Before you head outside and bask in glorious sunshine and cherry blossoms, we invite you to catch up on some Food Tech News. This week, we have stories on an app that rates restaurants based on sustainability, Kalera’s first harvest, micro drink cubes, and Beyond Meat’s alternative chicken launch. Enjoy!
Eco-friendly restaurant app Jybe to soon launch in New York
JYBE is an app that helps users connect to eco-friendly restaurants, and this week it shared in an email with The Spoon that it will be launching in New York City in mid-May. Many restaurants provide single-use plastic cutlery and styrofoam packaging for take-out food, but JYBE highlights the restaurants using more environmentally friendly options, like paper, bamboo, glass, and reusable materials. JYBE also offers free resources for restaurants looking to make the transition to more environmentally friendly packaging. The app is currently available in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Portland, Denver, Boulder, Seattle, and Austin.
Kalera celebrates first harvest at Atlanta, Georgia location
Kalera is a vertical farm company, and this week announced its first harvest at its location in Atlanta, Georgia. The 77 thousand square feet facility is its largest facility and the largest vertical farm operation in the Southeastern U.S. The vertical farm grows lettuce and microgreens, with the capacity to produce over 10 million heads of lettuce per year. In addition to the location in Georgia, Kalera operates two locations in Orlando and is building new facilities in Hawaii, Minnesota, Seattle, Columbus, Denver, and Houston.
Microdrink cubes launch in the U.S.
UK-based waterdrop crafts small flavored beverage cubes that can be dropped into water, and the product will now be sold in the U.S. The tiny sugar-free cubes consist of unique fruit- and plant-based extracts like elderflower, cactus fruit, artichoke, starfruit, and thyme. The company aims to encourage people to drink more water while simultaneously reducing single-use plastic bottles typically used for cold beverages and water. Due to the fact that the cubes are small and compact, this reduces both plastic bottles and the energy it takes to ship liquid-filled bottles throughout the world.
Beyond Meat to refocus on chicken products
Beyond Meat is known for its alternative beef and pork products like burger patties, breakfast patties, and sausages, but now it will be focusing on the development of alternative chicken products. The company produced plant-based chicken strips in 2012, but pulled the product after its alternative beef and pork products gained more popularity. The plant-based chicken product will likely be available this summer. In 2019, Beyond Meat partnered with KFC to pilot plant-based fried chicken in an Atlanta, Georgia location, and the product sold out in five hours.