🐷 Piggy soy beans
PLUS: 3x agrifood funds, chlorella-based ice cream, cola-ketchup, celebrity chef's new plant-based line
Good news for our oceans this week as Bluu Seafood raises €16M in Series A funding and Hooked Foods’ crowdfunding reels in €500K.
And a big week for funds as Joyful Ventures, Innova Memphis and Omnivore announce a combined $213M for Pre-Seed to Series A agrifoodtech startups.
We’re already halfway through 2023. And despite the challenges, founders continue to raise capital and break boundaries. Long may it continue.
This Week in Food:
Alt milk vs a synthetic whey beverage
A fermentation techno-economic tool
70% cost reduction for cultivated pork
📈 What’s up? Hong Kong plant-based milk company Vitasoy has recovered from its previous year’s losses and posted record $104 million profits for its financial year 2022/23.
📉 The Welsh government is set to introduce a new law to restrict in-store placement and price promotion of HFSS foods, in a bid to address the “obesity crisis” in the country.
🇪🇺 The Spoon reports that, according to a new document leaked by the Genetic Literacy Project, the European Union is moving towards relaxing its current regulations overseeing gene-edited food, as the European Commission recommends that the EU create a new category for plants developed using gene-editing techniques that could side-step the GMO categorisation.
🐮 US dairy farmers are “urging” the FDA to address product labels for animal-free dairy milk, which they argue should be called “synthetic whey beverage”.
💡 Debate: Miyoko Schinner asks which economic structure would be best for the future of food.
Funds and Funding
🇮🇳 Indian agrifoodtech investor Omnivore secured $150 million at the first close of its third fund. It will support seed and Series A startups developing breakthrough technologies for agriculture, food, climate, and the rural economy.
💰New venture capital fund Joyful Ventures raised $23 million to support pre-seed and seed stage startups that have strong B2B opportunities within alt protein technologies, including plant-based, precision fermentation, mycoproteins, molecular agriculture and cultivated foods.
🐟 German cultivated seafood startup Bluu Seafood raised €16 million Series A funding, and is gearing towards regulatory approval in several markets, including Singapore, where it says it expects to receive approval some time in 2024.
🌾 Estonian agtech startup eAgronom secured $5.5 million to encourage farmers into more sustainable farming practices by incentivising them with its carbon credit program.
🥃 Annandale Distillery, based in Scotland, has been awarded £3.6 million by the UK government to trial a new thermal energy storage technology for its whisky distillery that could help replace fossil fuels.
👀 Check out all the funding rounds from the week including grants for 10 Canadian FoodTech companies and an AI-powered calorie counter.
Barcodes from baker’s yeast
Image Credit: Index Biosystems
👩🍳 Index Biosystems, based in Canada, has developed a method which uses baker’s yeast and water, combined with its proprietary tracking software, to create a barcode which allows users to trace the point of origin for pretty much any type of food product.
🍔 Czech startup Mewery unveiled what it says is the world’s first burger made from a blend of cultivated pork and microalgae cells, using its process which it claims slashes costs by up to 70% compared to traditional FBS methods of cultivated meat production.
📊 Synonym Bio launched Scaler, which it says is the first free online techno-economic analysis (TEA) tool exclusively for fermentation, designed to help businesses forecast their operational and production expenses at an industrial scale with the aim of accelerating biomanufacturing growth.
🥩 UK startup SEERGRILLS unveiled the Perfecta, which it says is the world’s first AI-powered grill, capable of perfectly cooking a steak in under two minutes.
🥃 California-based Voodoo Scientific emerged from stealth to unveil its patent-pending technology to create smoother liquor. It uses an enzyme that targets compounds responsible for the “harsh bite” in distilled spirits, for a smoother experience.
Image Credit: Moolec Science
Molecular farming startup Moolec Science unveiled its soybeans that taste like pork. Its Meat Replacements Program yielded 26.6 percent of total soluble protein in soy seeds via its newly developed “Piggy Sooy”, which has a distinctly pink hue.
🍦 Sophie’s BioNutrients has developed chlorella-based ice cream in partnership with the Danish Technological Institute. It says that its latest microalgae innovation contains more B12 and iron than most dairy or plant-based ice cream alternatives.
🍰 Californian food tech Plantible Foods launched its first product, Rubi Whisk, a duckweed protein-based egg replacer for baking goods, gluten-free products, pasta, and more.
🍽 New US brand Earth Company, founded by entrepreneur Max Koenig and celebrity chef Matthew Kenney, is launching with a new line of affordable plant-based meals.
Image Credit: Pepsi
🇺🇸 Weird Independence Day products: Pepsi is launching Pepsi Colachup, a cola-infused ketchup with a “sweet-but-tangy” taste designed to perfectly complement hot dogs. And Kraft Heinz has created a new LTO dessert, Kraft Singles Apple Pie, in partnership with Little Pie Co. Each single-serving pie is made with cinnamon, nutmeg, light brown sugar and Kraft Singles cheese and topped with an additional slice of melted cheese.
🧀 The Kraft Heinz Not Company is launching new vegan Kraft NotCheese Slices in three flavours across the US.
🌎 Nestlé says that it is to stop using carbon offsets and withdraw its pledges to make certain brands ‘carbon neutral’, and instead will invest in cutting greenhouse gas emissions within its own supply chain and operations.
🥤 One of the world's most common artificial sweeteners, Aspartame, is set to be listed as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" and a possibly cancer risk by WHO from July. It is used in products from Diet Coca-Cola to Mars' Extra chewing gum.
Trends: Secondhand Snacks
🔎 Discover in the full FoodHack+ Report:
- 2x case studies (Barnana, The Supplant Company)
- The why, the challenges and the figures behind the space
- List of 50+ companies making packaged food and drink from upcycled ingredients
Find out why grocery store shelves are filling up with snacks and beverages made from upcycled ingredients, especially as consumers continue to demand more sustainable food options from brands. These innovative products capture existing, nutrient-dense ingredients to feed consumers in a new way with less waste. The concept can make a big impact on landfills, profit margins, and our food system at large.
From the Community
🔦 Looking for a job in FoodTech? Here are 40+ open roles.
🚀 Opinion: Here’s why anyone will be able to become an entrepreneur in 2050, according to Ella Goldner, Co-Founder of ZINC.
🇪🇺 Check out this European Prize for women innovators powered by EIC and EIT.
🎣 Just for fun: The effect of a down round on your startup’s previous valuation.
Until next time - Stay Hungry