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PLUS: GOOD Meat's green light, turning moths into bioreactors, why strawberry prices are soaring

This week GOOD Meat followed in the footsteps of Upside Foods with a ‘no questions’ letter from the US FDA.

Meaning that after careful and rigorous evaluation, the agency has accepted GOOD Meat cultivated chicken as safe to eat.

This marks the US as the second country, after Singapore, to give approval for its cultivated meat. It now begs the question:

What do we think happens next:

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This week in FoodTech

  • F1 driver's next investment

  • Egg protein from potatoes

  • Clean-label coffee ‘cream

The Digest

📈 What’s up? California’s $3 billion strawberry industry, which accounts for 90% of US production, is under threat due to flooding, sending strawberry prices soaring.

📉 What’s down? Nestlé is withdrawing its Garden Gourmet meat-free and Wunda alt-dairy brands from retail in the UK and Ireland due to the “crowded and competitive” market.

❌ European consumer group BEUC is asking the European Union to ban the use of carbon-neutral claims for all products, including food and drink, as it says that the claims mislead consumers and are scientifically inaccurate. Here's some examples.

💡 Following the IPCC’s report, World Resources Institute published this overview of 10 solutions to mitigate climate change - take note of 8, 9, 10.

🔝 Sifted covers how to successfully scale a startup - and pitfalls to avoid.

💸 Here’s a handy guide on what it takes to raise capital for a SynBio startup.

New in Funding

🇸🇪 Swedish oat milk giant Oatly raised $425 million and secured a deal with McDonald’s Austria to bring its Oatly Barista Edition to more than 800 McCafés across the country.

💸 Chef David Chang’s packaged goods brand, Momofuku Goods, which sells “a line of restaurant-grade pantry essentials”, secured $17.5 million to expand its product line and support its growth plans.

🇮🇱 Israeli startup TripleW secured $16.5 million Series B funding to produce lactic acid and bioplastic from food waste, providing a low cost, versatile alternative to fossil-based materials.

🐛 Cocoon Bioscience, based in Madrid, raised €15 million to scale its high-value proteins business, including developing recombinant proteins for cultivated meat growth media.

🥔 (Portfolio Co) Israeli startup PoLoPo secured $1.75 million pre-seed funding for its potato-based molecular farming technology, which it is using to replicate ovalbumin, the protein found in egg white. 👉 Here’s their story and what they’re up to next.

💰 Read all 13 funding rounds from the week including the plant-based drinks brand backed by Sebastian Vettel and the digital grocer that Premier League star Raheem Sterling invested in.

FDA’s Green Light

✅ GOOD Meat received a “no questions” letter from the US Food and Drug Administration for its cultivated chicken this week, a crucial step forward towards commercialisation. 👉 Here’s a dash of realism to address supply chain hurdles.

🇨🇳 AI-driven startup Jimi Biotech, based in China, unveiled what it says is the country’s first 100% cell-based meat, without plant-based scaffolding.

🤖 German startup GoodBytz unveiled its modular robotic kitchen that can be tailored around different foods and menus, capable of making up to three thousand meals per day.

☕️ Californian specialty coffee company Reborn Coffee, Inc. launched a range of clean-label coffee-inspired ice cream, made with natural ingredients via slow-churning techniques.

🗽 New York-based Verneek came out of stealth to launch its first product, Quin Shopping AI, designed to answer food shoppers’ questions to improve their consumer shopping experience.

Alt Protein

🇩🇰 Danish startup FÆRM says it has developed a patented animal-free cheesemaking technology, using rennet and enzymes to mimic traditional dairy fermentation.

👑 King Charles is looking for a new chef, ideally one who is well-versed in plant-based meals since the monarch is cutting back on his intake of animal products to do his part in combating the climate crisis.

🏭 Food manufacturing group IFFCO has begun operations at its new plant-based meat production plant, which it claims is the first of its kind in the UAE, and will produce meat alternatives tailored to regional tastes under the brand name THRYVE.

❄️ UK-based Squeaky Bean is introducing its first frozen range, featuring plant-based chicken nuggets, dippers, and poppers.

🥛 New Zealand-based beverage producer Free Flow Manufacturing is opening what it claims is the country’s first dedicated alt milk facility, able to produce 50 million litres of milk alternatives per year.

Big Food

💨 PepsiCo is set to invest $216 million into regenerative agriculture practices on over three million acres of its supply chain, a move that is expected to deliver a reduction and removal of about three million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

☀️Arla Foods has opened a 1,620 MWh per year solar power plant in Poland, moving away from the coal-reliant energy grid in the country following an investment of about €3 million. It expects to reduce its emissions by 1,645 tonnes per year.

🏭 Specialty oils giant AAK opened its new “state-of-the-art” Netherlands Innovation Center of Excellence, built to accelerate the development of “better plant-based foods”.

🚀 ADM debuted a D2C plant-based brand, Knwble Grwn, featuring products grown by small or underrepresented farmers using regenerative ag practices.

Trends: Labs of the future

Lab automation empowers scientists and streamlines processes for deep scientific insights. And as a result, a host of companies have proliferated, offering lab automation as a 'secret weapon' for food, biotech and climate scientists to maximise efficiency, costs and output.

🔎 Discover in the full FoodHack+ Report:
- 2x case studies (Bioraptor, Reshape Biotech)
- The why, the challenges and the figures behind the space
- List of 13 companies automating to supercharge science

From the Community

Find your dream job:
- Eggfield (Switzerland) are recruiting an Operations and Sales Lead
- Esencia Foods (Spain) are looking for a Lead Mycologist
- BettaF!sh (Germany) are hiring for a Head of Accounting and a Sr Business Development Manager

🛠 Use these 70+ tools to build your next startup.

🚨 Final call to pitch for $100K investment at the HackSummit. Applications close Monday.

🍽 Serve your novel food to up to 30 investors and operators at the HackSummit. Apply now to host an exclusive tasting session in Lausanne.

✍️ Take note of the new standard environmental clause from AENU, VentureESG and Leaders for Climate Action.

🗺 Join us next at a FoodHack Meetup in New York City (29th March) and in Wageningen (4th April). Always free to attend.

👖 Just for fun:

You’re up to date. Have a great weekend!

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Curated by Nicola and Laura 

Until next time - Stay Hungry