Image Credit: Taiwan Ministry of Economic Affairs
Every week we track the business, tech and investment trends in CPG, retail, restaurants, agriculture, cooking and health, so you don’t have to. Here are some of this week’s top headlines.
Governments worldwide are taking significant strides towards sustainability by supporting the development of plant-based meat products, with Taiwan and Saudi Arabia recently announcing funding and startup initiatives. In contrast, concerns arise about AI’s potential negative impact, as research reveals how certain AI models might promote harmful content related to eating disorders, raising questions about tech companies’ responsibility in addressing this issue.
In other news, we’ve wrapped the first season of our podcast in partnership with AgFunder: New Food Order, a nuanced investigation into the business of tackling our climate and social crises through food and agriculture. Read all about why we launched the podcast, and be sure to subscribe and share!
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1. With Bold Net-Zero Commitments, Governments Around the World are Developing Plant-Based Meat Products – Green Queen
The governments of Taiwan and Saudi Arabia have joined a growing list of countries backing the vegan industry, announcing startups and funding, respectively, to create plant-based meat.
2. AI Is Acting ‘Pro-Anorexia’ and Tech Companies Aren’t Stopping It – Washington Post
New research shows how AI like ChatGPT, Bard and Stable Diffusion could fuel eating disorders with disturbing images and dangerous chatbot advice.
Aleph Farms filed an application with the UK’s FSA to sell its beefsteak. The process may take years before the product gets approval.
4. Campbell Soup to Buy Rao’s Maker Sovos Brands for $2.7B – Food Dive
The purchase, the largest in five years for the CPG giant, allows the soup and snacks maker to expand its meals business with other brands such as Michael Angelo’s and Noosa.
5. Amazon’s Grocery Business Needs a Massive Makeover – Bloomberg
Six years after buying Whole Foods for $13b, it’s becoming increasingly clear that the company will need to spend a lot more to compete with Kroger and Walmart.
James Donaldson, a YouTube star better known as MrBeast, has sued his partner in a food delivery business saying the company sacrificed quality in its bid for rapid expansion.
7. White Castle to Roll Out Voice AI to Over 100 Drive-Thrus – Restaurant Dive
The chain is automating its drive-thru order taking in partnership with SoundHound, which claims its technology can process orders within 60 seconds.
8. Climate Finance Gap: Only 4% of Global Funding Goes to Agrifood Systems, Says New Report – Green Queen
Only 4.3% of all global climate investment goes to agrifood systems, which are responsible for nearly a third of all greenhouse gas emissions. Components that are crucial for climate mitigation receive less than 1%.
How fancy chefs and the Food Network became the old guard of food media.
10. Ozempic, Other Weight-Loss Drugs Face Backlash from Companies, Lawyers. What You Need to Know – Fast Company
A lawsuit against Novo Nordisk and Eli Lilly alleges that the drugs cause gastroparesis, a stomach disorder, as a side effect.
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