Image Credit: Gregory Bull for Los Angeles 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.
And this week, we are excited to announce launch of our new podcast in partnership with AgFunder: New Food Order, a nuanced investigation into the business of tackling our climate and social crises through food and agriculture. Read all about why we launched the podcast and check out our first two episodes:
#1: Introducing: New Food Order
#2: Is the world better with your business in it? With Paul Polman, former CEO of Unilever
#3: Looking to Our Indigenous Past For a Regenerative Future, with Nathalie Kelley
And be sure to subscribe and share!
Chloe Sorvino rights about food as a human right, and the ways in which this concept has taken hold in different forms across the United States. She discusses the idea of a new public food chain, funded by the state or federal government, that could coexist with the current marketplace.
Fast food chains have experimented with plant-based proteins for years with limited success. The dream of its widespread adoption in fast food chains may as well be dead, reports the Business Insider.
Last but not least, global disruptions to our food supply chain caused by the pandemic and war abroad have resulted in more turbulent food prices.
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The US government already spends hundreds of billions of dollars on the food system. That investment should be transformative.
Despite some exceptions like Burger King’s Impossible Whopper, plant-based fast food menu items have largely been featured as limited-time offerings. It is currently too expensive and complex for widespread adoption.
Pandemic, war and other global disruptions have shown how the same complex supply chain that for decades has increased the variety and reduced the cost of food can also result in more turbulent prices.
California’s worst drought has left growers in the top US agricultural state facing losses of $3b, just as producers brace for more widespread cuts to water supplies.
Founder and CEO Ethan Brown has struggled to manage growth. His drive to roll out new products on rushed timelines led to missed deadlines, disappointed customers and wasted packaging and ingredients.
The company is exploring precision fermentation as a means to address its portfolio’s climate impact.
The past three years have seen a surge in businesses focusing on mycelium. There are an estimated 40 to 50 companies working with mycelium-based foods across the country today.
The European Commission is considering easing regulation on the technology. But critics say it is an untested risk being pushed by Big Ag.