Photo: JUST

Welcome to the weekend, food tech nerds. In between holiday party hopping and crossing gifts off your to-buy list, take a few minutes to check out this week’s news roundup. This latest edition features stories about plant-based protein, culinary incubators booming and busting, and a really snazzy new Starbucks cocktail bar. Enjoy!

JUST Egg goes to China
JUST is bringing its vegan “egg” scramble to China. A JUST spokesperson told The Spoon that the company will begin rolling out their product, which is made of mung beans and scrambles like a real egg, in the first half of 2019 in retail, e-commerce, and foodservice channels. If Chinese consumers take to the product, it could have a huge impact: China is the largest consumer of conventional chicken eggs in the world.


The Impossible burger earns halal certification
Speaking of plant-based news: the Impossible burger is now officially halal. The plant-based “bleeding” burger earned its official halal certification this week. Impossible’s burgers are already certified kosher, and earlier this year their signature ingredient, heme, was declared safe to eat by the FDA. This means that even more consumers will be able to buy the burgers when they make their retail debut next year.


Starbucks opens roastery in NYC with craft cocktail bar
Yesterday Starbucks opened a Reserve Roastery in NYC featuring a very snazzy cocktail bar. Called the Arriviamo Bar, the cocktail concept is modeled after the bar in Starbuck’s Milan roastery. It’s the first time Starbucks is bringing the Arriviamo Bar, which features a range of aperitivos (pre-dinner drinks) as well as coffee- and tea-inspired tipples, to the U.S. Measuring 60 feet in length, it’s the longest mixology bar in any Starbuck’s around the world.


Toronto’s only food startup incubator to cease operations
It’s a hard time for food business incubators. Food Starter, Toronto’s only food startup incubator, announced this week that it’s shutting down due to lack of funding. CBC reported that the incubator, which began offering commercial kitchen space and food industry education programs in 2017, will close its doors as early as December 31st. Maybe another company will take over and reopen Food Starter, much as Nursery did with the Pilotworks NY location.


Photo: Pixabay

Hudson Kitchen to launch culinary incubator in New Jersey
But it’s not all bad news in the food business incubator world! This week Hudson Kitchen signed a lease to open a shared-use commercial kitchen space in South Kearny, New Jersey. The space will have kitchen equipment, prep spaces, food truck parking (!), and coworking spaces. While this is relatively small local news, it’s a sign that the demand for food business incubators is still very much there, even after the demise of Pilotworks (which had a location in nearby Newark) — and companies are working to meet it.


Food media company ChefsFeed acquires Feastly
ChefsFeed, a website where food industry pro’s share thoughts and tips, announced this week that it had acquired pop-up dining platform Feastly. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. ChefsFeed, which operates in 60 cities, plans to expand Feastly’s offerings and grow its reach beyond its current locations (NY, LA, San Francisco, and Chicago).

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