7 Hottest Food Startups in San Francisco to Watch in 2023
Last Updated: By TRUiC Team
The birthplace of fortune cookies, Crab Louie, and Rocky Road ice cream, the city of San Francisco has seen plenty of culinary innovation since being founded in 1776. Today, a large number of exciting food startups call the Bay Area home.
To help inspire ideas for the growth of your own food startup, let's take a look at seven rising food companies that were founded in The Golden City.
Learn how to launch your own company by reading our comprehensive guide on how to start a startup.
Top San Francisco Food Companies to Follow
Every year, new startups pull to the forefront of their industry through exciting innovation and industry-disrupting business models. We’ve rounded up the most exciting San Francisco food startups of 2023 that startup-lovers, investors, and aspiring entrepreneurs should follow.
Disclaimer: With so many exciting startups launching and growing worldwide, we aren’t able to cover them all. Furthermore, the startups that are listed below are not officially ranked and are listed in no particular order.
- Founders: Alvin Salehi, Joey Grassia
- Founded In: 2019
- Funding: $102.3 Million
- Investors Include: Katy Perry, Andreessen Horowitz
In many cases, the quality of the meals you get with meal delivery services is hit or miss. With Shef, though, customers are able to order meals that are prepared fresh by local chefs. All you have to do is choose the "shef" that you would like to work with and order your meals in advance so that they have time to gather fresh ingredients. Meals are then shipped to your door in refrigerated packaging, ready to heat up and enjoy.
2. Imperfect Foods (Acquired by Misfits Market)
- Founders: Ben Simon, Benjamin Chesler, Ron Clark
- Founded In: 2015
- Funding: $229.1 Million
- Investors Include: Norwest Venture Partners, Insight Partners
Over half of the food that farmers in the United States produce is thrown away due to either imperfections or excess stock. In an effort to both eliminate food waste and make groceries more affordable for customers, Imperfect Foods "rescues" blemished or overstocked food products from farmers and grocery stores all over the country. The company then repackages the products and delivers them directly to customers at deeply discounted prices.
- Founders: Laura Modi, Sarah Hardy
- Founded In: 2018
- Funding: $21.5 Million
- Investors Include: VMG Partners, Bolt
Adults aren't the only ones who have to eat. After seeing a need in the market for affordable, nutritious baby formula, Laura Modi and Sarah Hardy founded Bobbie — a company that manufacturers and delivers organic infant formula. Bobbie sells infant formula on-demand or on a subscription basis. Though the recent infant formula shortage is currently preventing Bobbie from accepting any new customers, the company continues to serve its existing subscribers and looks forward to accepting new subscribers again in the near future.
4. UPSIDE Foods
- Founders: Nicholas Genovese, Uma Valeti, William Clem
- Founded In: 2015
- Funding: $598 Million
- Investors Include: Temasek Holdings, Abu Dhabi Growth Fund
Formerly known as Memphis Meats, UPSIDE Foods manufactures meat products by cultivating animal protein cells. This allows the company to produce chicken meat, beef, fish, duck meat, and more — all without having to raise or slaughter any animals. This innovative process enables UPSIDE Foods customers to enjoy a variety of delicious meats completely free of guilt.
- Founders: Kevin Li, Pradeep Elankumaran
- Founded In: 2016
- Funding: $34.4 Million
- Investors Include: Sebastian Dobrincu, Aidenlair Capital
Using artificial intelligence, Farmstead connects grocery shoppers with local farms in their area and allows them to order fresh produce and a wide range of other food products directly to their door. By cutting out the middle man, Farmstead helps consumers save money on groceries while also helping farmers profit more from their goods. Along with using its software to deliver fresh food to customers, Farmstead also sells its warehouse management software to other grocery stores across the country.
- Founders: Matthew Bouchner, Will Said
- Founded In: 2018
- Funding: $900,000
- Investors Include: CP Ventures, Palm Drive Capital
Like a search engine for food delivery, MealMe is an app that lets users shop from all of the restaurants and grocery stores in their area. Users can then add products to their cart, pay for them within the app, and arrange for either delivery or pickup. By comparing prices and delivery times across all major food delivery services, MealMe enables users to select the offering with the lowest price and fastest delivery and includes a much longer list of restaurants and menu items than any single food delivery service.
7. Hooray Foods
- Founders: Sri Artham
- Founded In: 2019
- Funding: $7.2 Million
- Investors Include: Evolution VC Partners, David Hoffman
Many people love bacon, but it isn't the healthiest food that you can eat. Along with being high in fat and cholesterol, bacon is also expensive, and producing it isn't a very eco-friendly process. To solve all of these shortcomings, Hooray Foods produces plant-based bacon that is nutritious, sustainable, and affordable. Using a proprietary fat encapsulation technique, Hooray Foods is able to produce plant-based bacon that sizzles, smells, and tastes just like the real thing.
Recommended: Check out our full list of the top startups to watch!