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Food & Beverage Failures

20 Failed Food & Beverage Startups & the Reasons Behind

Here's a list of 20 failed food and beverage startups, analyses on why they shut down, and interviews with their founders.

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There are a lot of things to consider when building a new startup - where to get funding, how to validate your idea, and what features should the product have.

One of the challenges is finding a market that is willing to pay for your solution without even knowing what it is yet.

However, 90% of startups will fail and shut down.

In this article, you can find 20 failed Food & Beverage startups as well as analyses on why they closed down.


20 Failed Food & Beverage Startups

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Dazo

Dazo

Dazo was a food-tech startup based in Bangalore which emerged as a “food on demand” company. Fierce competition and lack of funding led to Dazo's failure.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Monica Rastogi, Shashaank Shekhar Singhal

  • Country:

    India

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2015

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    No Data

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Competition

You can read more about their failure here.

Dinner Lab

Dinner Lab

Dinner Lab offered a culinary experience with a group of strangers in an unusual place. They faced several problems, including the diner's timing.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Brian Bordainick, Francisco Robert, Zach Kupperman

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Dinnr

Dinnr

Dinnr allowed to select a recipe and order pre-measured ingredients accompanied with instructions. However, there wasn’t a market need for the business.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Adil Mohammed, Michal Bohanes

  • Country:

    United Kingdom

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2012

  • Closed in:

    2014

  • Nº of employees:

    1-10

  • Funding Amount:

    < $1M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

You can read more about their failure here.

Flowtab

Flowtab

Flowtab was an app that solved the problem of long queues in bars. They tried several business models but never found a profitable one, so they shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Mike Townsend

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2013

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Juicero

Juicero

Juicero was a juice company that packed fresh organic fruits. They claimed their juicer was innovative, until customers found out the machine was useless.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Doug Evans

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Nº of employees:

    100-250

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Kitchit

Kitchit

Kitchit brought local chefs to your home. They had to compete with other big food providers in the same market, which provoked their failure.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Brendan Marshall, Ian Ferguson

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $1M-$10M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Competition

You can read more about their failure here.

Maple

Maple

Maple prepared and delivered meals in NY. They were losing money on each meal and it only began making a profit from 2016, just before they shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Akshay Navle, Caleb Merkl

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Nº of employees:

    100-250

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Business Model

You can read more about their failure here.

Munchery

Munchery

Munchery allowed users to order gourmet food. However, they couldn't deliver the experience that it promised and build a profitable business model.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Conrad Chu, Tri Tran, Van Tran

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2011

  • Closed in:

    2019

  • Nº of employees:

    100-250

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Multiple Reasons

You can read more about their failure here.

PepperTap

PepperTap

PepperTap provided a platform to buy and deliver groceries from local markets. Customers found delivery fees too expensive for their needs, and shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Milind Sharma, Navneet Singh

  • Country:

    India

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    1,000-5,000

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Poor Product

You can read more about their failure here.

SpoonRocket

SpoonRocket

SpoonRocket was a food delivery service making healthy meals each day. When their financial situation declined, they failed to fundraise to stay afloat.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Anson Tsui, Steven Hsiao

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Competition

You can read more about their failure here.

Sprig

Sprig

Sprig delivered meals to customers who were looking for healthy choices. Sprig found the process time-consuming and expensive, and decided to shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Gagan Biyani, Matt Kent, Morgan Springer, Neeraj Berry

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Nº of employees:

    50-100

  • Funding Amount:

    > $50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Competition

You can read more about their failure here.

Take Eat Easy

Take Eat Easy

TakeEatEasy enabled restaurants to provide a reliable delivery service for their customers. Their margins were insufficient and closed doors after 3 years.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Adrien Roose, Chloé Roose, Jean-Christophe Libbrecht, Karim Slaoui

  • Country:

    Belgium

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2013

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Nº of employees:

    100-250

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Competition

You can read more about their failure here.

Teforia

Teforia

Teforia was a tea brewer that yielded the perfect cup of tea by combining tradition with smart technology. It had an absence of market fit and shut down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founders:

    Allen Han, Kris Efland

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2017

  • Nº of employees:

    10-50

  • Funding Amount:

    $10M-$50M

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

You can read more about their failure here.

Chowdy

Chowdy

Steve and his housemate were always complaining food was expensive in Toronto. So, they came with a solution: hire a chef for themselves and 20 friends. This simple idea quickly escalated into a business, that, within a few months, was making +$110,000 per month. But, as it went up fast, it also came down rapidly. The business was involved in some legal problems, which forced the founders to shut it down. Read Steve’s failure story and learn from his mistakes!

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Steven Long

  • Country:

    Canada

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2016

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Legal Challenges

You can read more about their failure here.

FreshConnect

FreshConnect

Tarun co-founded Freshconnect, an online B2B marketplace for fresh agricultural produce like fruits & vegetables. After making mistakes like lack of focus and bad hiring, they couldn't secure a funding round and eventually got acqui-hired by another company.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Tarun Gupta

  • Country:

    India

  • Industry:

    e-Commerce

  • Started in:

    2018

  • Closed in:

    2020

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Management

You can read more about their failure here.

Juice Startup

Juice Startup

Wit Sumathavanit has recently started to pivot from offline to online entrepreneurship. But before that, he tried to build a juice business in Bangkok. He lost around $3,000 but those learnings impacted his process to validate new ideas.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Wit Sumathavanit

  • Country:

    Thailand

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2020

  • Closed in:

    2020

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    No Market Need

You can read more about their failure here.

Melon

Melon

Kevin was the founder of Melon, a food delivery startup aimed at being more cost-effective. Melon’s unique approach was quickly validated through an MVP and in just two months, the business grew to $10k/mo and 500 users. However, they realized becoming profitable would be hard and decided to discontinue the service.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Kevin Wang

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2019

  • Closed in:

    2020

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Lack of Experience

You can read more about their failure here.

NOX

NOX

Jeremiah is an ex-entrepreneur who co-founded NOX, a nightlife app that allowed users to book events, services, and VIPs. The 5-person-team raised $90,000 from several angel investors but had to pivot into an e-commerce platform for alcoholic beverages, which was eventually making $20,000/month. However, the lack of both financial discipline and ideas to scale led to its failure.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Jeremiah Lam

  • Country:

    Singapore

  • Industry:

    e-Commerce

  • Started in:

    2015

  • Closed in:

    2018

  • Funding Amount:

    < $100K

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Mismanagement of Funds

You can read more about their failure here.

Refolo

Refolo

Lola founded Refolo, a meal-planning app focused on plant-based eating. After spending 2 years selling a solution for a problem that people weren't already investing money in, she decided to shut it down looking for other opportunities.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Lola Ojabowale

  • Country:

    United States

  • Industry:

    Health

  • Started in:

    2018

  • Closed in:

    2020

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Bad Market Fit

You can read more about their failure here.

The Punjab Kitchen

The Punjab Kitchen

Amit is a hard-core sales professional, who decided to set up a home-made food business with his wife. They started investing $1,200/month to set up the startup and get the first customers. However, once running they had to confront a big problem: the prices of their competitors were much lower. After some pivots, they decided to shut it down.

Details of the startup:

  • Founder:

    Amit Gogia

  • Country:

    India

  • Industry:

    Food & Beverage

  • Started in:

    2014

  • Closed in:

    2015

  • Funding Amount:

    $0

  • Specific cause of failure:

    Competition

You can read more about their failure here.

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