This Week In Food: Cell-Based Human Milk Is On It's Way & Twitter Calls Out Racist Brands

This Week In Food: Cell-Based Human Milk Is On It's Way & Twitter Calls Out Racist Brands

By
Arman Anatürk
June 19, 2020

In This Week In Food, we chat with Swedish audio entrepreneur turned food scientist, Niclas Luthman on how a pre-diabetic scare led him to start his sugar-free brand now in 3,000+ grocery stores across the US. And as if a $12B+ valuation wasn't enough, food-delivery platform Doordash is looking to raise a further $400M to hit that sweet $16B valuation mark. 

Cell-based human milk is on the way 🍼

Babies are tiny, but the global infant formula market is huge. Fortune Business Insights says the market will surpass $103 billion by 2026 with the top infant formula manufacturers including Abbott Labs, Danone and, you guessed it, Nestle.

“Breast is best" is a phrase often drilled into parents well before their child is even born. But what happens in the case when mothers-milk simply isn't an option? Whether that's because a child is born prematurely and the mother is unable to lactate, the social stigma's associated with breastfeeding in public or the modern-day busy schedules getting in the way of mid-day office pumps. 

Step in baby formula. No, wait, cultured breastmilk. BIOMILQ is targeting the infant nutrition market by attempting to reproduce the mother’s breastmilk in a lab and reduce the carbon footprint from the global infant formula market along the way. 

Source: BIOMILQ

A win for carbon-conscious parents. And the planet. "Per-infant-fed formula in the U.S., 5,700 metric tons of CO2 are produced, and 4,300 gallons of freshwater are consumed each year to feed a childsays Biomilq co-founder and CEO Michelle Eggers. "Parents want to do what’s best for their kids but shouldn’t have to decide between feeding their children and protecting the planet.”

Backed by powerhouse investors the company just closed a $3.5M Series A round led by Bill Gates’ investment firm, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Blue Horizon Ventures, Purple Orange Ventures, and Shazi Visram.

They’re not the only player in the space; New York's Helania, and Singapore’s Turtle Tree Labs (who will be on The Secret Sauce next week) is also working to bring cultured breastmilk to market. Whilst this space is gaining traction, a commercial launch is likely several years away with regulatory obstacles still to overcome.


After 131 years, Aunt Jemima is ditching its name and marketing logo

Source: Aunt Jemima

Quaker Oats says Aunt Jemima was first "brought to life" by Nancy Green, a Black woman who was formerly enslaved and became the face of the product in 1890.⁣

After numerous complaints, lawsuits and a recent post that went viral on Twitter, the company is ditching the brand and name. ⁣
⁣Uncle Ben's — a parboiled rice product that features a Black man on its packaging, which has been similarly criticized as racist — announced that "now is the right time to evolve the Uncle Ben's brand."⁣

The Secret Sauce 🎙 from music entrepreneur to food scientist: Niclas Luthman co-founder NICK's. 🍭

Niclas Luthman comes from the nitty-gritty music and audio industry. Starting his first company with only $700 in his pocket he built this up to $40 million in revenue until his eventual exit to a venture capital firm.
Whilst searching for his next venture, Niclas was diagnosed as pre-diabetic and was forced to change his diet and lifestyle. Nick obsessively learned about nutrition and started following a strict low-carb, anti-inflammatory diet, basically a keto diet long before the word was trendy.

But he could never kick his habit for sweet treats - from snacks, and chocolates to sodas and ice cream 🍧 - which led him to start his own company reinventing the snacks industry with healthier and more sustainable options that taste better than what’s on the supermarket shelves.

Nick and I chat about what it's like to start a food tech company in today's ultra-competitive climate, what it takes to come out on top and the useful advice and battle scars he's gained along the way. Listen to the full 30-minute episode.

Can carbon labelling help consumers make planet-friendlier choices?

01-FoodHackNewsletters-Trend-CarbonLabel-2.jpg
Illustration by FoodHack ©

Green is the new black. Protecting our planet is no longer the job of hippy eco-warriors. A recent study showed that 80% of consumers want to make more sustainable choices. But one in two of us feel like we don’t have the information we need to do so. So, we stick to what we know.

But manufacturers like Nestle and Premier Foods are now feeling the heat from investors to prove their commitment to countering climate change. Bolstered by the efforts of brands like Oatly and Quorn, some big household names – including Kit-Kat, Cheerios and Nescafé - are now considering carbon labelling, with Unilever just this week announcing new carbon labels on 70,000 of their products. And expert partners – like the Carbon Trust - are reporting that demand for their services has soared over the last eighteen months.

In fact, research shows that the majority of consumers are open to making changes and are actively seeking guidance. Millennials, in particular, are willing to pay more for sustainable products. So the market opportunity is clear.

But how do environmentally-minded food businesses go about crunching their carbon numbers? Delve deeper into the challenges and opportunities behind this trend and get to know some of the companies that can walk you through the process of reducing your carbon footprint.

New in Funding:


The Digest:

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.

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In This Week In Food, we chat with Swedish audio entrepreneur turned food scientist, Niclas Luthman on how a pre-diabetic scare led him to start his sugar-free brand now in 3,000+ grocery stores across the US. And as if a $12B+ valuation wasn't enough, food-delivery platform Doordash is looking to raise a further $400M to hit that sweet $16B valuation mark. 

Cell-based human milk is on the way 🍼

Babies are tiny, but the global infant formula market is huge. Fortune Business Insights says the market will surpass $103 billion by 2026 with the top infant formula manufacturers including Abbott Labs, Danone and, you guessed it, Nestle.

“Breast is best" is a phrase often drilled into parents well before their child is even born. But what happens in the case when mothers-milk simply isn't an option? Whether that's because a child is born prematurely and the mother is unable to lactate, the social stigma's associated with breastfeeding in public or the modern-day busy schedules getting in the way of mid-day office pumps. 

Step in baby formula. No, wait, cultured breastmilk. BIOMILQ is targeting the infant nutrition market by attempting to reproduce the mother’s breastmilk in a lab and reduce the carbon footprint from the global infant formula market along the way. 

Source: BIOMILQ

A win for carbon-conscious parents. And the planet. "Per-infant-fed formula in the U.S., 5,700 metric tons of CO2 are produced, and 4,300 gallons of freshwater are consumed each year to feed a childsays Biomilq co-founder and CEO Michelle Eggers. "Parents want to do what’s best for their kids but shouldn’t have to decide between feeding their children and protecting the planet.”

Backed by powerhouse investors the company just closed a $3.5M Series A round led by Bill Gates’ investment firm, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Blue Horizon Ventures, Purple Orange Ventures, and Shazi Visram.

They’re not the only player in the space; New York's Helania, and Singapore’s Turtle Tree Labs (who will be on The Secret Sauce next week) is also working to bring cultured breastmilk to market. Whilst this space is gaining traction, a commercial launch is likely several years away with regulatory obstacles still to overcome.


After 131 years, Aunt Jemima is ditching its name and marketing logo

Source: Aunt Jemima

Quaker Oats says Aunt Jemima was first "brought to life" by Nancy Green, a Black woman who was formerly enslaved and became the face of the product in 1890.⁣

After numerous complaints, lawsuits and a recent post that went viral on Twitter, the company is ditching the brand and name. ⁣
⁣Uncle Ben's — a parboiled rice product that features a Black man on its packaging, which has been similarly criticized as racist — announced that "now is the right time to evolve the Uncle Ben's brand."⁣

The Secret Sauce 🎙 from music entrepreneur to food scientist: Niclas Luthman co-founder NICK's. 🍭

Niclas Luthman comes from the nitty-gritty music and audio industry. Starting his first company with only $700 in his pocket he built this up to $40 million in revenue until his eventual exit to a venture capital firm.
Whilst searching for his next venture, Niclas was diagnosed as pre-diabetic and was forced to change his diet and lifestyle. Nick obsessively learned about nutrition and started following a strict low-carb, anti-inflammatory diet, basically a keto diet long before the word was trendy.

But he could never kick his habit for sweet treats - from snacks, and chocolates to sodas and ice cream 🍧 - which led him to start his own company reinventing the snacks industry with healthier and more sustainable options that taste better than what’s on the supermarket shelves.

Nick and I chat about what it's like to start a food tech company in today's ultra-competitive climate, what it takes to come out on top and the useful advice and battle scars he's gained along the way. Listen to the full 30-minute episode.

Can carbon labelling help consumers make planet-friendlier choices?

01-FoodHackNewsletters-Trend-CarbonLabel-2.jpg
Illustration by FoodHack ©

Green is the new black. Protecting our planet is no longer the job of hippy eco-warriors. A recent study showed that 80% of consumers want to make more sustainable choices. But one in two of us feel like we don’t have the information we need to do so. So, we stick to what we know.

But manufacturers like Nestle and Premier Foods are now feeling the heat from investors to prove their commitment to countering climate change. Bolstered by the efforts of brands like Oatly and Quorn, some big household names – including Kit-Kat, Cheerios and Nescafé - are now considering carbon labelling, with Unilever just this week announcing new carbon labels on 70,000 of their products. And expert partners – like the Carbon Trust - are reporting that demand for their services has soared over the last eighteen months.

In fact, research shows that the majority of consumers are open to making changes and are actively seeking guidance. Millennials, in particular, are willing to pay more for sustainable products. So the market opportunity is clear.

But how do environmentally-minded food businesses go about crunching their carbon numbers? Delve deeper into the challenges and opportunities behind this trend and get to know some of the companies that can walk you through the process of reducing your carbon footprint.

New in Funding:


The Digest:

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In This Week In Food, we chat with Swedish audio entrepreneur turned food scientist, Niclas Luthman on how a pre-diabetic scare led him to start his sugar-free brand now in 3,000+ grocery stores across the US. And as if a $12B+ valuation wasn't enough, food-delivery platform Doordash is looking to raise a further $400M to hit that sweet $16B valuation mark. 

Cell-based human milk is on the way 🍼

Babies are tiny, but the global infant formula market is huge. Fortune Business Insights says the market will surpass $103 billion by 2026 with the top infant formula manufacturers including Abbott Labs, Danone and, you guessed it, Nestle.

“Breast is best" is a phrase often drilled into parents well before their child is even born. But what happens in the case when mothers-milk simply isn't an option? Whether that's because a child is born prematurely and the mother is unable to lactate, the social stigma's associated with breastfeeding in public or the modern-day busy schedules getting in the way of mid-day office pumps. 

Step in baby formula. No, wait, cultured breastmilk. BIOMILQ is targeting the infant nutrition market by attempting to reproduce the mother’s breastmilk in a lab and reduce the carbon footprint from the global infant formula market along the way. 

Source: BIOMILQ

A win for carbon-conscious parents. And the planet. "Per-infant-fed formula in the U.S., 5,700 metric tons of CO2 are produced, and 4,300 gallons of freshwater are consumed each year to feed a childsays Biomilq co-founder and CEO Michelle Eggers. "Parents want to do what’s best for their kids but shouldn’t have to decide between feeding their children and protecting the planet.”

Backed by powerhouse investors the company just closed a $3.5M Series A round led by Bill Gates’ investment firm, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Blue Horizon Ventures, Purple Orange Ventures, and Shazi Visram.

They’re not the only player in the space; New York's Helania, and Singapore’s Turtle Tree Labs (who will be on The Secret Sauce next week) is also working to bring cultured breastmilk to market. Whilst this space is gaining traction, a commercial launch is likely several years away with regulatory obstacles still to overcome.


After 131 years, Aunt Jemima is ditching its name and marketing logo

Source: Aunt Jemima

Quaker Oats says Aunt Jemima was first "brought to life" by Nancy Green, a Black woman who was formerly enslaved and became the face of the product in 1890.⁣

After numerous complaints, lawsuits and a recent post that went viral on Twitter, the company is ditching the brand and name. ⁣
⁣Uncle Ben's — a parboiled rice product that features a Black man on its packaging, which has been similarly criticized as racist — announced that "now is the right time to evolve the Uncle Ben's brand."⁣

The Secret Sauce 🎙 from music entrepreneur to food scientist: Niclas Luthman co-founder NICK's. 🍭

Niclas Luthman comes from the nitty-gritty music and audio industry. Starting his first company with only $700 in his pocket he built this up to $40 million in revenue until his eventual exit to a venture capital firm.
Whilst searching for his next venture, Niclas was diagnosed as pre-diabetic and was forced to change his diet and lifestyle. Nick obsessively learned about nutrition and started following a strict low-carb, anti-inflammatory diet, basically a keto diet long before the word was trendy.

But he could never kick his habit for sweet treats - from snacks, and chocolates to sodas and ice cream 🍧 - which led him to start his own company reinventing the snacks industry with healthier and more sustainable options that taste better than what’s on the supermarket shelves.

Nick and I chat about what it's like to start a food tech company in today's ultra-competitive climate, what it takes to come out on top and the useful advice and battle scars he's gained along the way. Listen to the full 30-minute episode.

Can carbon labelling help consumers make planet-friendlier choices?

01-FoodHackNewsletters-Trend-CarbonLabel-2.jpg
Illustration by FoodHack ©

Green is the new black. Protecting our planet is no longer the job of hippy eco-warriors. A recent study showed that 80% of consumers want to make more sustainable choices. But one in two of us feel like we don’t have the information we need to do so. So, we stick to what we know.

But manufacturers like Nestle and Premier Foods are now feeling the heat from investors to prove their commitment to countering climate change. Bolstered by the efforts of brands like Oatly and Quorn, some big household names – including Kit-Kat, Cheerios and Nescafé - are now considering carbon labelling, with Unilever just this week announcing new carbon labels on 70,000 of their products. And expert partners – like the Carbon Trust - are reporting that demand for their services has soared over the last eighteen months.

In fact, research shows that the majority of consumers are open to making changes and are actively seeking guidance. Millennials, in particular, are willing to pay more for sustainable products. So the market opportunity is clear.

But how do environmentally-minded food businesses go about crunching their carbon numbers? Delve deeper into the challenges and opportunities behind this trend and get to know some of the companies that can walk you through the process of reducing your carbon footprint.

New in Funding:


The Digest:

In This Week In Food, we chat with Swedish audio entrepreneur turned food scientist, Niclas Luthman on how a pre-diabetic scare led him to start his sugar-free brand now in 3,000+ grocery stores across the US. And as if a $12B+ valuation wasn't enough, food-delivery platform Doordash is looking to raise a further $400M to hit that sweet $16B valuation mark. 

Cell-based human milk is on the way 🍼

Babies are tiny, but the global infant formula market is huge. Fortune Business Insights says the market will surpass $103 billion by 2026 with the top infant formula manufacturers including Abbott Labs, Danone and, you guessed it, Nestle.

“Breast is best" is a phrase often drilled into parents well before their child is even born. But what happens in the case when mothers-milk simply isn't an option? Whether that's because a child is born prematurely and the mother is unable to lactate, the social stigma's associated with breastfeeding in public or the modern-day busy schedules getting in the way of mid-day office pumps. 

Step in baby formula. No, wait, cultured breastmilk. BIOMILQ is targeting the infant nutrition market by attempting to reproduce the mother’s breastmilk in a lab and reduce the carbon footprint from the global infant formula market along the way. 

Source: BIOMILQ

A win for carbon-conscious parents. And the planet. "Per-infant-fed formula in the U.S., 5,700 metric tons of CO2 are produced, and 4,300 gallons of freshwater are consumed each year to feed a childsays Biomilq co-founder and CEO Michelle Eggers. "Parents want to do what’s best for their kids but shouldn’t have to decide between feeding their children and protecting the planet.”

Backed by powerhouse investors the company just closed a $3.5M Series A round led by Bill Gates’ investment firm, Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Blue Horizon Ventures, Purple Orange Ventures, and Shazi Visram.

They’re not the only player in the space; New York's Helania, and Singapore’s Turtle Tree Labs (who will be on The Secret Sauce next week) is also working to bring cultured breastmilk to market. Whilst this space is gaining traction, a commercial launch is likely several years away with regulatory obstacles still to overcome.


After 131 years, Aunt Jemima is ditching its name and marketing logo

Source: Aunt Jemima

Quaker Oats says Aunt Jemima was first "brought to life" by Nancy Green, a Black woman who was formerly enslaved and became the face of the product in 1890.⁣

After numerous complaints, lawsuits and a recent post that went viral on Twitter, the company is ditching the brand and name. ⁣
⁣Uncle Ben's — a parboiled rice product that features a Black man on its packaging, which has been similarly criticized as racist — announced that "now is the right time to evolve the Uncle Ben's brand."⁣

The Secret Sauce 🎙 from music entrepreneur to food scientist: Niclas Luthman co-founder NICK's. 🍭

Niclas Luthman comes from the nitty-gritty music and audio industry. Starting his first company with only $700 in his pocket he built this up to $40 million in revenue until his eventual exit to a venture capital firm.
Whilst searching for his next venture, Niclas was diagnosed as pre-diabetic and was forced to change his diet and lifestyle. Nick obsessively learned about nutrition and started following a strict low-carb, anti-inflammatory diet, basically a keto diet long before the word was trendy.

But he could never kick his habit for sweet treats - from snacks, and chocolates to sodas and ice cream 🍧 - which led him to start his own company reinventing the snacks industry with healthier and more sustainable options that taste better than what’s on the supermarket shelves.

Nick and I chat about what it's like to start a food tech company in today's ultra-competitive climate, what it takes to come out on top and the useful advice and battle scars he's gained along the way. Listen to the full 30-minute episode.

Can carbon labelling help consumers make planet-friendlier choices?

01-FoodHackNewsletters-Trend-CarbonLabel-2.jpg
Illustration by FoodHack ©

Green is the new black. Protecting our planet is no longer the job of hippy eco-warriors. A recent study showed that 80% of consumers want to make more sustainable choices. But one in two of us feel like we don’t have the information we need to do so. So, we stick to what we know.

But manufacturers like Nestle and Premier Foods are now feeling the heat from investors to prove their commitment to countering climate change. Bolstered by the efforts of brands like Oatly and Quorn, some big household names – including Kit-Kat, Cheerios and Nescafé - are now considering carbon labelling, with Unilever just this week announcing new carbon labels on 70,000 of their products. And expert partners – like the Carbon Trust - are reporting that demand for their services has soared over the last eighteen months.

In fact, research shows that the majority of consumers are open to making changes and are actively seeking guidance. Millennials, in particular, are willing to pay more for sustainable products. So the market opportunity is clear.

But how do environmentally-minded food businesses go about crunching their carbon numbers? Delve deeper into the challenges and opportunities behind this trend and get to know some of the companies that can walk you through the process of reducing your carbon footprint.

New in Funding:


The Digest: