working in the wine industry all my life,” says the entrepreneur. “I lived in South Africa, France and California like that so I know a lot of winemakers. But I saw that it was difficult for them to enter the Belgian market. And that while the Belgian wine market is very large, our country buys no less than 5% of the global wine production. But for the time being these are mainly mass products, i.e. industrial wines.
“Many consumers find wines quite intimidating and lost in the subject. The idea of Our Daily Bottle comes from those two problems. We want to solve both.”
Authenticity and quality , meanwhile, fit perfectly with what Our Daily Bottle does. “That’s the key differentiator,” states Isabeau. “Good wine doesn’t have to be expensive. And with Our Daily Bottle’s service, you’ll know what you’re drinking. Today’s customers are much more conscious about their consumption. We tell real stories, and our subscribers appreciate that.”
The next start-up also makes drinks, which admittedly have nothing at all to do with wine.
It produces small shots containing vegetables or fruit, with the aim of making people live healthier lives. The founder of Gingerwald was not at all the most obvious candidate to create such a company. “Before Gingerwald, I was a real careerist,” says founder Jan Verhoeven.
“My existence was very rushed. I was going from deadline to deadline, living on a diet of pizza, Coke and Red Bull so to speak. But that couldn’t last.”
“I then made the decision to start living healthier. Nevertheless, this proved to be very difficult, I had great difficulty building it into my daily routine. Which is also something you see in other people. Very often they are just too lazy to start living healthier. Because if you ask them if they want to live healthier, everyone responds positively. But if they have to make sacrifices, then suddenly there are far fewer candidates left.”
Jan now wants to solve that problem for others with Gingerwald. First, by making it easier to consume vitamins through their shots. But also by nudging people towards a healthy existence. “We install our own juice corners at companies,” Jan explains. “There employees can take shots. But there’s also a lot of interaction and gamification underneath. For example, there is an app that people use to log their shots. They can see how many vitamins they already consume, but also who consumes the most spinach in the workplace, for example, or who is the ginger king. It even allows you to treat shots.”
And an emphasis on quality comes with that. “All our vegetables come from local farmers and our shots are all natural with no preservatives. That also has its disadvantages, of course. For example, the shots can only be kept for one week, and on a logistical level this is more work. But nevertheless, we want to continue to offer really pure products.”
Less sugar, healthier living
To the side of the power supply we find
Ice Crime Factory
on. The name thus refers to a ‘crime’ committed by the start-up. They actually removed the sugar from their ice cream without anyone noticing. “We make sugar-free ice cream,” says founder Charles Colle. “And we sell those in Belgian retail.”
“Our products contain up to 70% less sugars compared to classic ice cream, which has many health benefits. You’ll find our products in stores like Delhaize, Carrefour and Spar in no time.”
And remarkably, that doesn’t have to mean a difference in taste. “There is a stereotype that sugar-free products are less delicious,” Charles says. “But it doesn’t have to be that way at all. By preparing our ice cream the right way, we still offer great taste, but without a lot of the added sugars.”
So that sounds like an interesting product when you’re on a diet, but according to Charles the relevance goes much further than that.
“According to the World Health Organization, we eat too many added sugars. And that creates all kinds of health effects, from an increased risk of diabetes to more obesity. By removing added sugars from our ice cream, we’re tackling that problem.” But to achieve that goal, of course, they have to be ambitious. “Our ambition is to really become an international reference point for healthy ice cream,” Charles explains. “In addition, we currently only sell in Belgium. So we want to start selling abroad very soon. Breaking outside of Belgium is our number one priority.“