☕️ Coffee roasted on radio waves
PLUS: First EU country to pre-approve cultivated food tastings, 3D bioprinted tripe, who's serving up cultivated chicken
Today is World Chocolate Day, a good excuse for chocoholics 🍫
Better still, it’s a chance to celebrate the rise of sustainable choc-alternatives.
This FoodHack trend report uncovered 26 plant-based leaders in the space. And next week, we’ll spotlight the startups pushing new boundaries in plant cell line culturing, including cocoa. Here’s a sneak peak.
Which startups or technologies get you excited about the future of chocolate?
This Week in Food:
62 FoodTech unicorns
600g of pickles per pizza
Pilot plant for protein from CO2
📈 What’s up? The owner of Burford Brown Eggs warns that the price of eggs is likely to rise again, following supply issues linked to bird flu outbreaks.
📉 Californian plant-based food producer Tattooed Chef is set to file for bankruptcy after five years in operation, having incurred losses of $141.8 million in 2022.
🇳🇱 The Dutch government has worked with cultivated meat startups Mosa Meat and Meatable, and sector representative HollandBIO, to develop a ‘code of practice’ that would make cultivated food tastings possible in controlled environments, marking a major step for the Netherlands’ cellular agriculture sector.
🎓 Scientists from the Chinese University of Hong Kong have developed an edible, transparent, and biodegradable material from soy protein isolate, by working with bacterial cellulose. They say the packaging has the potential to replace plastic wrappers in food packaging.
💰The UK government launched a £5 million funding competition for sustainable farming projects, focused on solutions that support environmental sustainability, progression towards net zero, and farming resilience.
🦄 Check out the map of 62 FoodTech unicorns.
New in Funding
🌾 Swiss online farmers’ market Farmy secured €10.7 million from new and existing investors to support its growth plans towards break-even, planned for 2025.
🇨🇦 Traditional Italian food company Porta, based in Canada, raised CAD $10.5 million Series A funding. It has just expanded to nearly 100 specialty stores in Ontario, and will use the funds to support further expansion plans.
🍹 Alcohol-free cocktail company Naked Life, based in Australia, raised $3 million via equity crowdfunding site Birchal. It claims to be one of the country’s fastest-growing startups, and will use the funds to support further retail expansion.
🤖 Researchers at Cal Poly University have been studying the social impact of AI and robotics on the world of food, after receiving a $700,000 grant from the National Science Foundation last year.
🍌 Proteme, based in France, secured €605,000 for its natural and safe waste-fighting coatings for bananas and lemons. Its banana coating is able to extend the shelf life of a banana by up to ten days, and its lemon coating reduces storage disease issues by up to half.
Serving up Cultivated
Image Credit: Upside Foods
🍗 Upside Foods’ cultivated chicken has already been served to diners in the US. Renowned chef Dominique Crenn fried the chicken in a Recado Negro-infused tempura batter, accompanied by a burnt chili aioli, at her restaurant Bar Crenn in San Francisco.
💯 And, just a few days later, Eat Just’s GOOD Meat cultivated chicken was served to diners in a Peruvian dish at chef José Andrés’ restaurant, China Chilcano, during a landmark dinner honouring the 100th birthday of the late Willem van Eelen, considered the godfather of cultivated meat.
☕️ Israeli startup Ansā has developed the e23 micro roaster, which uses radio waves to roast coffee beans on the kitchen countertop without any smoke or ambient heat associated with traditional gas-fired roasting systems.
🇸🇪 Swedish cultivated meat startup Re:meat, founded in 2022, came out of stealth to announce its plans to build Scandinavia’s first cultivated beef production plant.
🏭 Austrian startup Arkeon Biotechnologies has successfully set up a pilot production plant for its functional protein ingredients made from captured carbon dioxide.
Image Credit: Stockeld Dreamery
🥯 Sweden’s Stockeld Dreamery is partnering with New York City’s iconic Ess-a-Bagel to offer customers a plant-based sandwich featuring its non-dairy cream cheese, marking a first in the bagel store’s 47-year history. Here’s how it happened.
British plant-based meat manufacturer Plant & Bean, which makes products for several well-known brands, has been rescued from administration by vegan entrepreneur and activist Heather Mills.
🍽 Plant-based digital platform PlantX is joining forces with restaurant developer Macromia Group to launch Chicago’s largest vegan food hall, featuring a multi-concept 6,500 sq. ft space, scheduled to open in early September.
🇪🇸 Spanish startups Foody’s and Cocuus have co-developed what they say is the world’s first 3D bioprinted plant-based tripe, a popular ingredient in Spanish cooking.
🔥 Impossible Foods is now going after Ginkgo Bioworks, which remains a key shareholder in rival Motif Foodworks, in its amended lawsuit over the use of heme proteins in meat alternatives.
Image Credit: IHOP
🥞 IHOP is launching Pancake Tacos, filled with sweet and savoury flavours, as a limited-time offer.
🌶 Domino’s Japan’s latest creation is a Pickles Pizza, topped with a 600g blanket of sliced dill pickles and camembert cheese sauce.
⚡️ Monster Beverage is acquiring rival energy drink company Bang Energy for up to $362 million, after it filed for bankruptcy at the end of last year.
🛒 A new energy efficient supermarket has launched in Denmark. Industrial machinery manufacturer Danfoss has opened 1he 1,500 square metre ‘Smart Store’, which features a range of innovative refrigeration and heat capture and reuse technology to help save on operating costs, limit food waste, and improve food safety. 👀 Take a look inside.
👎 Tyson Foods is dropping its “no antibiotics ever” labels from some of its chicken products, instead changing to “no antibiotics important to human medicine” as it amends its practices.
Trends: AI x Personalised Nutrition
The use of AI in personalised nutrition is revolutionising the way individuals approach their diets.
🔎 Discover in the full FoodHack+ Report:
- 2x case studies (Youniq, InsideTracker)
- The why, the challenges and the figures behind the space
- List of 23 companies who know that one size doesn’t fit all
Find out more about how AI clearly holds immense potential for personalised nutrition, but it is equally essential to address drawbacks and work towards developing robust, transparent, and ethically sound AI systems to ensure its successful integration into healthcare and nutrition domains.
From the Community
🔝 Jump into a new role:
🍫 WNWN Food Labs, the London-based startup developing cocoa-free chocolate, won ‘Best Demo’ in the Häagen-Dazs Start-Up Innovation Challenge.
📣 Calling all plant-based, fermentation, and cultivated food startups - apply to join Proveg Incubator’s next cohort.
🎟 Get your early bird ticket now for FoodTechIL, bringing together the FoodTech community across Israel and beyond.
🏆 Are you a FoodTech changemaker and under 30? Applications are open for Forbes’ 30 under 30 Food candidates.
🏖 Why you should switch on your OOO during your summer holiday.
🏃♀️ Just for fun: Taking the leap from corporate job to founder
Until next time - Stay Hungry