🧈 20% less butter

PLUS: Glastonbury's mycelium art project, what we've been working on this past year, the taste of protein from thin air

After a year of building in private, we’re excited to officially launch HackCapital - the investment platform to bridge the multi-trillion dollar climate funding gap.

Built with close collaboration from community members here in the FoodHack and ClimateHack ecosystems - we’ve designed tools to take the hassle out of fundraising:

  • Founders: Roll-up vehicles for your next round (i.e. pool funds from multiple investors, without crowding your cap table)

  • Established Fund Managers: Feeder funds to raise your next venture fund (i.e. pool capital as a single LP)

  • First-Time Fund Managers: Micro vehicles to quickly set up and deploy capital (i.e. making it faster and cheaper for emerging VCs)

To date, we’ve 30 startups and funds in our network including Hyfé, Arkeon, MeliBio, Michroma, New School Foods and WNWN Food Labs.

Want to know more? Check out our coverage in TechCrunch and Sifted.

This week in Food:

  • Selva Ventures closes $34M fund

  • Arla Foods accused of shrinkflation

  • West African fruit hits a sweet spot

The Digest

📈 What’s up? A report by Data Bridge Market Research predicts that the global plant-based seafood market will grow at a CAGR of 28.5% through to 2029.

📉 What’s down? Arla Foods is facing criticism from consumers after shrinking its Lurpak butter blocks by 20%, citing maintaining accessible price points through inflation (AKA shrinkflation).

🥛 The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine has filed a complaint with USDA alleging that the National Fluid Milk Processor Promotion Program’s advertising campaign featuring Aubrey Plaza drinking ‘wood milk’ “violated laws forbidding negative product depictions and prohibiting advertising to influence policy”.

🤯 Data from the International Food Information Council’s 2023 Food and Health Survey highlights that 74% of consumers say their mental health and wellbeing is impacted by their food and beverage choices, with stress leading to less healthy choices.

🍄 The Silver Hayes area at Glastonbury unveiled its inaugural art project for 2023. Titled ‘6°’, the new pavilion will showcase the transition from environmentally damaging materials to a sustainable, mycelium-based future.

🌾 Opinion: Here’s why regenerative farming isn’t a catch-all solution to fix our food system.

Funds and Funding

💰 LA-based VC Selva Ventures closed its second fund with $34 million to support​​ consumer brands that promote healthier living in the areas of health, wellness, beauty and personal care. With its first fund, it invested in startups such as coffee alternative MUD\WTR, and functional chocolate brand Mid-Day Squares.

🍔 British plant-based restaurant chain Neat Burger secured $18 million Series B funding, having become one of the world’s fastest-growing plant-based food groups, supported by the likes of Lewis Hamilton and Leonardo DiCaprio, and will use the funds to further accelerate its growth plans.

🍒 Paris-based Bene Bono raised €7 million to expand its operations into Barcelona. It rescues organic fruits and vegetables rejected by major supermarkets for aesthetic reasons, and its goal is to save over seven tonnes of imperfect fruits and vegetables every week to help reduce food waste in the city.

☕️ Chamberlain Coffee, a high-quality organic coffee brand founded by YouTuber Emma Chamberlain, raised $7 million and expanded its US retail presence through Sprouts and Walmart.

🍄 Energy drink brand G.O.A.T. Fuel, based in the US, secured $5 million seed funding in a round led by Stage 1 Fund and Morrison Seger Venture Capital Partners. Its products contain a blend of cordyceps mushrooms, natural caffeine, green tea, BCAAs and ten essential vitamins.

👀 Check out all 8 funding rounds from this week including Series A for functional non-alcoholic spirits and first close of Big Idea Ventures’ next fund.

Sweet protein tea

🫖 Californian startup Oobli, formerly Joywell Foods, launched its range of sweet teas sweetened with a protein called Brazzein. Brazzein is usually extracted from the West African oubli fruit, but Oobli uses microbial fermentation to create a chemically identical version, resulting in a tea that has only 7g of sugar.

🤖 Serve Robotics is set to deploy up to 2,000 more of its autonomous sidewalk delivery robots as part of its partnership with UberEats, having grown its service with Uber more than 30% each month since it first rolled out last year.

🍸 A restaurant in Japan has developed a smartphone-abstinence cocktail glass, designed with a cut out so that it only balances if placed on top of a phone, to help stop customers using their smartphones instead of enjoying each others’ company.

Alt Protein

🇸🇬 Indonesian plant-based meat startup Green Rebel’s vegan Chick’n Steak is launching into Nando’s Singapore, as part of a limited menu collaboration.

🍳 The EGGcited project has developed a process to scale Dutch startup revyve’s technology, which upcycles brewer’s yeast to produce produces novel cellular proteins and fibre ingredients that can replace egg white, dairy proteins, and E-numbers such as methylcellulose or calcium diphosphate, as well as improving the taste and texture of meat alternatives made by high-moisture extrusion.

🍔 Premium veggie burger brand NoBull Burger is rolling out to Whole Foods Market stores across the US. It describes its patties as “the Rolls-Royce of veggie burgers”, made with organic lentils, grains, vegetables, chickpeas and chia seeds.

😋 Review: Qiyun Woo tasted Solar Foods’ Solein protein on behalf of Green Queen. Here’s what she thought of the protein made from thin air.

🐟 Netherlands-based Upstream Foods is developing cultivated salmon fat, which it says will give plant-based seafood the same flavour and mouthfeel as conventional fish.

Big Food

🇵🇱 PepsiCo opened a new factory in Poland, which it describes as its “greenest facility in Europe”, since it operates with circular economy practices such as collecting rainwater and heat process water for reuse and generating its own energy via rooftop solar panels.

💸 UK supermarket Asda has acquired a majority stake in petrol forecourt convenience retailer EG Group’s UK and Ireland fuel, foodservice, grocery and merchandise business, in a deal valued at £2.27 billion .

Trends: Sustainable Dyeing

The global textile industry is in fact one of the most polluting in the world, trumped only by energy and transport. And the dyeing stage is one of the most intensive bits of the process - which is why some innovative fashion brands and startups have come up with ways to make it less so.

🔎 Discover in the full FoodHack+ Report:
- 2x case studies (Huue, DyeCoo)
- The why, the challenges and the figures behind the space
- List of 20 companies re-colouring the fast fashion industry

From the Community

💡Find your dream job in FoodTech:

👋 Let’s meet! Check which 6 cities will host a FoodHack Meetup next.

💀 Is LCA dead? Here’s why ClimateCamp’s Stijn Gysemans thinks so - and a solution to it.

🔝 Meet the 12 finalists of the ProVeg Incubator pitch competition.

🔍 Can you spot which one of these 4 patties is plant based?

📰 ICYMI: Our Co-Founder Emilie Dellecker was featured on the cover of Bilan.

💎 AI bejewelled fancy fast food

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Curated by Nicola and Laura 

Until next time - Stay Hungry