I hope you and your relatives are ok. For all of us who work close to the food, beverage and retail industries, this period is somewhat weirder that for others:
- When everything is down, some parts of the food value chain are booming with a surge of unexpected demands while others are managing incredible losses (e.g. half of fresh fish is sold through restaurants)
- We have to cope with the guilt of not being of the essential workers who run the factories, shops and deliver our food. This is certainly the right moment to question our individual contribution and usefulness in the value chain.
- Restaurants are heavily impacted and can’t really expect an adjustment effect at the end of the quarantine (I will be more than happy to go out, but not enough to eat twice as much).
So let’s face it, we need a shot of good news in these times of panic, just something to get our eyeballs out of the counters of coronavirus cases. Don’t be too gloomy, things will move on and we have to be somewhat optimistic. Right now is also the best of time to think and prepare the future! A future where food with certainly be more digital.
You’ll find some good news in this newsletter about the growth and development of interesting FoodTech startups globally. And if you want to talk about preparing the future of food or how to make your business more digital, contact us!
#1 – Time to learn – D2C and DNVB
One of my first actions has been to look for new things to learn when the quarantine was announced. I think that may be the same for a lot of you. So, in order to find some positive in this situation, we have created some themed packages of resources to learn more about important themes on the future of food. For this first edition, we have focused on D2C (Direct to consumer) and DNVB (Digital Vertical Native Brands).
#2 – Amazon Go
Amazon Go, the famous cashierless supermarket of Amazon will lease its “just walk out” set of technology to third party retailers. It has rapidly found a first partner with OTG, a travel retail company of 350 restaurants and stores in airports. The deal will be almost immediately active in 2 CIBO expresso gourmet stores.
#3 – Canned water startups raise a lot of money
Food was not the first domain targeted by DNVB (Digital Native Vertical Brands), but after the success of some snacks, plant-based products and meal replacements, we now observe a surge of new startups beverage brands. As new alcoholic brands venture in the D2C space, the most basic beverage, water could not remain uncharted territory for startups. Two startups recently raised significant amounts of money: Liquid Death, which markets canned water raised a $9 million series A to grow faster and Spindrift, a venture selling water (flavoured and sparkling) in cans raises a staggering $29.8 million series C.
#4 – BlueNalu takes the lead to be the first to release cell-based fish with a $20m series A
It seems that 2020 will be a very good year for cell-based startups as major deals continue to be announced. Let’s hope that this is not a bitcoin or cannabis effect and that we will see real-world products derived from these startups in the next couple of years. BlueNalu will use the funding to expand its team and grow its production. As many other cell-based startups (fish or meat), it targets the end of 2021 to make its first product (probably yellowtail) available.
You still want more, here are some of our favourite reads of the last couple of weeks:
- Crowdfunding can work for (Food)Tech startups. While most FoodTech startups having raised money through crowdfunding were product-oriented, this Scottish startup has proven that it is possible to raise for a B2B foodservice company through the crowd.
- Some investors’ behaviour in crisis may be more than questionable
- Chinese plant-based startup raises funding from Beyond Meat investors
As you can see, FoodTech is indeed moving faster than ever in 2020. But you are not alone. DigitalFoodLab is here to help you :
- Stay at the top of your domain. We prove exclusive insights and information through talks and our FoodTech watch
- Prepare for the future. We help you make plans for long term trends and their implication on your business and to identify the right startup to work on your current issues.
- Innovate faster. We work with you to define the innovation strategy fitted to your business means and needs.
No matter if you are a startup or a food giant, we are here to work with you and change the world of food! (contact us).