🦆 Foie gras from fungi
PLUS: $80M grant for climate-friendly farming
Before we jump into today’s edition, our hearts go out to the Israeli community who suffered horrific and unacceptable terrorist attacks, leading to devastating losses and civilian casualties over the last few days.
Our team was devastated by the personal tragedies and stories we heard from members of our Israeli communities who had to step back from their professional duties this week.
Incredible founders and builders with big hearts and ambitions, caught in a spiral of violence we can only hope to see come to an end.
As we hope for better days and a more secure future, it’s never too late to check-in on your friends, business partners and fellow founders.
This Week in Food:
🧀 Cheese from peas
☕️ Beanless espressos
🍄 World first seafood tasting
📈 What’s up? A new report from Brick Meets Click shows that pick up is on the rise as the preferred option for online grocery shoppers.
📉 What’s down? Data from Kantar shows that UK grocery price inflation has fallen to its lowest level in over a year to 11%.
❌ California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a bill banning the use of four ingredients - Red No. 3, brominated vegetable oil, potassium bromate and propylparaben - from 1st January 2027.
💡Good Read: Synthesis Capital shared this great read on previous adoption S-curves in food technologies.
🕺 A new study published in Frontiers in Communication finds that using masculine language or attributes to describe vegan dishes “sparked men’s interest” in plant-based foods.
4️⃣ 4 tips from Forbes on how to raise Corporate Venture Capital.
📊 This graph shows the carbon footprint of your favourite drinks.
Funds x Funding
💸 Virginia Tech received a grant of $80 million from the United States Department of Agriculture to help farmers implement climate-friendly practices that could significantly reduce greenhouse gasses.
🇮🇱 Israeli food tech Wanda Fish Technologies raised $7 million seed funding to optimise its technology and accelerate the scalability of its cultivated whole-cut filet of bluefin tuna.
🇪🇸 Catalonia’s Department of Climate Action, Food and Rural Agenda, and the Institute of Agri-Food Research and Technology have made an historic €7 million investment into Spain’s first Center for Innovation in Alternative Proteins, which will focus on alternative ingredients, food, and feed.
🧀 The University of Nottingham and its spinoff The Good Pulse Company received a £300,000 grant from Innovate UK to further their research into making nutritious plant-based cheese from UK-grown yellow peas.
👀 See all 14 funds and funding rounds from this week including Shark Tank’s low calorie chocolate and Lanch’s food delivery brands for influencers.
➕ Beyond the fundamentals of seed investing, how can investors identify the outliers? Giuseppe Stuto of 186 Ventures explains how, here.
☕️ Seattle-based Atomo unveiled the ‘world’s first beanless espresso’ and is set to open a facility next year that will be able to produce four million pounds (around 80 million cups) of ground ‘coffee’ made from upcycled date pits a year. Here’s where you can try it.
🇳🇱 Dutch B2B ingredients firm Vivici has successfully scaled its platform to produce animal-free beta-lactoglobulin, which is the key whey protein found in dairy, and is working towards US regulatory approval.
🍄 Germany’s Esencia Foods, which uses solid-state fermentation to create whole-cut whitefish, hosted Europe’s first tasting of mycelium-derived seafood at the Anuga fair in Cologne. So, how does it look when cooked?
🐈 Cultivated pet food producer BioCraft Pet Nutrition unveiled its new proprietary AI-powered tool that accelerates its R&D process to achieve optimal cell proliferation and nutrient production.
🦆 Californian startup Prime Roots is partnering with French artisanal charcuterie maker Fabrique Délices to develop and distribute a range of fungi-based koji-pâtés and koji-foie gras for foodservice. Check out the backstory.
🇪🇸 Barcelona-based Heura unveiled its 100% plant-based “Jamón York style” slices, made with just ten ingredients, which are set to launch in Spain and France.
🍗 UK vegan fried chicken company VFC is acquiring British plant-based pie maker Clive’s Purely Plants for an undisclosed sum, in a move that expands its position from an alt-meat company to a plant-based food producer.
🔪 Plant-based brand Wicked Kitchen is expanding into Asda stores across the UK, marking a major retail milestone.
🥩 Israel’s Chunk Foods is bringing its signature Chunk Steak to Philadelphia-based vegan comfort food restaurant Monster Vegan, and is partnering with US plant-based food distributor Ace Natural to further expand its US presence. In the US? Here’s where you can try it next.
🧫 GEA, one of the world's largest systems suppliers for the food, beverage and pharmaceutical sectors, has developed a digital twin for virtual testing of bioreactors prior to their construction, to ensure they provide a prime growth environment for cultivated cells.
🍹Molson Coors has collaborated with a panel of Gen Z consumers to create Happy Thursday, a new range of fizz-free spiked refresher beverages aimed at young drinkers.
🚜 UK supermarket Waitrose is to power specially-designed tractors at its Leckford Estate farm with methane produced by cow manure, harvested in a new biomethane storage plant.
🛒 Lidl Germany announced that the majority of its own-brand vegan range, Vemondo, will be priced equally to and merchandised adjacent to products of animal origin across all of its stores.
🍔 Mitch Lee of Purezza asks how fast should ‘fast food’ be, and at what cost?
HackTrends: Air Conditioning
Air con is bad news for the planet. And that’s a problem. Air conditioner use is set to triple worldwide by 2050, from 1.6 billion units today to 5.6 billion units by the middle of this century, according to the International Energy Agency. So let’s take a look at the companies looking for smarter, more sustainable routes to cool down our homes and workplaces.
🔎 Discover in the full HackTrends Report:
- 2x case studies (Transaera, AtmoCooling)
- The why, the challenges and the figures behind the space
- List of 22 companies cooling us down without warming up the planet
- Expert insights from Paul Mahacek and Sonalie Figuieras
From the Community
Get a job in FoodTech:
- ProteinDistillery (Germany) are recruiting a Strategic Finance Associate
- Greencovery (Netherlands) are hiring a Food Technologist
- ShakeUp Factory (France) are looking for an Intern Program Manager
👋 Join us at a FoodHack Meetup this month in Valais (16th), Brussels (19th), New York (26th). See all upcoming Meetups
📣 Calling Female Founders: Join the next Office Hours to meet 300 fellow founders and 4 investors for pitching and mentoring.
🇨🇭Join Swissnex in San Francisco for their 20th anniversary celebration taking place in Basel, 24th October on the future of urban food systems. Sign up for free.
🙋♀️ Are you an early-stage food and ag tech female founder who has raised less than $1M in capital? Pitch an all-star group of VCs for the chance to win $25K USD in equity-free capital + platinum pass & flight to SXSW 2024.
🍰 Just for fun: Let’s bake it happen, have your term sheet and eat it too.
Until next time - Stay Hungry