Happy Saturday! Kick off your weekend with a quick recap of some of our favorite food tech news stories this week, from a new plant-based “Awesome” burger to expansion plans for healthy vending machines.
Nestlé prepares to roll out Incredible burger + announces Awesome burger
Mega food company Nestlé announced a new cook-from-raw plant-based burger — called the Incredible burger — in December. This week the Swiss company gave more details about its release. The burger will launch in Europe starting this month in retail stores’ chilled and frozen sections.
Nestlé also announced that it will roll out another cook-from-raw plant-based burger in the U.S. this fall under the Sweet Earth brand. It will be called the Awesome Burger (who is coming up with these names?) and is clearly meant to compete with Beyond and Impossible burgers, the latter which is headed to retail sometime this year.
Two new states pass meat labeling legislation
Nestlé may be trying to cash in on the plant-based meat craze, but some states are starting to push back on what can and cannot be called “meat.” This week Mississippi and South Dakota passed legislation that will prohibit products not made from slaughtered animals from bearing the label “meat” (h/t Food Safety News). Montana will follow suit with a similar law once it’s signed by the state’s governor.
Missouri signed a similar bill into law last year and was promptly taken to court by a coalition including the ACLU and Tofurky. There’s no word yet if the same group will also take legal action against Mississippi, South Dakota, or Montana.
Maine might ban foam food & beverage containers
This week the Maine House voted to prohibit all businesses from using polystyrene food and beverage containers. According to the Press Herald, if the bill is enacted it will make Maine one of the first states to ban single-use containers made from Styrofoam. This could massively cut down on landfill waste: while some polystyrene goods are recyclable, there are currently no recycling programs operating in Vacationland.
Farmer’s Fridge expands from Chicago to Indianapolis
Chicago-based Farmer’s Fridge, the startup which makes vending machines that dispense healthy meals like grain bowls and salads, is expanding to Indianapolis. According to the Indianapolis Business Journal, it will roll out 18 machines in the new city by the end of this month. Farmer’s Fridge raised $30 million in September of last year and currently has 250 fridges operating throughout Chicago and Milwaukee.
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