Welcome to our weekend wrap-up of food tech news from around the web.
Happy New Year! I am excited to both say goodbye to the most bizarre year of my life and share some Food Tech News with you. This week, some news pieces that stood out to us included a new accelerator program for virtual restaurants, Adidas shoes made from mycelium, a vegan-friendly Subway sub, and how you can support New York restaurants with a T-shirt.
An accelerator program for “pandemic-proof” virtual restaurants
The Melon Kitchen Food Entrepreneurship Accelerator will be opening a culinary program to Black and Latinx entrepreneurs to assist in the launch of new virtual restaurants. The program will begin in mid-January and take place at AMP (Artisinal Marketplace) in the tech district of Indianapolis. It is a free three-month program that will accept several cohorts consisting of five to seven participants. Through the use of ghost kitchens and delivery through DoorDash, the program aims to build “pandemic-proof” virtual restaurants. The marketplace will open to the public March 2021, and participants are eligible for start-up funding after the completion of the program.
Adidas shoes made from mushroom leather
Adidas announced that they will be launching vegan-friendly shoes made from mycelium-based leather; mycelium is essentially the root system of mushrooms. To produce this new shoe, the company partnered with sustainable materials producer Bolt Threads, which created a mycelium-based leather called “Mylo“. It is currently unclear when the new Adidas shoes will be available for purchase.
Vegan chicken subs at Subway
Now available at Subways in the UK and Ireland, the T.L.C (tastes like chicken) Sub uses soy protein chicken strips to mimic the company’s classic roast chicken breast strips. The new sub will be fully vegan and will also use Violife vegan cheese. The new menu item was added on December 30th, and it is not yet determined if it will be a permanent menu item. Subways located in the UK permanently added a Beyond Meatball Marinara Sub this year, and last year the same sandwich was trialed in the US and Canada.
Morning News clothing company launches T-shirt to support NY restaurants
Clothing company Morning News launched a T-shirt to help struggling local restaurants in New York. The back of the 100 percent cotton T-shirt reads “Support Your Local Restaurants” in hopes of encouraging residents of the state to remember to do so. Additionally, 40 percent of the proceeds from T-shirts will be donated to restaurant owners and employees through ROAR (Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants). Big cities like NYC have experienced a greater number of closures due to the high cost of rent, and over 1,000 restaurants have permanently closed here since March 2020.