We may be heading toward a new food economy that’s more competitive and innovative

By Nanette Byrnes, MIT Technology Review

Excerpt: For years, the most important food technologies were all about scale. How could we feed a fast-growing population at less expense? By doing everything bigger: food grown on bigger farms was sold by ever-merging global food giants to grocery chains of superstore proportions.

Many of today’s food technologies seem to be moving in the opposite direction, toward methods and products that are economical for small farms as well as large corporate ones. This does not mean an end to big food: with the planet’s population projected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050, agriculture and food production will still have to achieve a massive scale, with help from technology and innovative research. Still, evolving technologies, including inexpensive sensors, mobile devices, and data analysis, have helped an increasing variety of food companies, retailers, and producers lower their costs and compete in many specialty markets.

This could be the start of a new food economy.

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Planning to expand into a ‘vegan conglomerate’

Written by Carolyn Heneghan. Originally published by fooddive.com

Excerpt: Hampton Creek is attempting to raise about $200 million at a $1.1 billion valuation, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. The company plans to use the funds to expand into what Bloomberg calls a “vegan conglomerate,” increasing its portfolio from 64 products today to more than 600 across a wide range of categories, according to a fundraising presentation obtained by Bloomberg. Part of those plans include a 95,000-square-foot R&D facility that will employ robotics and artificial intelligence to discover and develop new plant-based protein products, such as Just Oysters, Just Blue Cheese, and a line of kids’ snacks where an egg substitute in a microwavable pod could be cooked into different shapes, such as Batman, Darth Vader, or a toy car.

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People dining together

(Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock)

Promising Israeli startup already in Foodlab Capital’s company portfolio

By Andrea Hayley / Epoch Times

Excerpt: The Israeli startup DouxMatok, which means double-sweet in Hebrew, has engineered a new form of the sugar that offers the same sugar experience in up to half the calories. It’s the same sugar, but it’s physically altered to maximally satiate our tongues, so we consume less and protect our health.

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