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.
Two major acquisitions made headlines this week – Mars, the maker of Snickers bars, plans to acquire Kind for an undisclosed sum. Ahold Delhaize has acquired an 80% stake in FreshDirect. Financial terms were undisclosed.
New reports unveiled this week that the global plant-based meat market will be worth $35 billion by 2025. Foodtech investments reached $8 billion this year alone during the first three quarters of 2020.
DoorDash revealed its IPO filing, reporting $149 million in losses on revenue of $1.9 billion through September. Its performance renewed questions of whether “gig economy” businesses can turn a profit. Meanwhile, Instacart announced that Goldman Sachs will be leading its IPO at a $30 billion valuation.
Last but not least, Biden’s two leading nominees for secretary of agriculture, Representative Marcia Fudge and North Dakota Senator Heidi Heitkamp, represent two different approaches to how the Biden-Harris administration intends to govern. Mother Jones breaks down the two candidates the policies they stand for. Democratic Senators Corey Booker, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand have introduced the Justice for Black Farmers Act to create an $8 billion fund to buy farmland and grant it to Black farmers.
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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.
The food delivery company’s performance renewed questions about whether “gig economy” businesses can turn a profit. It reported $149m in losses on revenue of $1.9b through September.
Financial terms are undisclosed. The acquisition comes three years after Mars took a minority stake in Kind that allowed it to sell its products outside of the US and Canada.
Financial terms were undisclosed. FreshDirect will keep its brand name and continue to operate independently.
While plant-based meat startups and legacy brands are expected to increase their consumer base, global food giants will also strengthen their foothold in the market. Health was the key motivator behind the growth.
A new Senate bill, called the Justice for Black Farmers Act, set to be released November 30, would create an Equitable Land Access Service within the USDA, including an $8b fund to buy farmland and grant it to Black farmers. The bill was sponsored by Corey Booker, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand.
AgriFood tech startups raised a total of $11.6b as of the end of Q3 2020. AgTech investment totaled $3.07b during that time, and food tech investment totaled $8.37b through Q3.
Choosing Heitkamp for the position hints that Biden remains pulled to the centrist, corporate-friendly policies that have characterized his whole career. Choosing Fudge would show an openness to making good on his transformational promises.
The race for growth in meat and dairy alternatives heats up as Unilever targets $1.2b in sales over five to seven years of vegan and dairy-free products like plant-based ice cream and mayonnaise.
Instacart was valued at $17.7b last month, when it raised $200m in a private fundraising round. A $30b valuation would underscore the rapid growth of its business during the pandemic.
Funding will be used to enhance XAG’s R&D capabilities, manufacturing capacity and sales channels. Capital will also go towards the development of “digital agriculture infrastructure” to build unmanned farms in the future.
WTT Investment and DCVC Bio co-led the round. MycoWorks also announced the opening of a new plant for manufacturing its animal-free leather, which will increase its capacity by over 10x. Funding will be used to set up additional plants.
The majority of Americans experiencing food insecurity say the expiration of many federal assistance programs has made it even more difficult.
Over 10K New Yorkers make a living selling street food. More than half of them could be excluded from stimulus checks, unemployment insurance, and other forms of assistance.
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.