The Fast Good Company: turning fast food into fast good
The Fast Good Company is a plant-based ready-meal startup from the Netherlands. The company was founded by Dylan Duinmaijer and Stéphanie de Jong, who are both part of the current cohort at the ProVeg Incubator. This is their story.
What does your startup do and what is your mission?
Dylan: Our mission is to turn fast food into fast good, with the power of frozen plant-based ready-meals. We produce products that are good for you and great for the planet. By freezing our ready-meals when they are fresh, we not only lock in the health benefits of the ingredients, but we’re also helping to reduce food waste. Consumers can keep our products for up to 12 months, without losing any of the nutritional goodness inside.
Stéphanie: A third of all food produced for human consumption is discarded as waste, amounting to around 1.3 billion tonnes every year! We believe that it’s time for this to change. With our mission of supporting the planet, we strive towards waste-free operations. We plan on setting an example for the entire food industry. Together, we can drive positive change – for people and the planet – while having some fun along the way.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
Dylan: While running a catering company, I started looking for a more sustainable way to give people easy access to healthy, plant-based food. I did some research and discovered that a third of all of food produced for human consumption is wasted! That’s when I came up with the idea to start producing frozen plant-based meals.
I really believe that food needs to taste great and fuel your body in a positive way. That’s what inspired the idea of creating fast food which is good for you. To ensure that our meals are healthy, we focus on protein content and high nutritional values, without the need to add preservatives or refined sugars.
Tell us about your team. Why are you the right people for the project?
Stéphanie: Dylan is the original founder of the business. He previously owned and ran a catering company and has a great passion for food that provides healthy fuel for the body. He is the one with the product-development knowledge, who comes up with tasty new products. This, in combination with a qualification in International Business, makes him the right person for R&D, sales, and directing the company.
Dylan: Once Stéphanie heard about the idea, she decided to join forces with me since the company matches her beliefs and personal mission. With her academic background in creative business, Stephanie has built a solid portfolio in marketing, communications, and branding for several companies This makes her the right person to build the Fast Good Company’s brand and to get the story of our products to consumers.
What are your favourite parts about building your business?
Dylan: That moment when everything works out. You have been building and working on your concept for an extended period of time before people actually see your product. This teaches you to appreciate the process – and have fun along the way.
Stéphanie: The fact that while your business grows, you, personally, are also growing. And once you can show off your product, share your mission, and get people to support you – that is priceless.
What are the main challenges you’ve faced?
Dylan: Convincing the Dutch market that frozen food is cool and can be good for you. Compared with some other countries, the Netherlands’ frozen-food sector needs to update its image. Luckily, the image of frozen food is slowly starting to change as the plant-based sector grows.
Stéphanie: A further challenge we’ve faced is being able to scale a product. We need to make sure that the quality of our products remains the same when they are being produced on a large scale.
What makes your company unique?
Dylan: Our business is unique because we believe that fast food can actually be good food. Our plant-based dishes retain their high nutritional values because they are frozen while fresh. As our ready-meals have a shelf-life of up to 12 months, consumers will always have the option of a comforting, healthy meal that’s also convenient and perfectly portioned. You won’t have to cook or feel like a jerk for throwing away food that you forgot about!
Stéphanie: Of course we want to stay unique, but we also hope to inspire others to create more products in the plant-based and frozen sectors. We believe we are stronger together and would love to see more brands enter this space and collaborate.
Why did you decide to join the ProVeg Incubator?
Stéphanie: The ProVeg Incubator programme is giving us the opportunity to learn and to get advice directly from experts in the food industry. As a startup, it sometimes feels like we are chartering unknown waters. Especially on the retail side, we don’t have much experience, and getting this type of support really helps us. In addition, by joining the Incubator, we are getting the valuable opportunity of building a network and getting investors on board.
What do you hope to achieve with your company in the next 12 months?
Dylan: First, we hope to raise investments to successfully launch in retail, both in the Netherlands and Germany, with our main focus on Germany. In addition, for the Dutch market, we want more people to understand the positive power of frozen food and become familiar with our products. We want to go out and speak publicly about the benefits of frozen food and why it’s important in terms of decreasing food waste.
Additionally, we would like to get more people on board the plant-based train. We hope to inspire more people to eat plant-based, including non-vegans. With fast, good food, we hope that more people will choose a sustainable alternative.