Photo: Great Jones.

Happy Saturday, all. It’s almost summer and we’re spending the day eating strawberries in all of their forms.

While we snack, how about some food tech news? Here are a few of our favorite stories that caught our eye around the web this week, including a new text-based recipe idea service and some serious funding for a German startup making meal replacement drinks. Enjoy!

Great Jones debuts text-based recipe suggestion system
Cookware company Great Jones, a startup which sells affordable pots and pans direct to consumers, is experimenting with a new text message-based recipe suggestion tool (h/t Techcrunch). Called Potline, the free service will allow anyone to seek recipe ideas, ask for help while cooking, or get cleanup tips. It’s manned by an actual human and, at least initially, will only be available from 4-8pm ET on Monday and Wednesday evenings. You can try it yourself by texting 1-814-BISCUIT.


Waitrose trials program to reduce packaging
Waitrose, the British supermarket chain, is experimenting with new ways to reduce packaging at one of their stores in Oxford, England. The BBC reports that customers at that one location will be able to use their own containers to buy and refill dry products like rice, pasta, wine, beer, and frozen fruit, all at a reduced price. The store is also increasing the amount of produce that comes package-free and letting consumers “borrow a box” to take home their shopping with a £5 ($6.30) deposit


Meal-in-a-bottle startup YFood raises €4.2 million
This week YFood, the German-based startup which makes a drinkable meal replacement, announced that it has raised a €4.2 ($4.76) million Series A funding round. Founded in 2017, YFood’s meal drinks cost around €3 ($3.40) for a 500 ml bottle. According to the startup plans to use their new funds to hire more people and expand into new markets in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.


Photo: Vessi Fermentor.

Whirlpool sells Vessi Fermentor to 80West Labs
Whirlpool recently finalized the sale of its Vessi Fermentor, a home beer fermentation system developed by their rapid innovation branch WLabs, to 80West Labs. WLabs launched Vessi via IndieGoGo in May 2016 and sold the unit on its site for $1,799.00. 80West Labs will provide ongoing support to existing Vessi Fermentor customers.

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