Fall is here, people. That means crunchy leaves, Thanksgiving grocery displays, and pumpkin-flavored everything. We’re here for it.
So grab a PSL (Pumpkin Spice Latte, for those not in the know) and catch up some highlights from the week in food tech. We’ve got stories on pod-based cocktail machines, plant-based frozen food funding, and enhanced rice shopping. Enjoy!
Uncle Bens, Google and Innit team up for enhanced buying experience
This week Mars Food-owned CPG company Uncle Ben’s announced a partnership with Google Lens, Google’s AI-powered visual search tool, and guided recipe startup Innit to launch a new food tech initiative (h/t Baking Business). Starting this month, consumers can use a Google iPhone app or Google Lens Android app to view select Uncle Ben’s product packaging and see content such as recipes, nutrition information, and step-by-step cooking videos, the latter of which will be powered by Innit.
Strong Roots raises $18.3 million for plant-based frozen food
Strong Roots, a company which makes healthy frozen plant-based foods, raised an $18.3 million Series A this week led by private equity firm Goode Partners LLC. The London-based company sells its products to major U.K. retailers like Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Marks and Spencer. It recently launched across the pond and is now available at 3,000 grocery stores, including Target and Whole Foods.
Drinkworks launches Keurig Home Bar in California
Drinkworks, a joint venture with Keurig Dr. Pepper and Anheuser-Busch, announced that it would start selling its Home Bar in California on September 30. The Home Bar is a pod-based countertop device which can mix up cocktails, beers and ciders. It’s already available in St. Louis, Missouri and Florida, and was originally slated to be released in California in April 2020, but Drinkworks has now moved up the date. Golden State residents can pre-order the Home Bar for $299.