Photo: Kombrewcha

Happy weekend, food tech crew! What better way to kick off a wintery Saturday than with a roundup of some of our favorite food tech news from around the web? Get those slippers on and brew some tea — let’s do this:

Kombrewcha debuts new beverage with higher ABV
This week ZX Ventures, owner of alcoholic kombucha company Kombrewcha, announced that it would raise the ABV of its drinks from 3.2 percent to 4.4 percent. According to FoodDive, the shift came about because Kombrewcha’s CEO realized that its target consumer is an active mother who wants a drink that’s healthy, but gives the same buzz as a beer. In tandem with the ABV increase, Kombrewcha is also rebranding and launching a 12oz can (all previous beverages were in bottles). The new, higher-alcohol Kombrewcha will start rolling out in New York before expanding to the Pacific Northwest in March.

Photo: McDonald’s

McDonald’s Sweden gets another vegan option
In December 2017, McDonald’s announced that it would make its “McVegan” burger a permanent menu item in Finland and Sweden. This week, McDonald’s Sweden added a new vegan option: the McFalafel. According to Brand Eating, the McFalafel, which consists of falafel nuggets, is McDonald’s Sweden’s first vegan happy meal. Each order has a four-piece order of McFalafel, two dipping sauces (a herby yogurt sauce and a vegan grilled pepper sauce), a choice of side (carrots, apples, or fries) and a drink. This is the second vegetarian Happy Meal overall for McD’s, who launched a red pesto veggie wrap option in the U.K. earlier this January.

Photo: Bevi.

Smart water cooler Bevi announces $35 million funding round
Bevi, the smart beverage dispenser that fills your cup with flavored (or non) still and sparkling water, announced this week that it had raised a $35 million Series C funding round led by Bessemer Ventures. The company, which puts their machines in offices, schools, and hotels, hopes that its technology will help reduce the massive amount of plastic waste from water bottles. Xconomy reports that Bevi will use its funds to expand and become profitable — and also, eventually, to branch into hot beverages.

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