This Week In Food: Are bioplastics the next hot sector and what's got cacao entrepreneurs so excited?

This Week In Food: Are bioplastics the next hot sector and what's got cacao entrepreneurs so excited?

By
Arman Anatürk
October 2, 2020

In This Week In Food September 29th was the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction, so there has been a lot of discussion this week on innovation in this area.

Food waste ‘upcycling’ is one strategy, in which production waste streams are repurposed into new consumer products or ingredients for human consumption. Bioplastics are looking to be next hot thing in, and investors are ready to start writing checks. Cacao products have dominated the FoodHack feed, so we take a closer look at what's powering the cacao craze.

The Digest

🍎🗑 September 29th was the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction, so there has been a lot of discussion this week on innovation in this area. Food waste ‘upcycling’ is one strategy, in which production waste streams are repurposed into new consumer products or ingredients for human consumption. In Asia, a group of innovative foodtech startups are participating in Singapore Food Bowl, a food security and sustainability program. It’s also good timing for the launch of food waste app Too Good to Go in NYC, which restaurants, cafes and markets can use to redistribute their surplus stock to consumers, and avoid it going to landfill. Plus, it’s evident that consumers are becoming more mindful of reducing domestic food waste, as sales in the UK frozen aisles are soaring.

🍫 Cacao products have dominated the FoodHack Discovery board in recent weeks. From cacao pulp juices to gourmet, holistic full bean spreads, waters, cakes and more. A band of innovative start-ups has been shaking up the cacao market as we know it. And for good reason. Cacao products in particular don’t just play into consumers’ love of anything plant-based, low in sugar and antioxidant-packed. New product applications, using leftover waste generated in chocolate making, are also a key part of what’s powering this growth. So this week we take a closer look at what’s powering the craze for cacao (FoodHack+)

🥤Plastic-away. Some very clever US scientists are working on a new plastic-eating ‘super enzyme’ which could be a game-changer for the plastic waste recycling within the food and beverage industry.

🇪🇺 The newly-launched European Alliance for Plant-Based Food is calling on EU leaders to place plant-based foods at the centre of its 10 year plan to tackle biodiversity loss and to build a more sustainable and resilient food system. Already, Nestlé launched a new R&D accelerator to drive innovation within sustainable dairy products and plant-based dairy alternatives, and some of the world’s biggest food giants have now pledged to tackle the devastating effects of climate change on global food supply in a variety of ways.

🛒 Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket, has set a target to increase its plant-based meat sales by 300% by 2025, as part of its new sustainability initiative. In the same week as the news that Beyond Meat is to triple its presence in Walmart with a more affordable offer, outstripping its competitor Impossible Foods, which shows a global retail commitment to plant-based eating.

🎃Trick or treat: Halloween, one of the most lucrative holidays of the year for the candy industry, is about to be COVID-cancelled, but the industry has been convincing consumers to buy sweets regardless, by encouraging safe approaches and a month-long celebration. Maybe it’s time to set up your Halloween ziplines.

↩️ The days of quietly browsing in supermarkets are gone, as shown by Walmart’s brand new store design, unveiled this week. Consolidated categories, clear signposting, and if you log in to their app to search for a product it’ll generate a map to guide you directly to it in the store, like a digital yellow brick road.

📱 An interactive nutrition app is being launched in the Netherlands, so consumers can access personalised nutrition advice across multiple channels. The app allows consumers to get guidance to fulfil their needs in terms of flavour, price, convenience, health benefits and ethical concerns, and could mark the beginning of a huge change within transparency in the food industry.

🌱 Retail solution: In a bid to save itself after the pandemic-induced restaurant crisis, fast food chain LEON is strengthening its presence in UK supermarket Sainsbury’s with a wide range of vegan options, and has turned 65 of its restaurants into retail outlets.

🍴NYC-based ghost kitchen operator Zuul launched its virtual food hall, Zuul Market, this week. The concept is a delivery system, where meals from multiple restaurants going to multiple locations are bulked together and taken to a single location, for maximum efficiency. As in-office or in-home dining grows ever more popular through the winter, lots of companies are innovating to bring that restaurant experience directly to customers, and services like Zuul are the tip of the iceberg.

☕️ Coffee fix: Chinese robotics developer OrionStar debuted its Robotic Coffee Master, which uses AI to replicate the complex brewing techniques of human baristas. Man, I wish I could have one in my house!

🌾 Cell-based production can be too expensive to bring to market due to the lack of affordable growth factors needed to scale up the production process. Now, Iceland’s ORF Genetics is developing bio-risk-free growth factors for cell-cultured meats using barley, which should dramatically reduce costs and expedite new products to market.

💸 Plant-based investment: The Lever China Alternative Protein Fund announced its first five investments in plant-based and cell-cultivated protein producers in China. As the world’s largest consumer market for protein, this is a huge move towards a more sustainable future for China, which is probably why Dao Foods also just announced its Chinese venture fund which will invest in thirty alternative protein companies in the next three years. Similarly, Sustainable Food Ventures launched this week with a rolling fund for investment into global startups which are developing futuristic solutions in plant-based and cell-based food products.

🥚 Eggcellent news: Vegan eggs are the fastest-growing segment in plant-based foods, and now French startup Les Merveilloeufs has developed a plant-based egg which comes in a shell, like the real deal, set to hit vegan restaurants in Paris by the end of 2020.

🐝 Save the bees: Honey is the third most-faked food in the world, and it’s bad news for bees. As counterfeit honey forces prices down, some beekeepers are leaving the industry or focusing their hives on pollination. This is exhausting for bees, who play such a vital role in our global ecosystem.

🥓 Vegan science:
Plant-based flavouring tech startup ELECTRIC Snack Brands Inc is releasing a plant-based jerky that uses science to mimic the physiological and mental responses that people experience when eating animal meat. Similarly, Motif Foodworks is preparing commercial production of its first ingredient, which will improve the flavour of beef substitutes.

💰 Make money here:
- Vevolution
has announced a Dragon’s Den-style startup investment competition, Pitch & Plant, for global plant-based startups, with a £100,000 investment prize up for grabs.
- Those Vegan Cowboys are offering
a €2.5M reward to any startups who can find a starter culture to turn grass into real milk proteins.
- The Vegan Women Summit
has set up Pathfinder, a competition with a whole array of funding and networking prizes for female founders of innovative plant-based startups.
- Big Idea Ventures
is offering $125K cash investment + USD$75k strategic value-adds for successful applicants of their alt protein accelerator.
I
f you’re sitting on a bright idea, now’s the time to start working on it!

📈 What's up:
Alternative protein companies raised $1.5 billion in the first half of 2020, an astounding amount of cash, but some believe that bioplastics is the next big opportunity.

📉 What's down:
Scientists in the Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the U.S. have developed a $1 Ebola and Lassa virus test. The test benefits from CRISPR technology. (via Daniels FoodTech weekly newsletter)

FoodTech Funding

🍔 The Uk’s fastest-growing plant-based meat company Meatless Farm closed a $31M funding round to support its global growth strategy.

💦 Canned water brand Liquid Death pulled in $23M in series B funding this week.Founded by former Netflix creative director Mike Cessario, its tins of Austrian Alp water promise to ‘murder your thirst’, and inventive marketing is a huge part of its sales success.

🍤 Shiok Meat raised $12.6M series A funding, which makes it South East Asia’s most valuable cell-based startup. It plans to build the first commercial pilot plant to produce cell-based minced shrimp which, if successful, would be the first cultivated crustacean brought to market, bringing a whole host of reductions in greenhouse gases (96%), energy consumption (45%) and water consumption (96%) when compared to traditional seafood industry.

🛒 Latin American online delivery-only grocery store Jüsto raised another $5M this week to expand its footprint.

🍎 French Tech startup Totem secured €4M this week to expand its offer of customisable office micro stores, which can be filled with healthy snacks to suit any dietary choices.

🐟 The developers of the world’s first plant-based shredded salmon, Hooked Seafood, received €150,000 investment to launch in the Nordics, with further expansion planned for Europe.

🌱 Swiss biotech startup Vivent closed a ‘multi-million Euro’ seed round this week. Their technology works to decipher biosignals from plants, to increase yields and improve crop protection effectiveness. Mind. Blown.

Sun-dried snacks & sex-determining tech

Meet this week top 5 product featured on FoodHack Discovery:

1️ Jali Fruit Co - Sun-dried fruit snacks grown by rural women farmers with no preservatives or added sugars
2️ Common Farms - We grow unconventional & inspiring local produce in the heart of Hong Kong
3️ Plantnrgy - All-natural plant-based protein and superfood mixes with less than 7 ingredients
4️ Soos - Sex determination in poultry embryos for the egg-laying industry. Increasing productivity and eliminating male culling.
5️ Bissy - Natural caffeine from kolanut fruit, sourced directly from smallholder farmers in Nigeria

Have a product you'd like to get featured? Fill out the form here🔍

Written by
Arman Anatürk

Lived across North America, Europe and Asia, leading to my questionable cooking style. Jumped two feet forward into the startup world in 2013, and haven't looked back since. Always on the hunt for the next story or inside scoop to cover - email me or connect on LinkedIn.

Become a FoodHack+ member to get unlimited access

  • Read Unlimited Articles
  • Access Member Directory
  • Get Event Discounts

In This Week In Food September 29th was the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction, so there has been a lot of discussion this week on innovation in this area.

Food waste ‘upcycling’ is one strategy, in which production waste streams are repurposed into new consumer products or ingredients for human consumption. Bioplastics are looking to be next hot thing in, and investors are ready to start writing checks. Cacao products have dominated the FoodHack feed, so we take a closer look at what's powering the cacao craze.

The Digest

🍎🗑 September 29th was the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction, so there has been a lot of discussion this week on innovation in this area. Food waste ‘upcycling’ is one strategy, in which production waste streams are repurposed into new consumer products or ingredients for human consumption. In Asia, a group of innovative foodtech startups are participating in Singapore Food Bowl, a food security and sustainability program. It’s also good timing for the launch of food waste app Too Good to Go in NYC, which restaurants, cafes and markets can use to redistribute their surplus stock to consumers, and avoid it going to landfill. Plus, it’s evident that consumers are becoming more mindful of reducing domestic food waste, as sales in the UK frozen aisles are soaring.

🍫 Cacao products have dominated the FoodHack Discovery board in recent weeks. From cacao pulp juices to gourmet, holistic full bean spreads, waters, cakes and more. A band of innovative start-ups has been shaking up the cacao market as we know it. And for good reason. Cacao products in particular don’t just play into consumers’ love of anything plant-based, low in sugar and antioxidant-packed. New product applications, using leftover waste generated in chocolate making, are also a key part of what’s powering this growth. So this week we take a closer look at what’s powering the craze for cacao (FoodHack+)

🥤Plastic-away. Some very clever US scientists are working on a new plastic-eating ‘super enzyme’ which could be a game-changer for the plastic waste recycling within the food and beverage industry.

🇪🇺 The newly-launched European Alliance for Plant-Based Food is calling on EU leaders to place plant-based foods at the centre of its 10 year plan to tackle biodiversity loss and to build a more sustainable and resilient food system. Already, Nestlé launched a new R&D accelerator to drive innovation within sustainable dairy products and plant-based dairy alternatives, and some of the world’s biggest food giants have now pledged to tackle the devastating effects of climate change on global food supply in a variety of ways.

🛒 Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket, has set a target to increase its plant-based meat sales by 300% by 2025, as part of its new sustainability initiative. In the same week as the news that Beyond Meat is to triple its presence in Walmart with a more affordable offer, outstripping its competitor Impossible Foods, which shows a global retail commitment to plant-based eating.

🎃Trick or treat: Halloween, one of the most lucrative holidays of the year for the candy industry, is about to be COVID-cancelled, but the industry has been convincing consumers to buy sweets regardless, by encouraging safe approaches and a month-long celebration. Maybe it’s time to set up your Halloween ziplines.

↩️ The days of quietly browsing in supermarkets are gone, as shown by Walmart’s brand new store design, unveiled this week. Consolidated categories, clear signposting, and if you log in to their app to search for a product it’ll generate a map to guide you directly to it in the store, like a digital yellow brick road.

📱 An interactive nutrition app is being launched in the Netherlands, so consumers can access personalised nutrition advice across multiple channels. The app allows consumers to get guidance to fulfil their needs in terms of flavour, price, convenience, health benefits and ethical concerns, and could mark the beginning of a huge change within transparency in the food industry.

🌱 Retail solution: In a bid to save itself after the pandemic-induced restaurant crisis, fast food chain LEON is strengthening its presence in UK supermarket Sainsbury’s with a wide range of vegan options, and has turned 65 of its restaurants into retail outlets.

🍴NYC-based ghost kitchen operator Zuul launched its virtual food hall, Zuul Market, this week. The concept is a delivery system, where meals from multiple restaurants going to multiple locations are bulked together and taken to a single location, for maximum efficiency. As in-office or in-home dining grows ever more popular through the winter, lots of companies are innovating to bring that restaurant experience directly to customers, and services like Zuul are the tip of the iceberg.

☕️ Coffee fix: Chinese robotics developer OrionStar debuted its Robotic Coffee Master, which uses AI to replicate the complex brewing techniques of human baristas. Man, I wish I could have one in my house!

🌾 Cell-based production can be too expensive to bring to market due to the lack of affordable growth factors needed to scale up the production process. Now, Iceland’s ORF Genetics is developing bio-risk-free growth factors for cell-cultured meats using barley, which should dramatically reduce costs and expedite new products to market.

💸 Plant-based investment: The Lever China Alternative Protein Fund announced its first five investments in plant-based and cell-cultivated protein producers in China. As the world’s largest consumer market for protein, this is a huge move towards a more sustainable future for China, which is probably why Dao Foods also just announced its Chinese venture fund which will invest in thirty alternative protein companies in the next three years. Similarly, Sustainable Food Ventures launched this week with a rolling fund for investment into global startups which are developing futuristic solutions in plant-based and cell-based food products.

🥚 Eggcellent news: Vegan eggs are the fastest-growing segment in plant-based foods, and now French startup Les Merveilloeufs has developed a plant-based egg which comes in a shell, like the real deal, set to hit vegan restaurants in Paris by the end of 2020.

🐝 Save the bees: Honey is the third most-faked food in the world, and it’s bad news for bees. As counterfeit honey forces prices down, some beekeepers are leaving the industry or focusing their hives on pollination. This is exhausting for bees, who play such a vital role in our global ecosystem.

🥓 Vegan science:
Plant-based flavouring tech startup ELECTRIC Snack Brands Inc is releasing a plant-based jerky that uses science to mimic the physiological and mental responses that people experience when eating animal meat. Similarly, Motif Foodworks is preparing commercial production of its first ingredient, which will improve the flavour of beef substitutes.

💰 Make money here:
- Vevolution
has announced a Dragon’s Den-style startup investment competition, Pitch & Plant, for global plant-based startups, with a £100,000 investment prize up for grabs.
- Those Vegan Cowboys are offering
a €2.5M reward to any startups who can find a starter culture to turn grass into real milk proteins.
- The Vegan Women Summit
has set up Pathfinder, a competition with a whole array of funding and networking prizes for female founders of innovative plant-based startups.
- Big Idea Ventures
is offering $125K cash investment + USD$75k strategic value-adds for successful applicants of their alt protein accelerator.
I
f you’re sitting on a bright idea, now’s the time to start working on it!

📈 What's up:
Alternative protein companies raised $1.5 billion in the first half of 2020, an astounding amount of cash, but some believe that bioplastics is the next big opportunity.

📉 What's down:
Scientists in the Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the U.S. have developed a $1 Ebola and Lassa virus test. The test benefits from CRISPR technology. (via Daniels FoodTech weekly newsletter)

FoodTech Funding

🍔 The Uk’s fastest-growing plant-based meat company Meatless Farm closed a $31M funding round to support its global growth strategy.

💦 Canned water brand Liquid Death pulled in $23M in series B funding this week.Founded by former Netflix creative director Mike Cessario, its tins of Austrian Alp water promise to ‘murder your thirst’, and inventive marketing is a huge part of its sales success.

🍤 Shiok Meat raised $12.6M series A funding, which makes it South East Asia’s most valuable cell-based startup. It plans to build the first commercial pilot plant to produce cell-based minced shrimp which, if successful, would be the first cultivated crustacean brought to market, bringing a whole host of reductions in greenhouse gases (96%), energy consumption (45%) and water consumption (96%) when compared to traditional seafood industry.

🛒 Latin American online delivery-only grocery store Jüsto raised another $5M this week to expand its footprint.

🍎 French Tech startup Totem secured €4M this week to expand its offer of customisable office micro stores, which can be filled with healthy snacks to suit any dietary choices.

🐟 The developers of the world’s first plant-based shredded salmon, Hooked Seafood, received €150,000 investment to launch in the Nordics, with further expansion planned for Europe.

🌱 Swiss biotech startup Vivent closed a ‘multi-million Euro’ seed round this week. Their technology works to decipher biosignals from plants, to increase yields and improve crop protection effectiveness. Mind. Blown.

Sun-dried snacks & sex-determining tech

Meet this week top 5 product featured on FoodHack Discovery:

1️ Jali Fruit Co - Sun-dried fruit snacks grown by rural women farmers with no preservatives or added sugars
2️ Common Farms - We grow unconventional & inspiring local produce in the heart of Hong Kong
3️ Plantnrgy - All-natural plant-based protein and superfood mixes with less than 7 ingredients
4️ Soos - Sex determination in poultry embryos for the egg-laying industry. Increasing productivity and eliminating male culling.
5️ Bissy - Natural caffeine from kolanut fruit, sourced directly from smallholder farmers in Nigeria

Have a product you'd like to get featured? Fill out the form here🔍

Become a FoodHack+ member to get unlimited access

  • Read Unlimited Articles
  • Access Member Directory
  • Join a Global Community
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In This Week In Food September 29th was the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction, so there has been a lot of discussion this week on innovation in this area.

Food waste ‘upcycling’ is one strategy, in which production waste streams are repurposed into new consumer products or ingredients for human consumption. Bioplastics are looking to be next hot thing in, and investors are ready to start writing checks. Cacao products have dominated the FoodHack feed, so we take a closer look at what's powering the cacao craze.

The Digest

🍎🗑 September 29th was the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction, so there has been a lot of discussion this week on innovation in this area. Food waste ‘upcycling’ is one strategy, in which production waste streams are repurposed into new consumer products or ingredients for human consumption. In Asia, a group of innovative foodtech startups are participating in Singapore Food Bowl, a food security and sustainability program. It’s also good timing for the launch of food waste app Too Good to Go in NYC, which restaurants, cafes and markets can use to redistribute their surplus stock to consumers, and avoid it going to landfill. Plus, it’s evident that consumers are becoming more mindful of reducing domestic food waste, as sales in the UK frozen aisles are soaring.

🍫 Cacao products have dominated the FoodHack Discovery board in recent weeks. From cacao pulp juices to gourmet, holistic full bean spreads, waters, cakes and more. A band of innovative start-ups has been shaking up the cacao market as we know it. And for good reason. Cacao products in particular don’t just play into consumers’ love of anything plant-based, low in sugar and antioxidant-packed. New product applications, using leftover waste generated in chocolate making, are also a key part of what’s powering this growth. So this week we take a closer look at what’s powering the craze for cacao (FoodHack+)

🥤Plastic-away. Some very clever US scientists are working on a new plastic-eating ‘super enzyme’ which could be a game-changer for the plastic waste recycling within the food and beverage industry.

🇪🇺 The newly-launched European Alliance for Plant-Based Food is calling on EU leaders to place plant-based foods at the centre of its 10 year plan to tackle biodiversity loss and to build a more sustainable and resilient food system. Already, Nestlé launched a new R&D accelerator to drive innovation within sustainable dairy products and plant-based dairy alternatives, and some of the world’s biggest food giants have now pledged to tackle the devastating effects of climate change on global food supply in a variety of ways.

🛒 Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket, has set a target to increase its plant-based meat sales by 300% by 2025, as part of its new sustainability initiative. In the same week as the news that Beyond Meat is to triple its presence in Walmart with a more affordable offer, outstripping its competitor Impossible Foods, which shows a global retail commitment to plant-based eating.

🎃Trick or treat: Halloween, one of the most lucrative holidays of the year for the candy industry, is about to be COVID-cancelled, but the industry has been convincing consumers to buy sweets regardless, by encouraging safe approaches and a month-long celebration. Maybe it’s time to set up your Halloween ziplines.

↩️ The days of quietly browsing in supermarkets are gone, as shown by Walmart’s brand new store design, unveiled this week. Consolidated categories, clear signposting, and if you log in to their app to search for a product it’ll generate a map to guide you directly to it in the store, like a digital yellow brick road.

📱 An interactive nutrition app is being launched in the Netherlands, so consumers can access personalised nutrition advice across multiple channels. The app allows consumers to get guidance to fulfil their needs in terms of flavour, price, convenience, health benefits and ethical concerns, and could mark the beginning of a huge change within transparency in the food industry.

🌱 Retail solution: In a bid to save itself after the pandemic-induced restaurant crisis, fast food chain LEON is strengthening its presence in UK supermarket Sainsbury’s with a wide range of vegan options, and has turned 65 of its restaurants into retail outlets.

🍴NYC-based ghost kitchen operator Zuul launched its virtual food hall, Zuul Market, this week. The concept is a delivery system, where meals from multiple restaurants going to multiple locations are bulked together and taken to a single location, for maximum efficiency. As in-office or in-home dining grows ever more popular through the winter, lots of companies are innovating to bring that restaurant experience directly to customers, and services like Zuul are the tip of the iceberg.

☕️ Coffee fix: Chinese robotics developer OrionStar debuted its Robotic Coffee Master, which uses AI to replicate the complex brewing techniques of human baristas. Man, I wish I could have one in my house!

🌾 Cell-based production can be too expensive to bring to market due to the lack of affordable growth factors needed to scale up the production process. Now, Iceland’s ORF Genetics is developing bio-risk-free growth factors for cell-cultured meats using barley, which should dramatically reduce costs and expedite new products to market.

💸 Plant-based investment: The Lever China Alternative Protein Fund announced its first five investments in plant-based and cell-cultivated protein producers in China. As the world’s largest consumer market for protein, this is a huge move towards a more sustainable future for China, which is probably why Dao Foods also just announced its Chinese venture fund which will invest in thirty alternative protein companies in the next three years. Similarly, Sustainable Food Ventures launched this week with a rolling fund for investment into global startups which are developing futuristic solutions in plant-based and cell-based food products.

🥚 Eggcellent news: Vegan eggs are the fastest-growing segment in plant-based foods, and now French startup Les Merveilloeufs has developed a plant-based egg which comes in a shell, like the real deal, set to hit vegan restaurants in Paris by the end of 2020.

🐝 Save the bees: Honey is the third most-faked food in the world, and it’s bad news for bees. As counterfeit honey forces prices down, some beekeepers are leaving the industry or focusing their hives on pollination. This is exhausting for bees, who play such a vital role in our global ecosystem.

🥓 Vegan science:
Plant-based flavouring tech startup ELECTRIC Snack Brands Inc is releasing a plant-based jerky that uses science to mimic the physiological and mental responses that people experience when eating animal meat. Similarly, Motif Foodworks is preparing commercial production of its first ingredient, which will improve the flavour of beef substitutes.

💰 Make money here:
- Vevolution
has announced a Dragon’s Den-style startup investment competition, Pitch & Plant, for global plant-based startups, with a £100,000 investment prize up for grabs.
- Those Vegan Cowboys are offering
a €2.5M reward to any startups who can find a starter culture to turn grass into real milk proteins.
- The Vegan Women Summit
has set up Pathfinder, a competition with a whole array of funding and networking prizes for female founders of innovative plant-based startups.
- Big Idea Ventures
is offering $125K cash investment + USD$75k strategic value-adds for successful applicants of their alt protein accelerator.
I
f you’re sitting on a bright idea, now’s the time to start working on it!

📈 What's up:
Alternative protein companies raised $1.5 billion in the first half of 2020, an astounding amount of cash, but some believe that bioplastics is the next big opportunity.

📉 What's down:
Scientists in the Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the U.S. have developed a $1 Ebola and Lassa virus test. The test benefits from CRISPR technology. (via Daniels FoodTech weekly newsletter)

FoodTech Funding

🍔 The Uk’s fastest-growing plant-based meat company Meatless Farm closed a $31M funding round to support its global growth strategy.

💦 Canned water brand Liquid Death pulled in $23M in series B funding this week.Founded by former Netflix creative director Mike Cessario, its tins of Austrian Alp water promise to ‘murder your thirst’, and inventive marketing is a huge part of its sales success.

🍤 Shiok Meat raised $12.6M series A funding, which makes it South East Asia’s most valuable cell-based startup. It plans to build the first commercial pilot plant to produce cell-based minced shrimp which, if successful, would be the first cultivated crustacean brought to market, bringing a whole host of reductions in greenhouse gases (96%), energy consumption (45%) and water consumption (96%) when compared to traditional seafood industry.

🛒 Latin American online delivery-only grocery store Jüsto raised another $5M this week to expand its footprint.

🍎 French Tech startup Totem secured €4M this week to expand its offer of customisable office micro stores, which can be filled with healthy snacks to suit any dietary choices.

🐟 The developers of the world’s first plant-based shredded salmon, Hooked Seafood, received €150,000 investment to launch in the Nordics, with further expansion planned for Europe.

🌱 Swiss biotech startup Vivent closed a ‘multi-million Euro’ seed round this week. Their technology works to decipher biosignals from plants, to increase yields and improve crop protection effectiveness. Mind. Blown.

Sun-dried snacks & sex-determining tech

Meet this week top 5 product featured on FoodHack Discovery:

1️ Jali Fruit Co - Sun-dried fruit snacks grown by rural women farmers with no preservatives or added sugars
2️ Common Farms - We grow unconventional & inspiring local produce in the heart of Hong Kong
3️ Plantnrgy - All-natural plant-based protein and superfood mixes with less than 7 ingredients
4️ Soos - Sex determination in poultry embryos for the egg-laying industry. Increasing productivity and eliminating male culling.
5️ Bissy - Natural caffeine from kolanut fruit, sourced directly from smallholder farmers in Nigeria

Have a product you'd like to get featured? Fill out the form here🔍

In This Week In Food September 29th was the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction, so there has been a lot of discussion this week on innovation in this area.

Food waste ‘upcycling’ is one strategy, in which production waste streams are repurposed into new consumer products or ingredients for human consumption. Bioplastics are looking to be next hot thing in, and investors are ready to start writing checks. Cacao products have dominated the FoodHack feed, so we take a closer look at what's powering the cacao craze.

The Digest

🍎🗑 September 29th was the International Day of Awareness on Food Loss and Waste Reduction, so there has been a lot of discussion this week on innovation in this area. Food waste ‘upcycling’ is one strategy, in which production waste streams are repurposed into new consumer products or ingredients for human consumption. In Asia, a group of innovative foodtech startups are participating in Singapore Food Bowl, a food security and sustainability program. It’s also good timing for the launch of food waste app Too Good to Go in NYC, which restaurants, cafes and markets can use to redistribute their surplus stock to consumers, and avoid it going to landfill. Plus, it’s evident that consumers are becoming more mindful of reducing domestic food waste, as sales in the UK frozen aisles are soaring.

🍫 Cacao products have dominated the FoodHack Discovery board in recent weeks. From cacao pulp juices to gourmet, holistic full bean spreads, waters, cakes and more. A band of innovative start-ups has been shaking up the cacao market as we know it. And for good reason. Cacao products in particular don’t just play into consumers’ love of anything plant-based, low in sugar and antioxidant-packed. New product applications, using leftover waste generated in chocolate making, are also a key part of what’s powering this growth. So this week we take a closer look at what’s powering the craze for cacao (FoodHack+)

🥤Plastic-away. Some very clever US scientists are working on a new plastic-eating ‘super enzyme’ which could be a game-changer for the plastic waste recycling within the food and beverage industry.

🇪🇺 The newly-launched European Alliance for Plant-Based Food is calling on EU leaders to place plant-based foods at the centre of its 10 year plan to tackle biodiversity loss and to build a more sustainable and resilient food system. Already, Nestlé launched a new R&D accelerator to drive innovation within sustainable dairy products and plant-based dairy alternatives, and some of the world’s biggest food giants have now pledged to tackle the devastating effects of climate change on global food supply in a variety of ways.

🛒 Tesco, the UK’s largest supermarket, has set a target to increase its plant-based meat sales by 300% by 2025, as part of its new sustainability initiative. In the same week as the news that Beyond Meat is to triple its presence in Walmart with a more affordable offer, outstripping its competitor Impossible Foods, which shows a global retail commitment to plant-based eating.

🎃Trick or treat: Halloween, one of the most lucrative holidays of the year for the candy industry, is about to be COVID-cancelled, but the industry has been convincing consumers to buy sweets regardless, by encouraging safe approaches and a month-long celebration. Maybe it’s time to set up your Halloween ziplines.

↩️ The days of quietly browsing in supermarkets are gone, as shown by Walmart’s brand new store design, unveiled this week. Consolidated categories, clear signposting, and if you log in to their app to search for a product it’ll generate a map to guide you directly to it in the store, like a digital yellow brick road.

📱 An interactive nutrition app is being launched in the Netherlands, so consumers can access personalised nutrition advice across multiple channels. The app allows consumers to get guidance to fulfil their needs in terms of flavour, price, convenience, health benefits and ethical concerns, and could mark the beginning of a huge change within transparency in the food industry.

🌱 Retail solution: In a bid to save itself after the pandemic-induced restaurant crisis, fast food chain LEON is strengthening its presence in UK supermarket Sainsbury’s with a wide range of vegan options, and has turned 65 of its restaurants into retail outlets.

🍴NYC-based ghost kitchen operator Zuul launched its virtual food hall, Zuul Market, this week. The concept is a delivery system, where meals from multiple restaurants going to multiple locations are bulked together and taken to a single location, for maximum efficiency. As in-office or in-home dining grows ever more popular through the winter, lots of companies are innovating to bring that restaurant experience directly to customers, and services like Zuul are the tip of the iceberg.

☕️ Coffee fix: Chinese robotics developer OrionStar debuted its Robotic Coffee Master, which uses AI to replicate the complex brewing techniques of human baristas. Man, I wish I could have one in my house!

🌾 Cell-based production can be too expensive to bring to market due to the lack of affordable growth factors needed to scale up the production process. Now, Iceland’s ORF Genetics is developing bio-risk-free growth factors for cell-cultured meats using barley, which should dramatically reduce costs and expedite new products to market.

💸 Plant-based investment: The Lever China Alternative Protein Fund announced its first five investments in plant-based and cell-cultivated protein producers in China. As the world’s largest consumer market for protein, this is a huge move towards a more sustainable future for China, which is probably why Dao Foods also just announced its Chinese venture fund which will invest in thirty alternative protein companies in the next three years. Similarly, Sustainable Food Ventures launched this week with a rolling fund for investment into global startups which are developing futuristic solutions in plant-based and cell-based food products.

🥚 Eggcellent news: Vegan eggs are the fastest-growing segment in plant-based foods, and now French startup Les Merveilloeufs has developed a plant-based egg which comes in a shell, like the real deal, set to hit vegan restaurants in Paris by the end of 2020.

🐝 Save the bees: Honey is the third most-faked food in the world, and it’s bad news for bees. As counterfeit honey forces prices down, some beekeepers are leaving the industry or focusing their hives on pollination. This is exhausting for bees, who play such a vital role in our global ecosystem.

🥓 Vegan science:
Plant-based flavouring tech startup ELECTRIC Snack Brands Inc is releasing a plant-based jerky that uses science to mimic the physiological and mental responses that people experience when eating animal meat. Similarly, Motif Foodworks is preparing commercial production of its first ingredient, which will improve the flavour of beef substitutes.

💰 Make money here:
- Vevolution
has announced a Dragon’s Den-style startup investment competition, Pitch & Plant, for global plant-based startups, with a £100,000 investment prize up for grabs.
- Those Vegan Cowboys are offering
a €2.5M reward to any startups who can find a starter culture to turn grass into real milk proteins.
- The Vegan Women Summit
has set up Pathfinder, a competition with a whole array of funding and networking prizes for female founders of innovative plant-based startups.
- Big Idea Ventures
is offering $125K cash investment + USD$75k strategic value-adds for successful applicants of their alt protein accelerator.
I
f you’re sitting on a bright idea, now’s the time to start working on it!

📈 What's up:
Alternative protein companies raised $1.5 billion in the first half of 2020, an astounding amount of cash, but some believe that bioplastics is the next big opportunity.

📉 What's down:
Scientists in the Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the U.S. have developed a $1 Ebola and Lassa virus test. The test benefits from CRISPR technology. (via Daniels FoodTech weekly newsletter)

FoodTech Funding

🍔 The Uk’s fastest-growing plant-based meat company Meatless Farm closed a $31M funding round to support its global growth strategy.

💦 Canned water brand Liquid Death pulled in $23M in series B funding this week.Founded by former Netflix creative director Mike Cessario, its tins of Austrian Alp water promise to ‘murder your thirst’, and inventive marketing is a huge part of its sales success.

🍤 Shiok Meat raised $12.6M series A funding, which makes it South East Asia’s most valuable cell-based startup. It plans to build the first commercial pilot plant to produce cell-based minced shrimp which, if successful, would be the first cultivated crustacean brought to market, bringing a whole host of reductions in greenhouse gases (96%), energy consumption (45%) and water consumption (96%) when compared to traditional seafood industry.

🛒 Latin American online delivery-only grocery store Jüsto raised another $5M this week to expand its footprint.

🍎 French Tech startup Totem secured €4M this week to expand its offer of customisable office micro stores, which can be filled with healthy snacks to suit any dietary choices.

🐟 The developers of the world’s first plant-based shredded salmon, Hooked Seafood, received €150,000 investment to launch in the Nordics, with further expansion planned for Europe.

🌱 Swiss biotech startup Vivent closed a ‘multi-million Euro’ seed round this week. Their technology works to decipher biosignals from plants, to increase yields and improve crop protection effectiveness. Mind. Blown.

Sun-dried snacks & sex-determining tech

Meet this week top 5 product featured on FoodHack Discovery:

1️ Jali Fruit Co - Sun-dried fruit snacks grown by rural women farmers with no preservatives or added sugars
2️ Common Farms - We grow unconventional & inspiring local produce in the heart of Hong Kong
3️ Plantnrgy - All-natural plant-based protein and superfood mixes with less than 7 ingredients
4️ Soos - Sex determination in poultry embryos for the egg-laying industry. Increasing productivity and eliminating male culling.
5️ Bissy - Natural caffeine from kolanut fruit, sourced directly from smallholder farmers in Nigeria

Have a product you'd like to get featured? Fill out the form here🔍