🇨🇭 Wish you were here

PLUS: FoodTech World Cup Winner announced live at the HackSummit

I’m currently surrounded by all these builders and funders here in Lausanne at the HackSummit.

It has been a true pleasure to put faces to the names of so many of our FoodHack community and bring together a truly international crowd through side events, networking and spontaneous meetings.

Stay tuned for a full recap next week 👀

This week in FoodTech:

  • Solar-powered tea factory

  • Hot pepper flavour vodka

  • €7m for better non-alcoholic beer

The Digest

Credit: HackSummit

🏆 Foreverland Food was crowned winner of the FoodTech World Cup, powered by Givaudan. Live at the HackSummit.

📈 What’s up? Research from CoBank shows that coffee prices will continue to rise, due to ongoing supply chain issues.

📉 What’s down? Data from the Food and Drink Federation shows that UK food export volumes fell by over 20% YOY in Q1 2024 as rising costs and the global economic slowdown impacted trade.

🔒 Closing down? Californian hybrid meat startup SCiFi Foods has shut down operations, citing “challenges in the fundraising market”. Here’s why.

🍄 Mycorena is discontinuing its large-scale production facility for its mycoprotein ingredient, claiming that “investors are hesitant to back projects with heavy capital requirements”.

🚀 Abu Dhabi launched the AgriFood Growth and Water Abundance hub, a new economic cluster to develop novel foods and alternative proteins, with the aim of tackling food insecurity and water shortages

🩺 The Doctors’ Association UK joined forces with Plant-Based Health Professionals UK to condemn a government-backed campaign promoting meat and dairy consumption, calling it “inaccurate and misleading”.

🍽️ Heather Mills began an impromptu protest at the Bonn Climate Conference, chanting, “If you care about the climate, eat vegan for your lunch” and “Food system change now, sign the Plant Based Treaty” as delegates and UN officials queued in the dining hall.

New in Funding

Credit: EvodiaBio

🗽 New York-based Collaborative Fund raised $125 million for its sixth flagship fund, with which it will support startups focused on addressing changing consumer spending habits, working across climate, health, and food tech.

💰 The Ancient Environmental Genomics Initiative for Sustainability project has been awarded $85 million over seven years to explore how traits in ancient environmental DNA could support next-generation climate-resilient crops.

🇩🇰 Danish startup EvodaBio raised €7 million to produce natural and sustainable aromas for the F&B industry via precision fermentation. Its first product, an aroma that creates the taste of hops, is designed to improve the taste of non-alcoholic beer.

🌾 Farmbot Monitoring Solutions, an IoT agtech startup based in Australia, secured $4.6 million to expand its US presence. Its platform monitors agricultural inputs to give farmers the ability to control infrastructure remotely, improving efficiency and sustainability outcomes.

💸 The government of Victoria, Australia is doubling the size of its early-stage agtech fund to $2 million, to help drive innovation in the state’s agriculture industry and create new technologies to help farmers improve their efficiency.

🇦🇺 Australian startup The Leaf Protein Co raised $850,000 in a round led by the University of Melbourne Genesis Pre-Seed Fund. It uses sustainable extraction technology to produce nutritious plant proteins from green leaves.

🥤 UK-based functional soda brand Living Thing, co-founded by former Brewdog CEO James Watt, secured £500,000 pre-seed funding to support its international growth plans, on the back of a strong market debut.

🍚 Agri-fintech platform AgriG8 received financing from Singaporean VC Better Bite Ventures and The Trendlines Group for its gamified platform, designed to help rice farmers in Asia reduce their methane emissions by up to 55%.

🇩🇪 German plant-based food producer Veganz Group AG secured funding from the state of Brandenburg to support the construction of a new production facility.

New in Startups

Credit: Spero Renewables

🇺🇸 US-based Spero Renewables claims its technology, which converts ferulic acid from corn bran to vanillin via bioconversion, can create more cost-competitive natural vanillin.

🍫 Mummy Meegz unveiled ‘M’z Gems’, a fully vegan dupe for M&Ms, in both Chocolate and Peanut flavours.

☕️ British independent tea brand Birchall Tea opened what it claims is the UK's first fully solar-powered tea factory, featuring more than 460 solar panels on its rooftop.

🇳🇱 Netherlands-based Fooditive Group unveiled a new sustainable sugar alternative, Keto-Fructose, which is made from upcycled apples and pears via a fermentation process.

🤝 The EVERY Co. partnered with Canada’s Landish Foods to launch FERMY, a new line of functional coffee and latte mixes featuring its precision fermentation-derived egg white protein.

Plant Based

Credit: Impact Food

🍣 San Francisco-headquartered Impact Food debuted its sushi-grade plant-based salmon, made from ingredients including konjac, peas, and algae, to coincide with World Oceans Day.

🇫🇷 French startup Ancrée unveiled a 100% plant-based caviar, made from chia seeds and seaweed, that it claims is the first and only of its kind in the country.

🧑‍⚖️The two-and-a-half-year-long intellectual property dispute between The Better Meat Co and Meati over their mycelium protein products has come to an end, after a judge ruled in favour of The Better Meat Co.

🍫 German national rail company Deutsche Bahn joined forces with Planet A Foods to offer cocoa-free chocolate shortbreads throughout the Euro 2024 football championship.

💰The Better Meat Co. has reduced its mycelium production costs by 30%, allowing it “to compete at a commodity price with beef”.

🍦McDonald’s is trialling a new “deliciously smooth and creamy” vegan ice cream in the UK, in two flavours: Choco and Strawberry.

Big Food

Credit: Spirit of Gallo

📈 Private equity firm TDR Capital will become the majority owner of British supermarket chain Asda, after acquiring co-owner Zuber Issa’s stake in the company.

🍺 Booze giant Diageo is using AI for summer cocktail predictions, tracking global conversations across online and social media platforms to identify emerging F&B trends.

🌶️ Spirit of Gallo partnered with New Amsterdam Vodka and YouTube show Hot Ones to create Heat Check, a new hot pepper-flavoured vodka

🤝 Marks & Spencer joined forces with the England Football Association to launch ‘The Perfect Match’, a football-shaped roast chicken and slaw sandwich.

From the Community

3️⃣ Good read: Three reasons why investors fund entrepreneurs.

🚀 The ProVeg Incubator welcomed five new food-tech startups to its 12th cohort. Watch them all pitch live on stage at the Incubator's Startup Demo Day on Tuesday 3 September 2024, at the New Food Conference in Berlin. Get your free ticket here.

📣 The US Department of Defense released a call for proposals to develop sustainable food and material solutions for military operations, including cultivated and precision fermentation proteins.

🙌 Join us at the next FoodHack Meetup taking place in Dubai, Ljubljana, Berlin and Lisbon

🎊 So much fun: So great to see everyone at the HackSummit

Until next time - Stay Hungry

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Until next time - Stay Hungry