Happy cozy autumnal weekend, all! I hope your Halloween costumes are ready, candy bars ordered and pumpkins carved.
Once all that’s done, take a well-earned break and catch up on our latest food tech news roundup. This week we’ve got stories about investments and trends in plant-based food (and drink), ugly produce going bi-coastal, and UberEats going, well, pretty much everywhere. Enjoy!
UberEats to cover 70 percent of U.S. by end of 2018
The rideshare-cum-transportation-of-all-stripes company with the fastest-growing food delivery service announced this week that they have ambitious plans to have UberEats available in 70 percent of the U.S. by the end of this year (h/t CNBC). As of now, UberEats covers 50 percent of America, which means they’ve got some serious work to do in the next couple months.
Plant-based company Kite Hill raises $40 million
Kite Hill, a company which makes vegan, nut milk cheeses, yogurt, and ravioli, completed a $40 million capital round this week. The round was led by 301 INC, the venture capital arm of General Mills, with participation from CAVU Venture Partners. In 2016, Kite Hill’s owner Lyrical Foods closed a previous funding round led by 301 INC for $18 million.
Quaker unveils their own line of oat milk
Quaker Oats announced plans to launch their own line of dairy-free oat milk in January of 2019. The 48-ounce bottles of “milk” will come in three flavors — Original, Unsweetened Original and Vanilla — and will retail for $4.29 in most stores. There’s been a 425 percent increase in oat milk sales since 2017, so this is a smart play by Quaker (and its parent company, PepsiCo) to try to carve out a piece of the market before Swedish competitor Oatly claims it all for themselves.
Kevin Durant invests in Imperfect Produce
This week NBA all-star Kevin Durant made a “major investment” in Imperfect Produce, the company which delivers aesthetically ugly fruits and vegetables to your door, through his investment operation Thirty Five Ventures. San Francisco-based Imperfect Produce has plans to expand into Washington, D.C. in 2019, which will be their first city on the East Coast.
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