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.
Bossa Nova Robotics raised $17.5 million to build out its line of inventory-scanning retail robots. The funding round comes fresh off of a deal with Walmart that will roll out its robots across 50 of the retailer’s locations. Good news came for the big-box chain as it posted its strongest quarterly U.S. sales growth in nearly a decade. Ovenly, a New York City retail and wholesale bakery business, is creating a more inclusive economy through an open hiring process for its bakery, working with organizations to hire political refugees and citizens returning from the criminal justice system.
Chobani CEO and founder Hamdi Ulukaya envisions Twin Falls, Idaho as the ‘Silicon Valley’ for food innovation. The city is home to the company’s largest yogurt factory and home base for its global R&D team. The Italian 180-year-old company, Barilla, is embracing the future of food through a new venture fund and innovation hub called Blu1877.
In restaurant news, a new organic fast food restaurant called Grown is cropping up in in sports stadiums, hospitals and even Walmart. DoorDash added former Twitter VP of engineering, Jeremy Rishel, and former VP of product at Groupon, Rajat Shroff, to its team in its efforts to expand into more cities and deliver products other than food. Chef José Andrés explained in a talk for TEDx MidAtlantic how he and his nonprofit World Central Kitchen served more meals than any other organization as well as the struggles he faced with FEMA. The Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC), a progressive labor organization that provides education and support to restaurant workers, has created a “Racial Inequity Toolkit”: a how-to manual for restaurant owners and management who want to begin weeding out potential sources of racial and gender bias in their hiring and operational practices.
Will a meatless food industry featuring lab-grown meat, seafood substitutes, and insect protein be the future of food? CB Insights put together a report on how the $90 billion global meat industry gets disrupted. Investigation into the USDA deregulation team reveals deep ties to the industries being regulated, including those that oppose environmental regulations, corporate lawyers and political dark-money groups.
Check out our weekly round-up of last week’s top food startup, tech and innovation news below or peruse the full newsletter here.
The Series B round was led by Paxion, bringing total funding to $41.7m. The startup plans to use the capital to build out its team, with a focus on autonomy software and artificial intelligence.
Its first focus is making seed investments in food entrepreneurs that are creating new products related to Barilla’s core business and adjacent markets in pasta and meal solutions.
Shares jumped more than 8% for the world’s largest retailer. Its grocery business delivered the strongest quarterly same-store sales growth in more than five years, including sales from online grocery pickup now.
Chobani wants to turn Twin Falls, Idaho, the town that is home to his largest yogurt factory, into a center of food innovation. It broke ground on a 70k sf building that will house a startup incubator for Idaho food businesses, as well as office for its global R&D team and other employees.
Investigation into the USDA deregulation team reveals deep ties to the industries being regulated, including those that oppose environmental regulations, corporate lawyers and political dark-money groups.
Will a meatless food industry featuring lab-grown meat, seafood substitutes, and insect protein be the future of food? Food giants from Tyson to Cargill are working to navigate a future where protein isn’t dominated by traditional animal sources.
Thanks to Shannon Allen, Grown restaurants are popping up in sports stadiums, hospitals, and even Walmart. The organic fast food restaurant has expanded to six locations in just 16 months.
Rishel and Shroff will help DoorDash fine tune its delivery time predictions and build the company’s ever-growing stable of restaurants and food brands.
The Restaurant Opportunities Center created a “Racial Equity Toolkit” for restaurant owners and management who want to weed out potential sources of racial and gender bias in their hiring and operational practices.
Ovenly has had an open hiring policy since 2012, working with organizations to hire political refugees and citizens returning from the criminal justice system. The company has 56 employees and is quickly expanding to additional locations.
Next-gen ingredients, robotic appliances, novel cooking methods, on-demand and personalized food have the potential to fundamentally change what we eat and how we cook it.
In a TEDx talk, Andrés spoke about his experience grappling with FEMA as well as his strategy and execution feeding Puerto Rico.