Goodr uses tech to keep unused food out of corporate cafeteria trash bins and, through coordinating with non-profits, transport it to populations in need. But where Goodr stands out is with the number of other tech initiatives it’s working on to further its mission of fighting food waste by feeding those in need. Running with the idea that hunger is not a scarcity issue but instead one of logistics, the company is experimenting with blockchain, using food waste for renewable energy, and licensing out their tech to Big Food companies in an effort to help everyone cut down on food waste.
Domino’s often gets called “a tech company” thanks to the sheer number of different avenues the delivery-centric pizza chain has tried. Most, if not all, of those initiatives have one mission in mind: get the pie to the front door (or park bench) as fast as technology and human brainpower can manage. Domino’s has implemented everything from chatbots answering phones to in-car ordering to its AnyWare program, which enables the customer to order a pizza from a non-traditional location, like the beach or park. Through these and other partnerships and projects, Domino’s has shown time and again it’s willing to try disrupting the pizza industry without changing what we love about it in the first place: the actual pie.
Motif Ingredients is democratizing protein R&D for smaller plant-based food startups. Using genetically engineered microbes (think: yeast), Motif can “brew” food proteins to be used in plant-based animal products. Small startups trying to make new alternative meat/dairy/egg products who can’t afford an R&D department of their own can outsource their protein development to Motif to make it faster and less expensive. The company is a spinoff of Ginkgo Bioworks, a Boston-based biotech company, and has already raised a whopping $90 million Series A funding round.
Tyson is the largest meat producer in the U.S., but the company has been making waves for its innovation in meat (and other protein) alternatives. It has invested in cell-based companies Memphis Meats and Future Meat, and had acquired a 6.5 percent stake in Beyond Meat, which it sold off just before the plant-based meat company went public. The latter move is likely because Tyson is creating its own line of plant-based protein, which is due to drop this summer. It’s refreshing to see a mega company reading the tea leaves and becoming so invested in its own disruption.
JUST may have missed its self-imposed deadline to bring cell-based meat to market in 2018, but it still earns a spot on the list based on its existing products. We at The Spoon are big fans of JUST’s eggless cookie dough, and its animal-free JUST Egg product (whose magic ingredient is mung beans) is rapidly appearing on more menus and grocery shelves in the U.S., Europe, and Asia. JUST also has grand plans for the future: it claims it’ll bring cultured meat to market this year (likely in Asia) and already has a partnership in place with Japanese Wagyu producers to make cell-based Wagyu beef.