12 notable deals and things to know this week (2024 – week #7)

🇺🇸 🥛 Nestlé Launched a precision fermentation whey product in the US. This is noteworthy as it is the company’s first major product launch using precision fermentation (using genetically engineered microorganisms to reproduce the desired protein).

🇪🇪 🤖 Starship Technologies, an Estonian startup, raised €90M for its autonomous last-mile delivery robots. This is quite noticeable as delivery robots are having difficulty moving forward lately, as they are pretty expensive to build and maintain. But as labour costs keep rising and technology matures, they make more and more sense.

🇪🇸 🥩 Heura Foods, a Spanish startup, raised €40M for its plant-based food products. Given the current pessimism about plant-based foods, this funding is quite a feat.

🇩🇰 🏭 21st Bio, a Danish startup, launched a precision fermentation platform for food and beverage manufacturers looking to produce synthetic biology ingredients.

🇫🇷 🍽️ Jow, a French startup, raised 13€M for its online grocery shopping and recipe idea platform. With this funding, it will expand in the US.

🇺🇸 🍽️ Owner.com, an American startup, raised $33M to help independent restaurant owners manage their online presence more effectively.

🏭 🤑 Ultra-processed foods (UPF) are getting a lot of attention nowadays. While consumers are becoming aware of the harmful long-term effects on their health, we observe a barrage of comments and articles trying to promote the idea that there are “good UPFs” and “bad UPFs” or that this classification doesn’t make sense. Quite logically, this point of view was initially led by industry leaders who are creating significant profits out of them. However, a new angle of attack against the concept of UPF is coming from plant-based food manufacturers, which are often promoting their products as healthy alternatives to animal protein.

🇺🇸 💊 Instacart, the US online grocery delivery giant, has launched a new “Food as Medicine” initiative. The initiative aims to promote healthier food choices by providing nutritional information and recommendations within the platform. Users can filter grocery items by specific health-related categories, such as heart health, diabetes-friendly, or gluten-free.

🇺🇸 🍔 People can be funny: there seem to be fast food chains superfans ready to queue hours before the opening of new joints. Do they take a picture, frame it, and then say, “I was there?”.

🌍 💉 Novo Nordisk’s CEO, the maker of Ozempic, the “magic” diabetic drug turned weight-loss drug, says that fellow food company CEOs are calling him to learn more about when new products will be launched because they are “scared” about their effect on their product sales.

🇺🇸 ♻️ ProducePay, an American startup, raised $38M to reduce fresh food produce waste. It aims to reduce the food industry’s inefficiencies by offering growers and distributors financial tools that provide stability and predictability.

🇺🇸 🍽️ First Bite, an American startup, raised $3M to make it easier for manufacturers to get their products into restaurants.

☕️🧪 Plant cell culture: the future of coffee and chocolate
📈 🔮 FoodTech trends: top, emerging and disillusion

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