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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.
Green Queen editor in chief and alt protein industry veteran Sonalie Figueiras shares alt protein trends for 2022, from Big Food brands getting behind private label plant-based products to regulatory approval. Meanwhile, a blind taste test held by SuperMeat has proven that its cultivated chicken was mistaken for the real thing.
A new report provides startling context about the poverty and food insecurity that grocery workers face. Grocery workers across the country are striking in response, and the time has come for the food industry to reckon with the widespread issue.
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Check out our weekly round-up of last week’s top food startup, tech and innovation news below or peruse the full newsletter here.
Green Queen editor in chief and alt protein industry veteran Sonalie Figueiras lists her much-anticipated 2022 food trend predictions.
The food industry has yet to reckon with the food insecurity, poverty and precarity that are so widespread among grocery workers.
3. Beyond Meat and PepsiCo Team Up to Make Plant-Based Jerky – Bloomberg
The joint venture, Planet Partnership, will bring together Beyond Meat’s product innovations with PepsiCo’s distribution and marketing.
4. Jerky Company Chomps Receives $80M in Private Equity Cash – Bloomberg
High-end jerky maker Chomps now has a valuation between $200m and 300m. Its products use pasture-raised meats and include certifications for the Keto, Paleo and Whole30 diets, as well as animal welfare.
5. Israel: Cultivated Meat Passes Blind Taste Test With Flying Colors – Green Queen
SuperMeat held a blind taste test at its Tel Aviv restaurant. Master Chef judge Michal Ansky mistook the cultivated chicken for the real thing–and delightedly so.
6. Why Are Denver Kroger Workers on Strike? – Forbes
Grocery workers in Denver and Colorado Springs are on strike. A new report provides startling context about the poverty and food insecurity that such essential workers face.
7. Many Restaurants Pay Tipped Workers Next to Nothing. Does that Violate their Civil Rights? – Civil Eats
Advocates have advanced a lawsuit against Darden, the nation’s largest full-service restaurant company, for racial and sexual discrimination as a result of paying tipped workers below the minimum wage.
The new funding follows a strong year of growth for Swiggy in which the startup nearly doubled its food delivery business’ gross order value. Swiggy has surpassed the valuation of its 13-year-old chief rival Zomato.
Significantly less-capitalized independents have had to navigate dining room shutdowns, shift their operating models, manage patchwork regulations and angry customers and a smaller labor pool.
10. South Korea’s Agtech Startup Green Labs Raises $140M Series C to Accelerate Global Expansion – TechCrunch
The startup offers services including an app that aggregates data using AI, giving more than 500k farmers insight into crop lifecycle, as well as a B2B fresh produce marketplace for over 10k enterprise buyers.
11. Why These 15 Funds Could Transform Agriculture – Koen van Seijen
Billions of investment capital will try to enter the regenerative agriculture space in the next 10 years. Koen van Seijen has compiled a database of soil building funds.
12. US Food Supply Is Under Pressure, From Plants to Store Shelves – Wall Street Journal
Weeks of workers calling in sick have added to continuing supply and transportation disruptions, making grocery store shelves harder to fill.
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