We’re in the midst of a Snow-pocalypse here in our home base of Seattle. But between fighting the lines at the grocery store to buy milk and getting ready to build our best snow angel, we still rounded up a few of the food tech news stories that stood out to us this week. Best read while sipping hot cocoa or — why not? — hot buttered rum.
Cannabiniers expands cannabis beer distribution to California
Cannabis beverage company Cannabiniers (a combination of “cannabis” and “pioneers”) is rolling out its marijuana-infused beer in California. To make Two Roots Brewing Co.’s cannabiers, the company brews and then de-alcoholizes beers before infusing them with anywhere from 2.5 to 10 milligrams of active THC. The beer comes in wheat, IPA, lager, and blonde varieties. Cannabiniers launched the beer in Nevada in summer of 2018, and will be available in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Cannabier’s home city of San Diego areas. According to a phone interview with Cannabinier’s VP of Market Activations Kevin Love, each can will retail for around $7.
Down the road, Cannabiniers plans to make a CBD-only beer (containing no THC), as well as a tribute beer that will taste like cannabis. That is, if the FDA doesn’t crack down on them first.
Willie Nelson debuts CBD-infused coffee
Speaking of canna-beverages, this week Willie Nelson debuted a new line of CBD-infused products. First up: whole bean coffee (h/t Forbes). “Willie’s Remedy Whole Bean Coffee” contains full-spectrum hemp oil (read: CBD) from Colorado. When brewed, each 8-ounce cup will contain 7 milligrams of hemp-derived CBD.
The red-headed stranger has quite the reputation when it comes to cannabis. In fact, he already has a line of marijuana products: Willie’s Reserve. However, his new line — called Willie’s Remedy — deals exclusively with CBD. As the name suggests, it’s more focused on wellness than intoxication.
In Canada, new grocery e-commerce platform for smaller stores
Canadian grocery e-commerce company Sustainable Produce Urban Delivery (SPUD) just launched a new platform allowing democratizing online fresh food sales for smaller players (h/t Canadian Grocer). Through the Be Fresh Marketplace, artisanal food brands, local grocers, and small food shops can sell their products online. They can then ship orders through SPUD’s food delivery platform, Food-X Urban Delivery.
To participate, vendors pay SPUD an initial setup fee, a monthly fee based on their inventory size, and a commission. The service is currently available in Calgary and Vancouver.
Blue Apron launches semi-customizeable meal kits
This week Blue Apron made another attempt to break free of its downward spiral by introducing Knick Knacks, a line of lower-cost meal kits which supply everything but the protein and the produce. If you’re thinking “that’s most of the meal, though” you’re right. However, Blue Apron is hoping that the low price of the Knick Knacks kits — $7.99, as compared to $17 to $23 for a complete meal kit — will help entice new consumers scared off by the high cost.
Initially, the Knick Knack meal kits will only be available to Jet.com (a subsidiary of Walmart) shoppers in the NYC area.
Viome acquires personal nutrition company Habit
This week Campbell’s Soup Co. sold personalized nutrition startup Habit to Seattle-based wellness company Viome. Viome uses RNA sequencing and AI to generate personalized food recommendations based off of an individual’s biology — in short, pretty similar to what Habit does, except Habit uses a cheek swab to gather data on your body, while Viome uses your… waste. By acquiring Habit, Viome will be able to provide its customers with a more thorough personal food recommendations, including nutrition plans (and maybe even customized meal kits?).
SideChef adds Top Chef Masters winner to team
Smart kitchen assistant SideChef announced recently that Chris Cosentino, former Top Chef Masters winner, has joined their team as a culinary advisor. He joined the SideChef crew at CES this year leading demonstrations of SideChef’s guided cooking capabilities with the Google Home Hub.
Did we miss anything? Tweet us @TheSpoonTech to send us a tip!