May 2024

Teaming up for impact: ZFV Group on their partnerships with Yumame, Steasy and Food2050

Image of the Yumane team
Powering 200+ meeting places across Switzerland, Valley partner ZFV Group (ZFV) has more than 125 years of expertise in the fields of hospitality and catering. Fortunately for our ecosystem, they don’t keep this knowledge under lock and key. They’re eager to partner with food sector startups to help bring fresh innovations to market.

The ZFV team believes that we can only achieve true change through collaboration. This is why the company is constantly on the lookout for new partnerships with future-focused startups. Read on to find out how Valley partners Steasy, FOOD2050, and Yumame have already benefited from their advice and support. 

Yumame: Partnering with innovative producers

In its own restaurants, as well as in cafeterias and staff restaurants, ZFV’s focus is on balanced and climate-friendly food. Whether it’s through innovative recipes from ZFV’s own climate-friendly kitchen, totally new concepts like Flavour Kitchen or Green Kitchen Lab, or menus that feature more than 50% vegan and vegetarian offerings, ZFV relies first and foremost on diverse partnerships with innovative producers – like Valley partner Yumame Foods AG.

The startup produces delicious and sustainable food based on fungi and fermentation, with a strong focus on local and environmentally-friendly practices. These newcomers attracted the attention of ZFV’s F&B team, who were immediately enthused and impressed by its products. ZFV has now become Yumame’s first catering partner — and they’ve already dished up their first recipes in the Green Kitchen Lab at the University of Zurich. This includes the innovative “Farm to Table” research project, which ZFV developed together with the Zurich University School of Management and Law and Zurich University of the Arts, where Yumame was featured as an important part of the culinary offer.

FOOD2050: Enabling more climate-friendly choices

ZFV values transparency about the effects of its food highly, and aims to inspire its guests with enthusiasm for an environmentally-friendly and balanced diet. Startup and Valley partner FOOD2050, founded in 2021, pursues the same aim. The company was in the process of developing a meal plan system and was looking for a partner that shared its values.

Won over by FOOD2050’s vision, ZFV became its strategic partner in 2021, and they jointly implemented the meal plan system for the first time at the University of Zurich in 2022. They continued to develop the concept together, creating a digital menu and meal plan that helps guests understand the the climate impact of their menus and food profiles that offer detailed information about individual dishes – right down to portraits of the producers who grew the ingredients. The solution was rolled out across 80 ZFV companies in 2023.

“Innovation means keeping one’s eyes open, constant scrutiny, actively engaging with one’s environment, personal development and also taking a chance now and then!” – Dario Notaro, CBDO ZFV

Steasy: Investing in the future of catering

By investing in Steasy, a start-up that developed the first-ever mobile mini steamer, ZFV found a way to delight and serve those who don’t eat their lunch in cafeterias and staff restaurants. Thanks to an integrated battery, a pre-prepared menu can be quickly and gently heated — a total innovation with potential that was immediately obvious to the ZFV team. Today, they’re busy implementing a proof of concept for possible business cases that can leverage this exciting technology.

“High-quality, healthy and sustainable food should also be possible on the move, or in locations where it is not possible to eat in a restaurant,” – Dario Notaro, CBDO ZFV

Open to innovation and new partners

ZFV’s partnerships help the company move closer to its vision of comprehensive meeting places that encompass six key dimensions – menu, people, physical space, virtual space, sustainability — and most importantly, the ZFV ecosystem, including partners like Steasy, FOOD2050 and Yumame.

Through its partnership with Valley, ZFV is eager to connect with even more Swiss food innovators. The team is currently developing a unique innovation infrastructure to further accelerate rapid market testing within the broader ZFV ecosystem.

Read the article in German

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