This Week In Food: Serving up the Perfect scoop & why Reddit co-founder invested in this Alt-Meat startup

This Week In Food: Serving up the Perfect scoop & why Reddit co-founder invested in this Alt-Meat startup

By
Arman Anatürk
July 10, 2020

In This Week In Food, I'll admit I got two things wrong in last week's edition - first off, Postmates did end up taking Ubers all-stock acquisition deal - I guess $2.6B was too sweet to turn down?

And second, we're not launching FoodHack Discovery this week, instead, we'll push back the launch to next week whilst we debug  & give startups more time to submit their products to be featured 🔍

This week we cover Perfect Day's $300M Series C and who's backing it. Hint: Canada's grandparents are in for a whole lot of 🍦We spotlight alt-meat startup Simulate (previously NUGGS) and why investors like AgFunder and Reddit co-founder just backed them.

And in the latest episode of The Secret Sauce, I chat with Austin-based serial entrepreneur Riana Lynn, one crafty entrepreneur who hustled her way into the white house, built and sold two companies, and is now working on better feeding the growing 8 billion population.

🌲In your weekly dose of non-food, carbon neutralizing news - Ecosia, the Berlin-based search engine that uses its advertising revenues for good, has now planted 100 million trees 👏


$360M for the perfect scoop 🍦

Source: Perfect Day

Perfect Day, the Cali-based company that's working on bringing you to perfect scoop of cruelty-free ice cream, has expanded its Series C round to $300 million.

How it works?

  • In short: The company uses plant and fermentation techniques to manufacture animal-free dairy products. The proteins, which are molecularly identical to those produced by cows, can then be used in making dairy products like ice cream and cheese.
  • In-depth: Perfect Day genetically engineers microflora – a group of protein-producing organisms that includes yeast, bacteria, and fungi — to convert plant sugars into the milk proteins casein and whey that are essential in most dairy products. This is then combined with other ingredients to make its products, such as fat and water to make milk. The company later filters out the microflora from the finished product - which as a bonus, is lactose-free 🥛

Perfect Day’s new funding follows last year’s $140 million initial Series C, which was led by Horizons Ventures and Temasek. With this latest round, Perfect Day has raised more than $360 million 💰

Who's backing Perfect Day?
Among the backers is The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) who is buying a $50 million stake. Of course, it's Canada. What other country do you know that would bet their pensioner's fund on a plant-based ice cream startup?
Read why they got involved here.

The Perfect approach: Work with the market, not against it

Rather than create challenger brands to take on legacy companies like many other startups in this space, Perfect Day says it can have a bigger impact through partnerships with established enterprises, selling them its animal-free protein to use as an ingredient in their existing and new products.

“Anyone who’s tried to go vegan knows that you’ll find milk protein in every single aisle of the grocery store—it’s everywhere,” says Ryan Pandya, co-founder and CEO of Perfect Day. It’s ubiquitous, he says, because it’s extremely nutritional and functional.

Taste is everything - how does Perfect Day stand up?
Earlier this year, Perfect Day launched a partnership with Smitten Ice Cream in the US - Paul Shapiro gave his verdict


One to watch: Simulate (NUGGS) 🐓

Source: Simulate

Back in 2016, Ben Pasternak was best known as the teenage mastermind who launched the social-media app, Monkey (later acquired by Hola) and posing in pictures with the likes of Apple CEO, Tim Cook and rapper, Drake.

Today, Ben is the founder and CEO of the Simulate (sister company of NUGGS) - the alternative-meat company that's just recently raised $4.1M and boasts 1 million pounds of nuggets sold, all in just a year, all direct-to-consumer 📬

Why it's one to watch?

  • Product launches: The company is readying the launch of new products including spicy nuggets, a “chicken burger product” and, eventually, a hot dog - hence 'NUGGS' wasn't inclusive enough.
  • New CTO: The new round of funding also comes with the announcement that Thierry Saint-Denis, the former senior director of research and innovation at Danone, will take over as CTO for the company - which was previously run by a bunch of 20-year-olds.
  • Diverse Investors New investors include Lerer Hippeau,AgFunder, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, former Whole Foods chief executive Walter Robb and model Jasmine Tookes who join existing power-packed investors.
  • Patents on Panets: Currently the company has 14 patents related to functional ingredients, probiotics and enzymes.
  • Launch into retail: Over the next week, Simulate’s frozen nuggets will make their debut in around 30 Gelson’s supermarkets in California. With plans to release their chicken patty within the next few months and a hot dog replacement, DOGGS, in the fourth quarter.
  • Marketing 101: Simulate know the bulk of their consumers are Millenials & Gen-Z and aren't afraid to be bold 🔥 when it comes to their marketing - and it seems to be working with a loyal fan base that actively buy out their new releases.

Takeaway:
Simulate is part of the new wave of cool brands in the alt-meat space working to win over the carnivorous consumers. The fresh new funding, CTO announcement, and launch into retail will solidify their positioning as a future challenger brand to the likes of Beyond and Impossible as they collectively take on big meat.

And if you're feeling like the Alt-meat space is getting crowded, don't worry, there's still plenty of space for you and now is the time as the pandemic sparks the biggest decline in meat-eating in decades.


The Secret Sauce 🎙 Biologist Turned Serial Entrepreneur: Riana Lynn, Founder & CEO, Journey Foods

Riana Lynn is creative, to say the least. During Obama's presidential inauguration, Lynn launched a website and news service that published election 📰 coverage as a way to get press passes to all the inauguration events - and later helping her land a job in the White House.

Whilst at university, Riana saw a lack of fresh produce on campus and launched a fresh juice bar with her uncle which they scaled past $1M annual revenue in their first year 📈. She then went on to launch, Rivive, an e-commerce development platform for food businesses that caught the attention of businessman, and host of CNBC show “The Profit”, Marcus Lemonis, who hired her as a consultant and later acquired her company.

Lynn continued and founded FoodTrace, which provided end-to-end traceability solutions for food and beverage companies which she then sold two years later. Today, Riana is building Journey Foods, working to change food science inefficiencies and problematic supply chains in order to better feed the growing 8 billion population.

In the full episode, we focus on how Riana Lynn the serial entrepreneur today came to be, what led her into foodtech space and how a decade of experience culminates in Journey Foods.


New in Funding:


Green Packaging in 2020 ♻️🥤

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

Let's talk about waste. Every year, we throw away around 40% of the plastic we produce. Most of which ends up in landfills or pollutes our oceans.

This isn’t only an issue for our planet. It also doesn’t make good business sense. This waste represents a $80-120 Billion loss to the global economy each year. But luckily, the tide is starting to turn.

Leading manufacturers – including Nestlé & Unilever – have made public commitments to develop more sustainable packaging - with this week Danone debuting their 100% recyclable bottles.

Loop Industries, a leading technology company, has partnered with PepsiCo & Danone to introduce more sustainable PET solutions across their supply chains. And numerous food service partners are collaborating with innovative startups to trial reusable - or even edible - solutions.  

The Trend - Crunchbase data shows that packaging solution start-ups have raised over $850m in the last 3 years. COVID-19 has also created an even greater demand for sustainable packaging. Experts claim that this market – dominated by the F&B segment - will grow to represent a $313.93 billion opportunity by 2025.

This week we take a look at the green packaging option available and the innovative companies that are helping others to think out of the box.


In other news:

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, I'll admit I got two things wrong in last week's edition - first off, Postmates did end up taking Ubers all-stock acquisition deal - I guess $2.6B was too sweet to turn down?

And second, we're not launching FoodHack Discovery this week, instead, we'll push back the launch to next week whilst we debug  & give startups more time to submit their products to be featured 🔍

This week we cover Perfect Day's $300M Series C and who's backing it. Hint: Canada's grandparents are in for a whole lot of 🍦We spotlight alt-meat startup Simulate (previously NUGGS) and why investors like AgFunder and Reddit co-founder just backed them.

And in the latest episode of The Secret Sauce, I chat with Austin-based serial entrepreneur Riana Lynn, one crafty entrepreneur who hustled her way into the white house, built and sold two companies, and is now working on better feeding the growing 8 billion population.

🌲In your weekly dose of non-food, carbon neutralizing news - Ecosia, the Berlin-based search engine that uses its advertising revenues for good, has now planted 100 million trees 👏


$360M for the perfect scoop 🍦

Source: Perfect Day

Perfect Day, the Cali-based company that's working on bringing you to perfect scoop of cruelty-free ice cream, has expanded its Series C round to $300 million.

How it works?

  • In short: The company uses plant and fermentation techniques to manufacture animal-free dairy products. The proteins, which are molecularly identical to those produced by cows, can then be used in making dairy products like ice cream and cheese.
  • In-depth: Perfect Day genetically engineers microflora – a group of protein-producing organisms that includes yeast, bacteria, and fungi — to convert plant sugars into the milk proteins casein and whey that are essential in most dairy products. This is then combined with other ingredients to make its products, such as fat and water to make milk. The company later filters out the microflora from the finished product - which as a bonus, is lactose-free 🥛

Perfect Day’s new funding follows last year’s $140 million initial Series C, which was led by Horizons Ventures and Temasek. With this latest round, Perfect Day has raised more than $360 million 💰

Who's backing Perfect Day?
Among the backers is The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) who is buying a $50 million stake. Of course, it's Canada. What other country do you know that would bet their pensioner's fund on a plant-based ice cream startup?
Read why they got involved here.

The Perfect approach: Work with the market, not against it

Rather than create challenger brands to take on legacy companies like many other startups in this space, Perfect Day says it can have a bigger impact through partnerships with established enterprises, selling them its animal-free protein to use as an ingredient in their existing and new products.

“Anyone who’s tried to go vegan knows that you’ll find milk protein in every single aisle of the grocery store—it’s everywhere,” says Ryan Pandya, co-founder and CEO of Perfect Day. It’s ubiquitous, he says, because it’s extremely nutritional and functional.

Taste is everything - how does Perfect Day stand up?
Earlier this year, Perfect Day launched a partnership with Smitten Ice Cream in the US - Paul Shapiro gave his verdict


One to watch: Simulate (NUGGS) 🐓

Source: Simulate

Back in 2016, Ben Pasternak was best known as the teenage mastermind who launched the social-media app, Monkey (later acquired by Hola) and posing in pictures with the likes of Apple CEO, Tim Cook and rapper, Drake.

Today, Ben is the founder and CEO of the Simulate (sister company of NUGGS) - the alternative-meat company that's just recently raised $4.1M and boasts 1 million pounds of nuggets sold, all in just a year, all direct-to-consumer 📬

Why it's one to watch?

  • Product launches: The company is readying the launch of new products including spicy nuggets, a “chicken burger product” and, eventually, a hot dog - hence 'NUGGS' wasn't inclusive enough.
  • New CTO: The new round of funding also comes with the announcement that Thierry Saint-Denis, the former senior director of research and innovation at Danone, will take over as CTO for the company - which was previously run by a bunch of 20-year-olds.
  • Diverse Investors New investors include Lerer Hippeau,AgFunder, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, former Whole Foods chief executive Walter Robb and model Jasmine Tookes who join existing power-packed investors.
  • Patents on Panets: Currently the company has 14 patents related to functional ingredients, probiotics and enzymes.
  • Launch into retail: Over the next week, Simulate’s frozen nuggets will make their debut in around 30 Gelson’s supermarkets in California. With plans to release their chicken patty within the next few months and a hot dog replacement, DOGGS, in the fourth quarter.
  • Marketing 101: Simulate know the bulk of their consumers are Millenials & Gen-Z and aren't afraid to be bold 🔥 when it comes to their marketing - and it seems to be working with a loyal fan base that actively buy out their new releases.

Takeaway:
Simulate is part of the new wave of cool brands in the alt-meat space working to win over the carnivorous consumers. The fresh new funding, CTO announcement, and launch into retail will solidify their positioning as a future challenger brand to the likes of Beyond and Impossible as they collectively take on big meat.

And if you're feeling like the Alt-meat space is getting crowded, don't worry, there's still plenty of space for you and now is the time as the pandemic sparks the biggest decline in meat-eating in decades.


The Secret Sauce 🎙 Biologist Turned Serial Entrepreneur: Riana Lynn, Founder & CEO, Journey Foods

Riana Lynn is creative, to say the least. During Obama's presidential inauguration, Lynn launched a website and news service that published election 📰 coverage as a way to get press passes to all the inauguration events - and later helping her land a job in the White House.

Whilst at university, Riana saw a lack of fresh produce on campus and launched a fresh juice bar with her uncle which they scaled past $1M annual revenue in their first year 📈. She then went on to launch, Rivive, an e-commerce development platform for food businesses that caught the attention of businessman, and host of CNBC show “The Profit”, Marcus Lemonis, who hired her as a consultant and later acquired her company.

Lynn continued and founded FoodTrace, which provided end-to-end traceability solutions for food and beverage companies which she then sold two years later. Today, Riana is building Journey Foods, working to change food science inefficiencies and problematic supply chains in order to better feed the growing 8 billion population.

In the full episode, we focus on how Riana Lynn the serial entrepreneur today came to be, what led her into foodtech space and how a decade of experience culminates in Journey Foods.


New in Funding:


Green Packaging in 2020 ♻️🥤

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

Let's talk about waste. Every year, we throw away around 40% of the plastic we produce. Most of which ends up in landfills or pollutes our oceans.

This isn’t only an issue for our planet. It also doesn’t make good business sense. This waste represents a $80-120 Billion loss to the global economy each year. But luckily, the tide is starting to turn.

Leading manufacturers – including Nestlé & Unilever – have made public commitments to develop more sustainable packaging - with this week Danone debuting their 100% recyclable bottles.

Loop Industries, a leading technology company, has partnered with PepsiCo & Danone to introduce more sustainable PET solutions across their supply chains. And numerous food service partners are collaborating with innovative startups to trial reusable - or even edible - solutions.  

The Trend - Crunchbase data shows that packaging solution start-ups have raised over $850m in the last 3 years. COVID-19 has also created an even greater demand for sustainable packaging. Experts claim that this market – dominated by the F&B segment - will grow to represent a $313.93 billion opportunity by 2025.

This week we take a look at the green packaging option available and the innovative companies that are helping others to think out of the box.


In other news:

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  • Read Unlimited Articles
  • Access Member Directory
  • Join a Global Community
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In This Week In Food, I'll admit I got two things wrong in last week's edition - first off, Postmates did end up taking Ubers all-stock acquisition deal - I guess $2.6B was too sweet to turn down?

And second, we're not launching FoodHack Discovery this week, instead, we'll push back the launch to next week whilst we debug  & give startups more time to submit their products to be featured 🔍

This week we cover Perfect Day's $300M Series C and who's backing it. Hint: Canada's grandparents are in for a whole lot of 🍦We spotlight alt-meat startup Simulate (previously NUGGS) and why investors like AgFunder and Reddit co-founder just backed them.

And in the latest episode of The Secret Sauce, I chat with Austin-based serial entrepreneur Riana Lynn, one crafty entrepreneur who hustled her way into the white house, built and sold two companies, and is now working on better feeding the growing 8 billion population.

🌲In your weekly dose of non-food, carbon neutralizing news - Ecosia, the Berlin-based search engine that uses its advertising revenues for good, has now planted 100 million trees 👏


$360M for the perfect scoop 🍦

Source: Perfect Day

Perfect Day, the Cali-based company that's working on bringing you to perfect scoop of cruelty-free ice cream, has expanded its Series C round to $300 million.

How it works?

  • In short: The company uses plant and fermentation techniques to manufacture animal-free dairy products. The proteins, which are molecularly identical to those produced by cows, can then be used in making dairy products like ice cream and cheese.
  • In-depth: Perfect Day genetically engineers microflora – a group of protein-producing organisms that includes yeast, bacteria, and fungi — to convert plant sugars into the milk proteins casein and whey that are essential in most dairy products. This is then combined with other ingredients to make its products, such as fat and water to make milk. The company later filters out the microflora from the finished product - which as a bonus, is lactose-free 🥛

Perfect Day’s new funding follows last year’s $140 million initial Series C, which was led by Horizons Ventures and Temasek. With this latest round, Perfect Day has raised more than $360 million 💰

Who's backing Perfect Day?
Among the backers is The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) who is buying a $50 million stake. Of course, it's Canada. What other country do you know that would bet their pensioner's fund on a plant-based ice cream startup?
Read why they got involved here.

The Perfect approach: Work with the market, not against it

Rather than create challenger brands to take on legacy companies like many other startups in this space, Perfect Day says it can have a bigger impact through partnerships with established enterprises, selling them its animal-free protein to use as an ingredient in their existing and new products.

“Anyone who’s tried to go vegan knows that you’ll find milk protein in every single aisle of the grocery store—it’s everywhere,” says Ryan Pandya, co-founder and CEO of Perfect Day. It’s ubiquitous, he says, because it’s extremely nutritional and functional.

Taste is everything - how does Perfect Day stand up?
Earlier this year, Perfect Day launched a partnership with Smitten Ice Cream in the US - Paul Shapiro gave his verdict


One to watch: Simulate (NUGGS) 🐓

Source: Simulate

Back in 2016, Ben Pasternak was best known as the teenage mastermind who launched the social-media app, Monkey (later acquired by Hola) and posing in pictures with the likes of Apple CEO, Tim Cook and rapper, Drake.

Today, Ben is the founder and CEO of the Simulate (sister company of NUGGS) - the alternative-meat company that's just recently raised $4.1M and boasts 1 million pounds of nuggets sold, all in just a year, all direct-to-consumer 📬

Why it's one to watch?

  • Product launches: The company is readying the launch of new products including spicy nuggets, a “chicken burger product” and, eventually, a hot dog - hence 'NUGGS' wasn't inclusive enough.
  • New CTO: The new round of funding also comes with the announcement that Thierry Saint-Denis, the former senior director of research and innovation at Danone, will take over as CTO for the company - which was previously run by a bunch of 20-year-olds.
  • Diverse Investors New investors include Lerer Hippeau,AgFunder, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, former Whole Foods chief executive Walter Robb and model Jasmine Tookes who join existing power-packed investors.
  • Patents on Panets: Currently the company has 14 patents related to functional ingredients, probiotics and enzymes.
  • Launch into retail: Over the next week, Simulate’s frozen nuggets will make their debut in around 30 Gelson’s supermarkets in California. With plans to release their chicken patty within the next few months and a hot dog replacement, DOGGS, in the fourth quarter.
  • Marketing 101: Simulate know the bulk of their consumers are Millenials & Gen-Z and aren't afraid to be bold 🔥 when it comes to their marketing - and it seems to be working with a loyal fan base that actively buy out their new releases.

Takeaway:
Simulate is part of the new wave of cool brands in the alt-meat space working to win over the carnivorous consumers. The fresh new funding, CTO announcement, and launch into retail will solidify their positioning as a future challenger brand to the likes of Beyond and Impossible as they collectively take on big meat.

And if you're feeling like the Alt-meat space is getting crowded, don't worry, there's still plenty of space for you and now is the time as the pandemic sparks the biggest decline in meat-eating in decades.


The Secret Sauce 🎙 Biologist Turned Serial Entrepreneur: Riana Lynn, Founder & CEO, Journey Foods

Riana Lynn is creative, to say the least. During Obama's presidential inauguration, Lynn launched a website and news service that published election 📰 coverage as a way to get press passes to all the inauguration events - and later helping her land a job in the White House.

Whilst at university, Riana saw a lack of fresh produce on campus and launched a fresh juice bar with her uncle which they scaled past $1M annual revenue in their first year 📈. She then went on to launch, Rivive, an e-commerce development platform for food businesses that caught the attention of businessman, and host of CNBC show “The Profit”, Marcus Lemonis, who hired her as a consultant and later acquired her company.

Lynn continued and founded FoodTrace, which provided end-to-end traceability solutions for food and beverage companies which she then sold two years later. Today, Riana is building Journey Foods, working to change food science inefficiencies and problematic supply chains in order to better feed the growing 8 billion population.

In the full episode, we focus on how Riana Lynn the serial entrepreneur today came to be, what led her into foodtech space and how a decade of experience culminates in Journey Foods.


New in Funding:


Green Packaging in 2020 ♻️🥤

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

Let's talk about waste. Every year, we throw away around 40% of the plastic we produce. Most of which ends up in landfills or pollutes our oceans.

This isn’t only an issue for our planet. It also doesn’t make good business sense. This waste represents a $80-120 Billion loss to the global economy each year. But luckily, the tide is starting to turn.

Leading manufacturers – including Nestlé & Unilever – have made public commitments to develop more sustainable packaging - with this week Danone debuting their 100% recyclable bottles.

Loop Industries, a leading technology company, has partnered with PepsiCo & Danone to introduce more sustainable PET solutions across their supply chains. And numerous food service partners are collaborating with innovative startups to trial reusable - or even edible - solutions.  

The Trend - Crunchbase data shows that packaging solution start-ups have raised over $850m in the last 3 years. COVID-19 has also created an even greater demand for sustainable packaging. Experts claim that this market – dominated by the F&B segment - will grow to represent a $313.93 billion opportunity by 2025.

This week we take a look at the green packaging option available and the innovative companies that are helping others to think out of the box.


In other news:

In This Week In Food, I'll admit I got two things wrong in last week's edition - first off, Postmates did end up taking Ubers all-stock acquisition deal - I guess $2.6B was too sweet to turn down?

And second, we're not launching FoodHack Discovery this week, instead, we'll push back the launch to next week whilst we debug  & give startups more time to submit their products to be featured 🔍

This week we cover Perfect Day's $300M Series C and who's backing it. Hint: Canada's grandparents are in for a whole lot of 🍦We spotlight alt-meat startup Simulate (previously NUGGS) and why investors like AgFunder and Reddit co-founder just backed them.

And in the latest episode of The Secret Sauce, I chat with Austin-based serial entrepreneur Riana Lynn, one crafty entrepreneur who hustled her way into the white house, built and sold two companies, and is now working on better feeding the growing 8 billion population.

🌲In your weekly dose of non-food, carbon neutralizing news - Ecosia, the Berlin-based search engine that uses its advertising revenues for good, has now planted 100 million trees 👏


$360M for the perfect scoop 🍦

Source: Perfect Day

Perfect Day, the Cali-based company that's working on bringing you to perfect scoop of cruelty-free ice cream, has expanded its Series C round to $300 million.

How it works?

  • In short: The company uses plant and fermentation techniques to manufacture animal-free dairy products. The proteins, which are molecularly identical to those produced by cows, can then be used in making dairy products like ice cream and cheese.
  • In-depth: Perfect Day genetically engineers microflora – a group of protein-producing organisms that includes yeast, bacteria, and fungi — to convert plant sugars into the milk proteins casein and whey that are essential in most dairy products. This is then combined with other ingredients to make its products, such as fat and water to make milk. The company later filters out the microflora from the finished product - which as a bonus, is lactose-free 🥛

Perfect Day’s new funding follows last year’s $140 million initial Series C, which was led by Horizons Ventures and Temasek. With this latest round, Perfect Day has raised more than $360 million 💰

Who's backing Perfect Day?
Among the backers is The Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments) who is buying a $50 million stake. Of course, it's Canada. What other country do you know that would bet their pensioner's fund on a plant-based ice cream startup?
Read why they got involved here.

The Perfect approach: Work with the market, not against it

Rather than create challenger brands to take on legacy companies like many other startups in this space, Perfect Day says it can have a bigger impact through partnerships with established enterprises, selling them its animal-free protein to use as an ingredient in their existing and new products.

“Anyone who’s tried to go vegan knows that you’ll find milk protein in every single aisle of the grocery store—it’s everywhere,” says Ryan Pandya, co-founder and CEO of Perfect Day. It’s ubiquitous, he says, because it’s extremely nutritional and functional.

Taste is everything - how does Perfect Day stand up?
Earlier this year, Perfect Day launched a partnership with Smitten Ice Cream in the US - Paul Shapiro gave his verdict


One to watch: Simulate (NUGGS) 🐓

Source: Simulate

Back in 2016, Ben Pasternak was best known as the teenage mastermind who launched the social-media app, Monkey (later acquired by Hola) and posing in pictures with the likes of Apple CEO, Tim Cook and rapper, Drake.

Today, Ben is the founder and CEO of the Simulate (sister company of NUGGS) - the alternative-meat company that's just recently raised $4.1M and boasts 1 million pounds of nuggets sold, all in just a year, all direct-to-consumer 📬

Why it's one to watch?

  • Product launches: The company is readying the launch of new products including spicy nuggets, a “chicken burger product” and, eventually, a hot dog - hence 'NUGGS' wasn't inclusive enough.
  • New CTO: The new round of funding also comes with the announcement that Thierry Saint-Denis, the former senior director of research and innovation at Danone, will take over as CTO for the company - which was previously run by a bunch of 20-year-olds.
  • Diverse Investors New investors include Lerer Hippeau,AgFunder, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, former Whole Foods chief executive Walter Robb and model Jasmine Tookes who join existing power-packed investors.
  • Patents on Panets: Currently the company has 14 patents related to functional ingredients, probiotics and enzymes.
  • Launch into retail: Over the next week, Simulate’s frozen nuggets will make their debut in around 30 Gelson’s supermarkets in California. With plans to release their chicken patty within the next few months and a hot dog replacement, DOGGS, in the fourth quarter.
  • Marketing 101: Simulate know the bulk of their consumers are Millenials & Gen-Z and aren't afraid to be bold 🔥 when it comes to their marketing - and it seems to be working with a loyal fan base that actively buy out their new releases.

Takeaway:
Simulate is part of the new wave of cool brands in the alt-meat space working to win over the carnivorous consumers. The fresh new funding, CTO announcement, and launch into retail will solidify their positioning as a future challenger brand to the likes of Beyond and Impossible as they collectively take on big meat.

And if you're feeling like the Alt-meat space is getting crowded, don't worry, there's still plenty of space for you and now is the time as the pandemic sparks the biggest decline in meat-eating in decades.


The Secret Sauce 🎙 Biologist Turned Serial Entrepreneur: Riana Lynn, Founder & CEO, Journey Foods

Riana Lynn is creative, to say the least. During Obama's presidential inauguration, Lynn launched a website and news service that published election 📰 coverage as a way to get press passes to all the inauguration events - and later helping her land a job in the White House.

Whilst at university, Riana saw a lack of fresh produce on campus and launched a fresh juice bar with her uncle which they scaled past $1M annual revenue in their first year 📈. She then went on to launch, Rivive, an e-commerce development platform for food businesses that caught the attention of businessman, and host of CNBC show “The Profit”, Marcus Lemonis, who hired her as a consultant and later acquired her company.

Lynn continued and founded FoodTrace, which provided end-to-end traceability solutions for food and beverage companies which she then sold two years later. Today, Riana is building Journey Foods, working to change food science inefficiencies and problematic supply chains in order to better feed the growing 8 billion population.

In the full episode, we focus on how Riana Lynn the serial entrepreneur today came to be, what led her into foodtech space and how a decade of experience culminates in Journey Foods.


New in Funding:


Green Packaging in 2020 ♻️🥤

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

Let's talk about waste. Every year, we throw away around 40% of the plastic we produce. Most of which ends up in landfills or pollutes our oceans.

This isn’t only an issue for our planet. It also doesn’t make good business sense. This waste represents a $80-120 Billion loss to the global economy each year. But luckily, the tide is starting to turn.

Leading manufacturers – including Nestlé & Unilever – have made public commitments to develop more sustainable packaging - with this week Danone debuting their 100% recyclable bottles.

Loop Industries, a leading technology company, has partnered with PepsiCo & Danone to introduce more sustainable PET solutions across their supply chains. And numerous food service partners are collaborating with innovative startups to trial reusable - or even edible - solutions.  

The Trend - Crunchbase data shows that packaging solution start-ups have raised over $850m in the last 3 years. COVID-19 has also created an even greater demand for sustainable packaging. Experts claim that this market – dominated by the F&B segment - will grow to represent a $313.93 billion opportunity by 2025.

This week we take a look at the green packaging option available and the innovative companies that are helping others to think out of the box.


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