With Halloween in the rearview mirror and Thanksgiving mere weeks away, it’s fair to say we’re officially in the holiday season. But just because some of our thoughts are occupied with costumes, favorite candy selections (Almond Joy) and turkey prep doesn’t mean that food tech news takes a pause.
Here are a few stories that caught our eye this week ’round the web, from nutrient-dense Japanese noodles to CBD developments to new funding for an African food distribution marketplace. Enjoy!
Japanese startup Base Food takes step towards U.S. launch
Base Food, the Japanese startup making nutritionally dense foods, has announced its intention to start selling in the U.S. (h/t FoodNavigator). Established in 2016, the company, which pitched at the SKS 2019 Future Food competition, uses ingredients like whole wheat flour, seaweed, and flaxseed to develop better-for-you versions of staple foods like bread and pasta. Base Food already sells its Base Bread and Base Noodles in its native Japan and is targeting San Francisco as its initial launch city for the U.S. market.
USDA announcement could catalyze CBD industry
This week the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that farmers nationwide will soon be able to grow hemp under the U.S. Domestic Hemp Production Program. CBD, a product of hemp, has become a popular “wellness” ingredient in everything from skincare products to a myriad of food and beverage items. While the extract is still not technically legal to be sold in edible products — something local governments are beginning to crack down on — this latest USDA announcement is a new step towards establishing regulatory guidelines around CBD.
Kenya’s Twiga Foods Raises $30M Series B Round
Twiga Foods, the Nairobi, Kenya-based B2B food distribution startup, has raised a $30 million Series B round in a mixture of debt and equity funding. According to TechCrunch the round was led by Goldman Sachs with participation from IFC, Creadev and others. Founded in 2014, Twiga is a marketplace that connects local farmers with a variety of foodservice vendors. The startup will use its new capital to establish a distribution center in Nairobi and expand to serve more countries in Kenya.