Welcome to this week’s Food Tech News round-up! This week, news that caught our attention included Muniq’s recent funding round, Danone’s new plant-based cheese, Torchy Taco’s new contactless services, and Zero Egg’s restaurant debut.
Muniq raises $8.2 million for blood sugar regulating protein powder
Muniq, a protein powder created specifically for blood sugar control and gut microbiome health, raised $8.2 million in its Series A round. The round was led by Alpha Edison and Acre Venture Partners, with participation from Baron Davis (former NBA star and investor) and Cathy Richards (founder of SimplyProtein). The protein powder contains a high amount of prebiotic resistant starch that can help regulate blood sugar and weight management, and it was developed specifically with those who live with diabetes or struggle with weight loss in mind. Muniq’s five flavors of protein powder include Chocolate, Vanilla Creme, Mocha Latte, Vegan Vanilla, and Vegan Chocolate. A bag of protein powder with 28 servings costs $99 and is available for purchase on the company’s website.
Danone launches plant-based cheese through So Delicious Brand
Danone’s So Delicious brand recently announced the release of new dairy-free cheese products, which include plant-based shredded cheese, slices, and spreads. All of the cheeses are vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, and non-GMO, but it is currently unclear what the main ingredient in these new products is. The shredded and sliced cheese products are now available in stores such as Target, Walmart, Market Basket, Fresh Thyme across the US. The cheese spreads will be released sometime in March.
CardFree and Torchy’s Taco partner to develop contactless services
Torchy’s Taco, a fast-casual taco chain, partnered with CardFree, a provider of modern ordering services, to revamp online ordering and contactless services in the restaurant’s location. Customers eating at Torchy’s will now be able to use the Text-to-Pay solution, which enables them to pay on a mobile phone for both phone-in and drive-thru orders. The new Order@Table solution allows customers to add to their order while dining in without getting back in line or interacting with a cashier. The taco chain is also trialing curbside pickup with “I’m Here” notifications for curbside pickups; the customer can simply send this notification from their phone to let the restaurant know they have arrived. These new features and services are now available in Torchy’s 83 locations across seven states.
Zero Egg makes debut in Birmingham, AL restaurant
Plant-based egg producer Zero Egg made its first restaurant debut at Tropicaleo, a Puerto Rican restaurant in Birmingham, Alabama. The restaurant created a special menu to celebrate Veganuary, and several of the menu items showcase Zero Egg’s soy, potato starch, and chickpea-based eggs. The speciality dishes include breakfast sandwich with vegan cheese, Zero Egg biscuit, and Beyond Meat patty, as well as a rice bowl with Zero Egg scramble, Beyond Meat sausage, and sweet plantains. These menu items are available now, and it is unclear if they will become permanent menu fixtures.