🇨🇦 Maple Syrup Drought

PLUS: 20 biggest fundraises of Q1, novel algae oils, hydroponic hop plants

As Q1 comes to a close, we recap the 20 biggest fundraises in AgriFoodTech so far, surpassing $1.2 billion between them.

With Elo Life Systems, Heura, Infinite Roots, Inari, Infinite Roots, Mediterranean Food Lab, Perfect Day and Voyage Foods (to name a few) making fundraising headlines.

And in the words of Big Idea Ventures’ Andrew Ive, who told us “It may still be hard to raise funds. But founders with a unique product, solving industry problems, an experienced team, and data backing it up, will succeed.”

Let’s Hack ON

This week in FoodTech:

🍄 Koji Mould: New meat analogues
🥜 Go Nuts: Nut-free peanut butter
🎋 Bamboo Shoot: Milk alternative

The Digest

Credit: We Are The New Farmers

📈 What’s up? AgFunder News combined a list of agrifood companies’ water stewardship commitments.

📉 What’s down? Canada’s maple syrup reserve has hit a 16-year low of just 7 million pounds, due to both a rise in demand and warmer weather disrupting production.

🎯 Data from the Science Based Targets Initiative shows that 239 major companies are on track to miss their net-zero deadline, including the likes of Microsoft, P&G, Unilever and Walmart.

🍄 Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have found that koji mould could be the key to better-tasting meat analogues, whilst also improving nutrition and texture.

💙 Scientists at the University of Copenhagen have discovered that fibres from blue-green algae can be used to create a similar texture to meat.

🎋 A study from the China National Bamboo Research Centre reveals that bamboo shoots contain proteins that are “similar to cow’s milk”.

🏆 Apply today: As seen in Green Queen Media, enter your startup to the FoodTech World Cup, a global tournament for industry disruptors, take part in a regional Demo Day and pitch in the final at the HackSummit.

Funds x Funding

Credit: Culture Pop Soda

💸 The Kraft Heinz Co. will receive up to $170 million from the US Department of Energy to support clean energy projects at ten of its US plants, including an electrification and energy storage project which should reduce annual emissions at the plants by more than 99% from 2022 levels. 

🥤 US probiotic soda brand Culture Pop Soda raised $21 million in a Series B funding round led by Enlighten Hospitality. It will use the funds to further expand its operations.

☕️ Paris-based NetZero raised €18 million and announced a partnership with Nestlé Nespresso SA to build a biochar production facility in Brazil, designed to support local coffee farmers to improve their soil health and adopt regenerative practices.

🍗 British startup SHICKEN Foods, which makes vegan Asian dishes featuring highly realistic plant-based chicken, secured an additional £4 million from Veg Capital to take its brand “fully global”.

🧫 German cultivated meat producer Innocent Meat raised €3 million to further develop its existing biocomponents, scale up its pilot plant, and initiate the necessary certification processes as it works towards regulatory approval.

🔦 See all funding rounds from the week including fat and oil alternatives and a food-as-medicine startups’ ​​nutrition for postpartum mums.

New in Startups

Credit: Checkerspot x AAK

🪸 California-based Checkerspot is partnering with AAK to develop, scale and commercially produce precision fermentation-derived novel algae oils for meat alternatives, plant-based food, and personal care products.

✅ Netherlands-based The Protein Brewery has received regulatory approval from the Singapore Food Agency and the US Food and Drug Administration for its fungi-derived fermented ingredient, Fermotein.

🥔 Israeli agrifood startup PoLoPo unveiled its molecular farming platform, SuperAA, designed to produce animal proteins in potatoes and already deployed in potato plants at a greenhouse scale.

🤝 Aqua Cultured Foods is partnering with Ginkgo Bioworks to optimise production of its fermentation-derived whole-cut seafood, ahead of a planned launch into Michelin-starred restaurants in Chicago.

🧫 Dutch cell-based startup Meatable has achieved a significant breakthrough in its manufacturing capabilities, halving the production time for its cultivated pork, making them much cheaper to produce.

🇪🇸 Spanish indoor farming startup Ekonoke grows hop plants hydroponically under multicoloured LED lights, and believes that selling an in-demand crop that is getting harder to produce due to climate change will allow it to succeed where other startups of its kind have failed.

🥜 British free-from food brand CRAVE debuted a nut-free alternative to peanut butter, made from sunflower seeds.

Meet the FoodHack Community

Come and join us in the lakeside city of Lausanne for the HackSummit.

Where 1,500 builders and funders in Food and Climate are gathering for 2 days of non-stop networking, deal making and fun.

The line up is packed with new and familiar faces, novel food tastings and the finale of the FoodTech World Cup.

P.S. Prices go up next week. Grab your pass - use code EASTERSPECIAL for an extra 20% off.

Plant Based

Credit: Mooji Meats

🥩 Mooji Meats, a spinout from Harvard University, has developed a premium plant-based ribeye steak, which it describes as juicy with real marbling and connective tissues that mimic animal meat when cut, with the aim of bringing vegan meats to fine dining.

🦪 Irish shellfish producer Errigal Bay is opening an oat milk facility next to one of its existing seafood processing facilities, citing decreased demand for seafood and a growing market for plant-based products.

🥛 NIÚKE Foods unveiled new plant-based condiments and milk alternatives, including a “market first” quinoa milk.

🎓 Sodexo USA is making plant-based meals the norm in its US university campus restaurants, thanks to a major expansion of its DefaultVeg strategy.

🛒 Beyond Meat has expanded into the frozen aisles of over 800 Co-op stores in the UK, as it aims to get its profitability back on track.

Big Food

Credit: Nestle

💨 Nestlé is launching two initiatives aimed at reducing and removing carbon emissions from its cocoa supply chains, including promoting regenerative agriculture practices and supporting reforestation of deteriorated land.

🥚 UK supermarket Morrisons has become the first UK retailer to have a product certified as carbon neutral - its ‘Better For Our Planet’ eggs - by leading independent scheme providers BSI.

🛵 Food delivery service Getir is joining forces with social impact company Too Good To Go to help tackle food waste across the UK, offering registered app users grocery ‘Surprise Bags’, which include products approaching their best-before dates at a reduced price.

🧠 Novonesis unveiled a new probiotic designed to target the gut-brain axis and support the body’s ability to manage stress more effectively.

🥙 Hellmann’s debuted ‘Meal Reveal’, an AI-powered tool designed to help households to use up the food in their fridges with meal suggestions and recipes.

Trends: Alternative Coffee

🔎 Discover in the full HackTrends Report:
- 2x case studies (Prefer, Northern Wonder)
- The why, the challenges and the figures behind the space
- List of 11 companies brewing up bean-free and plant cell coffee technologies
- With opinions from: Erika Hombert and Marika King at PINC, Jake Berber of Prefer, Klaus Kienle of Food Brewer, Stéphane Chen of Another Food and David Klingen of Northern Wonder. 

Find out more about how our demand for coffee has officially outpaced supply and an alternative solution is needed. Cell-cultured, fermented, bean-free coffee offers an excellent substitute for our daily caffeine cravings.

From the Community

Recent jobs in FoodTech:

🫛 Good watch: Is eating seasonally better for the climate? Yes, but here’s why it's complicated.

✔️ Nominate a groundbreaking project in to the Food Planet Prize. The ‘World's Biggest‘ Environmental Award.

💚 Come say hi and meet your local community at a free FoodHack Meetup next in Amsterdam, Valais and Milan.

🎟️ Get a free ticket to the HackSummit by becoming a volunteer. Meet like-minded people, help deliver a world-class summit and gain first-hand experience.

🪩 Just for fun: Asking a FoodTech Founder about their exit strategy.

Until next time - Stay Hungry

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