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.
Today, the five-year partnership between Whole Foods and Instacart officially ended. The first group of 1,415 Instacart workers will be pulled out of 76 Whole Foods locations in February.
Plant-based and cultured meat startups are neck and neck with the latest steak-making technology. JUST is working on an affordable Wagyu beef, and Aleph Farms has developed the first steak grown in a lab.
In other news, two-year-old agtech startup Bowery Farming has closed a $90 million round led by Google Ventures to expand its farms in the United States and internationally. Congress voted to pass the U.S. Farm Bill, officially legalizing hemp. Farmers and food makers are now preparing to meet a growing industry that is said to hit $22 billion by 2022.
Check out our weekly round-up of last week’s top food startup, tech and innovation news below or peruse the full newsletter here.
Instacart will begin pulling the first group of workers out of Whole Foods locations in February.
Bowery Farming has raised $90m to open new farms in the US and internationally. The round was led by Google Ventures with participation from Temasek, Uber’s CEO, Almanac Insights, First Round Capital, GGV Capital and General Catalyst.
Farmers and food makers will soon be able to legally grow, process and ship hemp across state lines and meet demand for a soaring market in products made with CBD. The industry could hit $22b by 2022.
The compromise bill was stripped of every controversial House GOP proposal on SNAP.
The deal is its third and largest acquisition since being founded, and the first since it began trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange.
As of now, the beverage and tobacco manufacturing industry is composed of about 80% male executives. Its first investments were made to Austin Cocktails and Vivify Beverages.
The Italian group is working on a possible deal, which could amount to more than $2b.
A new report called Refresh: Food and Tech, from Soil to Supper, highlights more than 20 digital platforms and artificial intelligence algorithms being adopted across the U.S. food supply chain by farmers, distributors, grocers, retailers, and consumers.
In response, the company has removed all coated paper products in question and has started a search for new biodegradable packaging.
Polaris Partners led the investment. The company now works with 1k liquor stores across the US and Canada.
Funding was led by SoftBank Vision Fund. The startup engineers microbes to replace environmentally-damaging inputs and harmful additives. It plans to invest in enhancing its platform to double capacity.
JUST is now producing real meat grown in bioreactors. Next up is affordable Wagyu beef.
Israeli-based Aleph Farms has created the world’s first steak grown in a lab. We get a taste.
The USDA will develop strategies for implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans in 10 states through 2023. It will also establish a food lost and waste reduction liaison.
The retailer is evaluating top US airports for new locations.
The Department of Agriculture announced its plans to lower nutritional standards for grains, flavored milks and sodium in school cafeterias.
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