Food

We consider environmental impact of food production, rapidly consolidating food market, sustainable innovations that change how we eat, and technologies, companies, and processes reinventing global food supply chains. 

Kencko’s Fruit-Vegetable Powder Drink Tries to Stand Out Amid a Crowded Plant-Based Field

Amid a growing wave of foodmakers touting plant-based products, Kencko is betting its fruit and vegetable powders will catch on with consumers looking for healthy, organic drink alternatives. First, it’ll have to overcome skepticism about the nutritional value of dried foods.

A Lucrative Bug-Based Proteins Market? Harder Than You Think

Plant-based meat has taken off as a lucrative market for companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods. Now there’s buzz about another protein source, perhaps more quease-inducing than peas and soy: bugs. Insect-based protein may become an $8 billion...

Beyond Meat CEO Welcomes Competition, Sees Pressure to Deliver As Biggest Challenge

Ethan Brown, the founder and CEO of Beyond Meat, does not seem fazed by intensifying competition in the plant-based industry, from either food tech startups or industry giants like Tyson Foods Inc. “Our biggest challenge is around pace. It’s...

Test-Tube Tuna: Fast-Growing Fake Fish Market Is Still ‘Very Open’ to Disruption

The next Beyond Meat success story could come from the fishing industry. As concerns grow about the cleanliness and sustainability of farm-grown fish, startups are employing stem cells and plants to create substitutes they claim are healthy, sustainable alternatives...

While Consumers Wretch, Entrepreneurs Go Full Steam on Bug Protein

The day is nearing when moms around the world may tell their kids to “sit down and eat your crickets!” Bug protein -- grasshoppers, crickets and the appropriately named mealworms -- is crawling to your grocer’s shelves. While a...

Investing in Sustainable Farms to Avoid Volatility from Climate Change and Tariffs

As President Trump tweets about unfair trade, and climate change reshapes the global weather map, the image of farmland as one of the quieter corners of the investing world is being turned on its head. Investors historically have mitigated...

Eat Meat Without Guilt: Innovations In Livestock Production

While Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger have reignited investor appetite for meat alternatives, not everyone is going to become vegetarian or readily switch to a plant-based diet.  Vital Farms, an Austin, Texas-based producer of pasture-raised eggs, received an investment...

Greenwashing Packaging: Starbucks, Pepsi Meet Cost and Tech Challenges

Starbucks test of reusable cups, the latest example of drink companies seeking to cut waste, is probably expensive and of limited help to the environment. In fact, the biggest benefit at this point may be to the company’s image, in part because...

DoorDash Knocks GrubHub From Top Delivery Spot Amid Controversy

DoorDash overtook GrubHub as the top online food delivery company in the U.S. amid accusations from restaurants that DoorDash didn’t get permission to post their menus or deliver their food to customers. DoorDash topped monthly meal-delivery sales in May,...

Home-Based Allergen-Free Libre Naturals Boosted by VC Investment

Among the many recent changes to consumer tastes that have been roiling the food and beverage industry lately, one trend is driven more by necessity than choice: the need for allergen-free foods amid an explosion of childhood food allergies.

Silo Shines a Light, Smooths Kinks in Agricultural Supply Chain

Ten years ago, Ashton Braun was pricing and shipping coffee for export as a commodities trader in Southeast Asia. His experience in a supply chains rife with labor abuses, shoddy environmental practices and inefficiencies got him thinking: how might technology bring transparency...

For America’s Plant-Based Revolution, This Is Just The Beginning

If Beyond Meat’s ebullient post-IPO performance is any indication, everyone wants to have a piece of the plant-based, fast-growing sustainable food market. Even Tyson Foods, America’s biggest meat producer. Behold: plant-based Tyson Foods nuggets are coming to frozen...

Zume Steps Up Plant-Based Packaging With Pivot Purchase

Zume, which  uses vans with hyper-efficient ovens to make pizzas while delivering them, bought Pivot, a California-based company that designs plant-based packaging. The deal continues a shift into packaging for Zume which introduced a compostable pizza box made from...

Blockchain for Agriculture: Regen Network Helps to Cut Waste in Food Supply

Regen Network, a Blockchain startup helping agriculture industry manage environmental impact, is pre-selling its token, Regen CEO Christian Shearer told Karma. Founded last year, the Massachusetts-based company records farming data on its Blockchain, offering food companies a trusted...

Israeli Company Gives Farmers Clear Crop Imaging to Boost Yields

Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. Taranis combines military-grade optics with machine-learning imaging to provide farmers with millimeter-level insights into their fields, knowledge that can help increase crop yields and...

Beyond Meat’s Post-IPO Jump Fires Up Investor Interest in Meatless Market

Beyond Meat’s shares are continuing to soar since its May 22 IPO, as analysts see plant-based meat makers taking share from traditional beef producers and consumers crave healthier products with fewer environmental headaches. "It's a remarkable company and it's...

How This Small Tel Aviv Impact Fund Wants to Move the Needle on Sustainability

Six years ago, Vanessa Bartram helped start Zora Ventures to invest in early-stage Israeli tech startups, with an ambition that some of the companies would become billion-dollar companies and solve some of the world’s biggest challenges. Since then, Zora has invested...

Noblegen Inks Lands $19 Million in Series B Funds to Ramp up Production of Fermented Ingredients

Startup Noblegen snagged $19 million in Series B funding, to ramp up production of its fermented food ingredients, which require minimal water use and less energy to manufacture. The company’s vision is to “transform the global ingredients market by...

Obvious Ventures Pushes Silicon Valley to Invest With Purpose

The partners at Obvious Ventures aren’t big fans of the term impact investing. Instead, they have coined another phrase for what they do: world-positive venture capital. What’s the difference? James Joaquin, who founded Obvious with Medium’s Ev Williams and...

Israel’s Food Tech Sector Gets a $100 Million Boost

Interest in Israel’s food and agritech startups is growing, with more than $800 million invested from 2013 to 2018 and the number of companies mushrooming to more than 700. Many are developing technologies to aid sustainability and create healthier food.

The Beekeepers of Notre-Dame: the French Beekeeping Startup Eyeing U.S. Market

After the fire that destroyed the roof and spire of France’s Notre-Dame Cathedral, there was a piece of good news: the bees have survived. The startup behind the Notre-Dame beehives is called Beeopic, a small, tightly-run operation that after...

Indian Agtech Startup DeHaat Scores $2.8 Million to Unlock “Upstream”

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to, for their impact on industry. DeHaat, an agricultural tech startup, raised $2.8 million in venture debt funding from Mumbai-based Trifecta Capital as investors seek more opportunities in farming-focused companies, which have long been overshadowed by startups...

Impossible Foods Raises $300 Million as Meat Alternatives Market Heats Up

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to, for their impact on industry. Impossible Foods, a Silicon Valley-based meat alternative startup, raised $300 million on Monday from institutional investors and celebrities as fast-food chains scramble to fulfill the public’s increasing desire for plant-based replacements. The...

Cold Storage Sector Heats Up With Americold Buying Cloverleaf for $1.24 Billion

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. The cold storage business is heating up after Americold Realty Trust agreed to pay $1.24 billion for privately held Chiller Holdco LLC, also known as Cloverleaf Cold Storage, to expand its geographic reach...

Deciphering the ‘Hocus Pocus’ Behind Natural Meat Labeling

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. What does it mean for a food to be labeled natural on the package labeling? That’s at the heart of a lawsuit the Animal Legal Defense Fund (ADLF) brought against food and...

GrubMarket Eyes Product, Geographic Expansion with the Latest Round

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. GrubMarket, a San-Francisco based farm-to-table food delivery service for businesses and consumers, has raised a $25 million Series C1 round to invest in technology and acquisitions as it eyes a potential...

Tencent Leads $297 Million Series B Funding for Online Chinese Grocer Yipien

On Our Radar: Deals we are paying attention to for their impact on industry. Chinese online grocery chain Yipien Fresh raised $297 million (RMB 2 billion) in a Series B funding round, led by local internet giant Tencent, to expand the number of its stores...

Michael Halen: “The [restaurant] industry is very far behind…when it comes to investments in technology.”

Perspectives: Opinions from our network of advisors, investors, operators and analysts on the risks and opportunities they see. For years, the US restaurant industry - like most consumer sectors - has struggled to keep pace with changing fashions in dietary preferences and cuisines. Now, says...

Owen Hoekenga: “We are…making better plants, so that you get more bang for your buck from a plant-based diet.”

Sound Businesses: Profiles of companies and business models we are keeping an eye on. Improving food, and food systems, is the key to feeding the world’s rapidly growing population well into the future. Whether through genetically modified (GM) foods — in which the food’s genetic material has...

Affordable Food Delivery Means New Revenue Streams for Restaurants

KEY TAKEAWAYS A deeper data-driven focus on consumers is transforming how the hospitality industry attracts, communicates with, and serves its customers. Investment activity in the hospitality sector was $24.81B in 2017, a 35 percent decline relative to $38.06B recorded in 2016. Investors are buying...
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