As the days get colder and shorter and darker and rainier (thanks, Seattle), I turn to my favorite winter pastime: baking. Considering all the holiday cookie collections that came out this week — especially the New York Times and Food52 — I think this weekend will be one for the books.
But cookie guides aren’t the only food-centric news that happened this week. There are also stories about Nestlé sweetening KitKats with upcycled cocoa pods, Starship’s newest university partner, QFC launching produce grown in-store, and more. Read on to get the highlights.
Nestlé Japan launches Cacao Fruit Chocolate
This week Nestlé Japan launched its so-called “Cacao Fruit Chocolate,” its first chocolate — a KitKat — made with powdered cacao pulp as a substitute for sugar. Back in July, the Swiss company announced it had developed a way to upcycle cacao pods, which are typically wasted, to replace sugar in chocolate candy bars. Now Nestlé is bringing the initial product using this new sweetener to market. The new KitKat will be available at KitKat Chocolatory stores (I want to go to there) and online.
QFC sells first store-grown produce
Talk about locally grown. This week two QFC grocery stores in the Seattle area started selling produce — lettuce, kale, and assorted herbs — grown on Infarm vertical farming units within their stores. The greens were planted in a distribution center in Seattle then transferred to the individual stores, where they retailed for $2.99 per bunch. According to FoodDive, thirteen more QFC stores will add Infarm grow cases after the holidays.
Starship bots roll onto UT Dallas
The University of Texas at Dallas welcomed a fleet of Starship autonomous delivery robots onto campus this week. According to CBS DFW, the robots will deliver food and groceries to students in a three-mile radius of campus and will charge $1-2 per order. In addition to UT Dallas, Starship’s ‘bots already operate on-campus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of Houston, Purdue, George Mason University, and Northern Arizona University, and were recently pulled from the University of Pittsburgh after an accessibility incident.
Air New Zealand pilots edible coffee cups
In an attempt to reduce waste, Air New Zealand is trialing edible cups to customers both in-flight and on the ground (via NZ Herald). The airline already uses compostable cups, but those still end up in a landfill (although they break down much more quickly than styrofoam cups). The new vanilla-flavored cups are made by the New Zealand company twiice, and can be used for coffee or as an edible dessert bowl.