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Shop Talk
September 5, 2019

The World’s First Molecular Coffee . . . Coming Soon!

MHT Partners  | Consumer Investment Bank

This weekend I finally gave in and decided to forgo my typical 2% whole milk and instead try the lactose-free brand at Trader Joes. It made me wonder what the next big product of the food tech industry will be? Apparently, the answer is coffee with no coffee beans. Atomo Coffee, if successful, will be the first molecular coffee in the world. The coffee is expected to hit the market as early as next year. The Seattle-based startup has recently secured a $2.6 million investment from Horizons Ventures. The venture capital firm’s portfolio focuses on disruptive technology companies. Horizons was one of the original investors in the Impossible Burger, which after much anticipation will finally be sold in grocery stores after it received FDA approval last month for its color additive – soy leghemoglobin.

According to its website, Atomo’s mission is not to replace existing coffee farmers, but to offer a better solution for the environment. Climate change is making it more difficult for farmers to produce coffee beans, as existing coffee bean plantations have been challenged with production losses. Recent studies claim that about half of the best coffee bean plantations could no longer be suited for coffee bean production by 2050, and many wild coffee species are already under threat of extinction.1 One of the consequences of this dynamic is increasing deforestation as new land is cultivated to meet demand for beans.

Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages around the world and demand is not likely to let up anytime soon. Atomo is promising coffee lovers a flavorful cup of coffee with all the normal flavors, aromas, and without the bitterness, all for a more reasonable price. On top of being a vegan product, Atomo is anticipating their final product to contain no food allergens and to be Kosher Certified. Seems like a promising solution for the millions of people who are dependent on coffee to kickstart their day.

As consumer investment bankers and avid coffee drinkers, we are curious to see Atomo’s development unfold and what repercussions it will have on the coffee industry. The food tech industry is gaining momentum as consumers are no longer only focused on their personal consumption but are starting to place higher value on sustainable and ecofriendly practices of businesses.

(1) Worland, Justin. “Your Morning Cup of Coffee Is in Danger. Can the Industry Adapt in Time?” Time 21 June 2018.

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