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.
News of two new cashierless stores in New York were announced this week. Amazon has confirmed plans to open an Amazon Go store in New York City. No timetable or details on the store and its location were disclosed. Cult brand Dirty Lemon has just opened its text-based Drug Store in Tribeca. The store will put the company’s health-conscious drinks more within reach for New York customers and help raise awareness of the trendy brand beyond social media and the internet.
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The New York store will be Amazon’s first outside of its native Seattle. The launch date is yet to be disclosed.
The incubator hopes to foster food concepts that go beyond vegan mainstays. It aims to launch in November.
Hershey’s has acquired Pirate Brands business from B&G foods for $420m. The purchase is a move further affield from confection and deeper into the snack aisle.
The investment platform is a consortium of venture funds, banks, corporations, universities and foundations with a $10m fund that will invest in innovative businesses. It is also awarding $500k in philanthropic capital every year to researchers, social entrepreneurs and advocates.
Investors included Maersk Growth and Relish Works. With partners like Maersk now on board, Ripe.io is looking to take its blockchain of food global.
Drug Store, a new health-drink outlet in New York by cult brand Dirty Lemon, is betting that customers will pay by text message after grabbing a bottle.
West~bourne founder Camilla Marcus joined us at our Fail Friday this past June to share her stories of failure and lessons learned.
The investment was led by Collaborative Fund and Maveron, with participation from Khosla Ventures, Chef Thomas Keller, Daniel Boulud and others. Funding will be used to open restaurants on the East Coast and to further develop its robotic culinary platform.
One of the new investors the company is talking to is Bertelsmann India Investments. The startup delivers fresh meat to consumers.
Haidilao’s restaurants are known for serving spicy broths and providing attentive customer service, which includes free manicures, shoulder massages and dance performances.
Meituan Dianping has confirmed it is seeking a $55b valuation from a Hong Kong IPO.
The Innovation Network Corporation of Japan invested alongside D4V (Design for Ventures), with participation of Mirai Creation Fund and angel investors. The startup uses satellite imagery, IoT and automation to increase the efficiency of offshore aquaculture.
West Liberty Foods is suing Blue Apron, claiming the company reneged on its promise to pay for half of the costs pertaining to a joint free-range chicken venture.
Other new investors joining the round include Activant Capital, Collaborative Fund and Tao Capital Partners. BHB will use the proceeds to continue to develop the platform with a focus on expanding its capabilities further into the nutrition and health profile of crops.
Two million low-income Americans receiving SNAP benefits would lose eligibility under the US House’s proposed Agriculture Improvement Act. Those most likely to be affected are seniors, families with children and households that include a person with a disability.