Food Innovation Hub NX-Food in new dual leadership

23 August 2021

As of today, there will be a new Co-Managing Director in the dual leadership on the Management Board of NX-Food GmbH. Rafael Gasset, Chief Operating Officer and member of the Management Board of METRO AG, leads the food innovation hub together with Managing Director Veronika Pountcheva, Global Director Corporate Responsibility at METRO AG.


NX-Food, which was spun off from wholesale specialist METRO AG as an independent company in October 2020, is establishing itself as an innovation hub for the food ecosystem leveraging its expertise and large network.

“We have exciting tasks ahead of us and a committed team that is eager to take on the new challenges. For us, the focus is on making food innovations tangible and paving the way for players to reach consumers. We work closely with restaurateurs, but also within METRO to offer additional food innovation to professional customers,” says Gasset.

NX-Food, whose network so far encompasses around 800 founders, is working with some larger customers and is in promising talks with other players outside and within METRO AG. The food innovation hub most recently successfully launched a first whitepaper describing the ‘gastronomy-first’ approach. A path that commercially successful companies such as Impossible Foods and Oatly have successfully taken to establish their alternative products. “Food innovations, on the one hand, need explanation: Why are they there? What are they good for? On the other hand, they also need a good first impression - and this is much more successful in the hands of experienced gastro experts,” says Veronika Pountcheva and continues: “The market for these alternatives and innovations is there, it is dynamic, fast-moving and will continue to grow. With Generation Z, a group of people is gaining market power who, with climate and resource protection in mind, are more mindful of what ends up on their plates than any other generation. In its role as an innovation hub, NX-Food will mediate between food startups, established players in retail and gastronomy as well as consumers, identify trends and provide its customers and partners with a powerful network.”

Former Managing Director Fabio Ziemßen is leaving NX-Food GmbH at his own request to pursue new career opportunities. “NX-Food is a firmly established player in the 'alternative food universe'. We have built up a huge network, have know-how and experience. As a food innovation hub, we sit at the interface between industry and consumer, whether professional customer or end customer,” says Ziemßen.