Happy weekend from sunny Victoria, Canada! I took the ferry from Seattle for a quick weekend of high tea, touring gardens and whatever else one does in the capital of British Columbia.
But first, this week’s food tech news. We’ve got stories about blockchain, vegan eggs, and vertical farming to get your Saturday started right. Enjoy!
Gotham Greens expands to Providence, RI
Indoor agriculture company Gotham Greens announced plans to expand into Rhode Island this week. The company currently operates four farms: three in the New York City area and one in Chicago. The new 110,000 square foot greenhouse farm in Providence will open in early fall of 2019 and will operate year-round, serving local residents and foodservice establishments. Gotham Greens estimates the new facility will produce around 10 million heads of lettuce and leafy greens annually.
South America’s biggest egg producer creates a vegan egg
This week Grup Mantiqueira, South America’s largest producer of eggs, announced it had developed a vegan egg product in collaboration with nonprofit the Good Food Institute (h/t Livekindly). Called N.Ovo, the plant-based product is made of pea starch and comes in powdered form packaged in a traditional egg carton. (Cute, but is it practical?) N.Ovo will debut March 31st at the Rio Super Expofood event.
Ripe.io teams up with FlavorWiki
Ripe.io, the company developing a blockchain for the food industry, has partnered with digital sensory platform FlavorWiki. Basically, ripe.io will be able to access FlavorWiki’s collection of data around consumer flavor, texture, and aroma preferences, and in turn Flavorwiki will store its database on ripe.io’s blockchain-based platform.
That’s a lot of jargon. Essentially, food producers and sellers will be able to use the data from FlavorWiki and ripe.io to better understand how things like seasons and soil conditions impact customers’ taste perceptions. In theory, this improved transparency will be able to help producers make better-tasting foods.
Box8 raises $15 million in India’s red hot cloud kitchen market
India’s Box8 is the latest startup to benefit from the rapid growth of a food delivery market that is fueling investment in cloud kitchens across every region of the globe. The Mumbai based startup, which has 110 kitchens across five cities, just raised $15 million for its series C. It’s the second big raise for an Indian cloud kitchen startup in just one month, with Pune-based Faasos raising nearly $16 million in a series D earlier this month.
Box8, which currently serves 1 million meals a month across Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, and Gurgaon, plans to use the new funding to expand to open 100 more kitchens over the next 12 months and expand to five more cities.
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