Paulig gives its coffee waste a new life

Paulig gives its coffee waste a new life: Paulig venture arm PINC leads EUR 1.1 million seed round in Kaffe Bueno

As a sustainability frontrunner, Paulig is actively seeking new business models that promote circularity and reduce climate impacts. Paulig Incubator, PINC, invests in a Danish start-up, Kaffe Bueno, that upcycles coffee waste from Paulig’s Vuosaari roastery into high-value ingredients for cosmetics, nutraceuticals and functional foods. 

PINC invests in early stage start-ups in and around the future of food. The Kaffe Bueno and PINC collaboration started about a year ago with testing of the upcycling of ground coffee waste from the Paulig’s Vuosaari roastery. The by-product of coffee production is now used as raw material for cosmetics, nutraceuticals and functional foods.

“Being involved in this pioneer project, where we give coffee waste a new life, has been very interesting and rewarding. We have been evaluating different ways to recycle coffee waste for years and I am pleased to see it turned into something good”, says Timo Tuukkanen, the Facility and Security Manager of Paulig Vuosaari roastery.

Paulig has ambitious sustainability targets and achieving them requires innovations and collaboration. Testing the coffee waste upcycling led to a business deal where Paulig is now an investor in the Kaffe Bueno business.

“Kaffe Bueno is a perfect fit for PINC and Paulig. We aim to support start-ups with a strategic, financial and societal impact and Kaffe Bueno scores high on all of those”, says Marika King, Head of PINC.

In recent years, there has been a growing number of products related to coffee, from functional beverages to cosmetics and nutraceuticals and there is still a lot to be explored.

“The power of coffee is amazing; it is much more than a beverage. Growing up in Colombia, we used it for everything: wounds, skincare, desserts, you name it”, says Juan Medina, CEO and one of the three founders of Kaffe Bueno. “Our goal is to play an important role in the up and coming bio-economy by unlocking the health potential of coffee. Our pure Kaffe Bueno oil is already globally available for high-end personal care products and our versatile Kafflour is being used for healthier baking. With this capital injection we can really switch gears and scale up production to meet customer demand and accelerate the development of our next wave of products”.

Globally, 10 billion kg of spent coffee is waiting to be upcycled into health-promoting ingredients.

Kaffe Bueno recently announced a commercial agreement with Givaudan’s Active Beauty division. They are based at the Alfa Laval innovation hub outside of Copenhagen and will now expand their team and continue scaling up. The other investors in the round are Danish Vaekstfonden, global Agfood venture capital firm The Yield Lab and a Danish business angel.