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- 🐄 Cultivated Meat Moo-mentum
🐄 Cultivated Meat Moo-mentum
PLUS: How to become a FoodHack Ambassador, from thin air: chocolate bars and drinking water, shaky vs strong trends for 2024
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This week in Food:
☕️ Cups of comfort: Menopause tea
💦 Making a splash: Drinking water from air
🏆 A goldmine: Your go-to foodtech resource
📈 What’s up? NotCo is now allowed to use the word ‘milk’ on its plant-based beverages, after the Court of Appeals of Valdivia rejected the Association of Milk Producers of the Los Ríos Region’s lawsuit accusing NotCo of unfair competition. Here’s how it happened.
📉 What’s down? French fry producer Lamb Weston Holdings has been left with surplus stock (and a $71 million charge to write off the excess supply) due to reduced demand as consumers dine out less frequently through the cost-of-living crisis.
🥩 Major cultivated meat milestone: Israel’s Aleph Farms has been awarded the world’s first regulatory approval for cultivated beef, allowing it to market its products in the country, with plans to roll out to restaurants and, eventually, retailers.v Here’s why it’s a ‘first’ 3x.
🇯🇵 The Japanese government is making changes and transferring powers to different organisations in the country to create a more flexible approach to the novel food sector, including supporting the cultivated meat industry.
🧑⚖️ At the other end of the scale: Two Arizona House representatives have proposed bills prohibiting what they’re calling the “misbranding” of meat alternatives, and banning the sale or production of any cultivated meat product.
🔝Useful: Daniel Skavén Ruben published this Ultimate FoodTech Resource Guide, jam-packed with useful links and familiar faces.
📊 Expectations vs time. Digital Food Labs maps the strong and shaky trends for 2024.
New in Funding
Credit: Mediterranean Food Lab
🍗 Israel’s Mediterranean Food Lab raised $17 million Series A funding to scale its AI-powered solid state fermentation technology, which it uses to create ingredients it claims can “transform the sensory experience of eating plant-based foods”.
🌾 Farm-ng, based in the Bay Area, secured $10 million Series A funding in a round led by Acre Venture Partners. Its autonomous modular farming technology is designed to help humans with tasks such as soil preparation, harvest, and crop care.
🍊 Israeli startup Better Juice closed its Series A funding round, including investment from Ingredion Ventures. Its enzymatic technology converts up to 80% of the sugars in fruit juice into dietary fibres and non-digestible sugars, and it says the new partnership with Ingredion will allow it to extend the technology to other liquids with natural sources of sugar, such as milk, beer, and wine.
🇺🇬 Fiber Foods, based in Uganda, secured an undisclosed investment from agrifoodtech fund Foodsparks. It is creating a scalable, gender-friendly value chain for a versatile and affordable jackfruit ingredient for plant-based meat alternatives for foodservice.
👓 Take a look at all the funding rounds from the week including harvest assist robots and a tree intelligence platform for orchard and forest health.
New in Startups
🍭 British startup Nourished inked a deal with UK retailer Co-op to launch its 3D-printed functional gummies into 92 stores across the nation.
🧫 UK-based Multus unveiled what it says is the world’s first commercial-scale production facility for affordable, serum-free growth media for the cultivated meat industry, supported by its £7.9 million raise in January 2023. Here’s how they’ll help to scale cultivated meat in 2024.
🌼 New Zealand’s Daisy Lab has successfully manufactured the first batch of its animal-free whey protein, and is diversifying into lactoferrin to “boost its commercial gains”.
🔬 Swiss biotech Planetary SA is joining forces with Japanese imaging technology giant Konica Minolta Inc. to cut the costs of its fermentation technologies and accelerate the production of fermented proteins, including dairy, eggs, fats and mycoproteins.
☕️ UK-based tea producer D’Amazonia debuted a tea designed specifically for menopause support, which features ingredients including hibiscus for cardiovascular health, rosehip for its anti-inflammatory properties, passionflower leaf to boost calmness and hawthorn to help lower blood pressure.
🩸 US startup January AI debuted a free, AI-powered app that analyses meal photos to perform predictive analysis on the impact of various foods on blood sugar.
🍫 Fazer, a Finnish food experience company, introduced a limited edition chocolate snack bar, Taste the Future, powered by Solein - protein created out of thin air without agriculture.
🇦🇺 Australian plant-based meat company v2food has acquired plant-based ready meal brand Soulara, also based in Australia, to support its goal of expanding beyond retail and food service into D2C sales.
🥛 Israeli precision fermentation company Imagindairy unveiled its industrial-scale production facility, with a 100,000-litre fermentation capacity for its animal-free dairy proteins.
🍣 Modern Plant Based Foods, based in Vancouver, launched its Vegan Kaviar line, with flavours including salmon, wasabi, and beluga, to tap into the growing popularity of caviar as a snack.
🍔 Beyond Meat launched a new ad campaign poking fun at Veganuary misconceptions and championing its new product range.
💡 Good Read: Want to know how to scale a world-class global plant-based brand? Green Queen’s latest report explores TiNDLE Foods’ groundbreaking success; check it out here.
ADM announced its first successful shipment of traceable soybeans from the US to Europe, in anticipation of new EU regulations that will prohibit imports of soybeans from deforested land, due to come into effect at the end of the year.
❌ Starbucks is being sued by the National Consumers League in the US for allegedly misleadingly promoting its tea and coffee as being 100% ethically sourced.
🍔 The parent company of Burger King, Tim Hortons, Popeyes, and Firehouse Subs, Restaurant Brands International Inc., is acquiring Carrols Restaurant Group, which currently operates more than 1,000 Burger King restaurants and over 60 Popeyes restaurants, for $1 billion, as part of its plans to “Reclaim the Flame”.
🧀 Ever.Ag unveiled its ‘Cheese Yield Optimization’ technology, which uses AI and machine learning to optimise cheese manufacturers’ efficiency, reduce waste, and increase yield.
🍜 Unilever is trialling accessibility app specialist Be My Eyes’ AI-powered technology, which aids consumers who are visually impaired, on its Colman’s Singapore Noodles Meal Maker. If successful, the Accessible QR codes will be incorporated into more of its brands in 2024.
🍺 Uber is closing its alcohol delivery service, Drizly, three years after acquiring it for $1.1 billion, to focus instead on its core Uber Eats strategy.
From the Community
Looking for a job?
👋 Save the date and join FoodTech Pitch Lounge next Thursday, 25th January 6PM UTC. Register online to attend or pitch. Use code FH25Jan
😇 Save this: A list of the most active operator angels.
🌟 6 investors discuss the benchmarks for funding alt proteins in 2024.
🥶 Warm introductions vs cold introductions. What’s the difference?
🧪 Just for fun: Meet the chemical not allowed into ‘the product’
That’s a wrap for today. Until next Friday…
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Until next time - Stay Hungry