The Algae Factory – a social brand made in Italy

THE ALGAE FACTORY, a social brand created by two passionate and young Italians is on the rise. Keep an eye on the innovative business model of Stefania Abbona e Pierluigi Santoro.

According to the WORLD FOOD PROGRAM, 805 million of people do not have enough food. We are talking about 1/9 of the global population. In the majority of the cases, these people live in developing countries, in particular in Sub-Saharan Africa. About 3.1 million of children under 5 years old die every year due to malnutrition. These numbers are incredible if compared to the global snack market which amounts at $ 364 billion ($167 in Europe and $124 in the US).

The Algae Factory is a start up with the goal of reducing or, at least be part of the solution, for decreasing the gap between malnourished people and who instead spend billions of dollars in snacks. From one side, there is a starving world and from the other, millions of people who eat snacks containing palm oil and other not so healthy ingredients.

The Algae Factory is a start-up founded by Stefania Abbona and Pierluigi Santoro, two young Italians that met during their studies at Wageningen University, important Dutch University in the food and agro business sector. Both blond with blue eyes, Stefania and Pierluigi with a lot of passion developed the idea of a social brand which produces healthy algae based snacks. Algae are seen as an innovative ingredient in Europe, while in other parts of the world like Japan and Korea are consumed daily. At the moment, The Algae Factory uses in its products Spirulina, a cyanobacteria with a high content of protein, vitamins, minerals Omega 3 and 6, and essential amino acids. This superfood has been nominated by FAO “as a powerful tool to fight malnutrition” due to its complete nutritional profile.

The idea of creating a healthy and sustainable snack is combined with an innovative business model, called #bite4bite. The Algae Factory produces tasty snack bars with chocolate and Spirulina and, at the same time, its Corporate Social Responsibility strategy is implemented. Every time a product is bought by our customers, a portion of our sales goes directly back to the communities who need this precious ingredient. Indeed, The Algae Factory is collaborating with Antenna Technologies Foundation, a Swiss NGO which supports the development of algae farm in Africa for reducing malnutrition.

The goals of The Algae Factory are 2: putting in the market a healthy and delicious snack and helping malnourished people. In the last year, Stefania and Pierluigi have been selected and presented their project to different events: Ecotrophelia the NL, SIAL in Paris, Alimenta2Talent in Milan, and FoodBytes in San Francisco. A Dutch angel investor, StartLife, gave them the funds to start this amazing project and will be able to participate at the EXPO 2015 in Milan.

This social venture is on the rise and Nicola Abbona, 10 years of experience in the food and beverage sales and marketing, together with other young international professionals became members of the team, contributing every day at the development and success of this project.

Soon an e-commerce platform will be developed in order to bring The Algae Factory’s product in every home and companies. Few days ago, The Algae Factory participated at the EXPO in Milan, where the theme is to feed the planet. This is exactly what The Algae Factory aims to do: providing a solution for consumers of developed and developing countries.

At the EXPO, The Algae Factory presented its project and entrepreneurial experience at the Urban Center of Milan (Vittorio Emanuele Gallery), during the new pitch of the incubator Parco Tecnologico Padano (Lodi), and at the Start-up Initiative Event of Banca Intesa San Paolo at the Waterstone pavilion (EXPO).  Few days ago, The Algae Factory have been awarded by the Italian Minister of Agriculture Martina, together with Michiel Bakker (Google Food), as an example of young talented entrepreneurs and will be able to participate at the EXPO in Milan. Their new product will be launched in September/ October together with a crowdfunding campaign for raising capital and costumers for contributing at feeding the planet.

Source: The Algae Factory