Source: New York Times
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.
An estimated 85 percent of mom and pop restaurants are expected to close by the end of 2020, but some are finding new life in ghost kitchens and virtual brands. Ordermark has raised $100 million with the help of the Softbank Vision Fund to transition more restaurants to online ordering amid the pandemic.
Benson Hill has raised $150 million to scale its platform food innovation engine across multiple food and ingredients markets. Meanwhile, organic agriculture sales are up 31 percent – with the majority of profits are going to industrial scale farms.
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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.
Financing was co-led by Wheatsheaf and GV. Benson Hill will use the funds to scale its commercial operations and its platform food innovation engine across multiple food and ingredients markets.
Softbank Vision Fund led the round. Funds will be used to help restaurants transition to online ordering during the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond.
The Independent Restaurant Coalition estimates that as many as 85% of mom-and-pop restaurants could close by the end of 2020. But some are finding new life in virtual brands and ghost kitchens.
Companies have added new lines and warehouse space since the first round of pantry loading this spring. Virus cases, cold weather and the holidays are driving food demand.
Sales totaled $9.9b in 2019, and 29% of organic farmers say they plan to expand production.
The nationwide shelter-in-place orders have led to a surge in purchases of certified USDA Organic foods, with much of the growth coming from industrial-scale farms.
JBS’ Covid-19 screening process encouraged employees to work while sick and discouraged accurate screening.
Another $30m came from International Finance Corporation, Temasek and Astanor Ventures. Funding will be used to bring its food treatment and supply chain management services to select markets in Asia, Africa and Latin America.
UAE sovereign fund led the round. Funding will be used to expand the company’s presence in India and the UAE, putting it on course to achieve its target of $200m in annual sales for next year.
Acre Venture Partners led the round. Meati is still in product development phase and will use the next six months to refine its process and products.
Coatue led the round. New funding will allow the company to bring on more restaurants, improve its product and expand the team.
Prelude Ventures led the round. Proceeds will be used to accelerate Arable’s growth and build out the next of its data-driven products.
Earlier this month, NR Instant Produce, a company creating jackfruit-based vegan pork, went public on the Stock Exchange of Thailand and saw its stock doubling on the day of its debut.
After fires and the coronavirus cut wages for many Central Valley farmworkers, a winter slowdown means families are unable to pay for necessities.
The European Parliament voted on Friday on proposals that would have banned products without meat from being labeled burgers or sausages.
Mission Chinese has received appraise for its progressivism and inclusivity. Thirty former employees open up to reveal a place rampant with toxic culture, worker abuse, and racism.
The parent of Dunkin’ and Baskin Robbins is negotiating with a private-equity-backed company for a takeover that values the coffee company at nearly $9b.
Check out our list of resources to learn about systemic racism in the food and agriculture industries. We also highlight Black food and farm businesses and organizations to support.