Amazon Ends Whole Foods-Instacart Partnership, JUST to Bring Cultured Wagyu to Japan + More

Source: The Verge

Every week we track the business, tech and investment trends in CPG, retail, restaurants, agriculture, cooking and health, so you don’t have to. Here are some of this week’s top headlines.

Today, the five-year partnership between Whole Foods and Instacart officially ended. The first group of 1,415 Instacart workers will be pulled out of 76 Whole Foods locations in February.

Plant-based and cultured meat startups are neck and neck with the latest steak-making technology. JUST is working on an affordable Wagyu beef, and Aleph Farms has developed the first steak grown in a lab.

In other news, two-year-old agtech startup Bowery Farming has closed a $90 million round led by Google Ventures to expand its farms in the United States and internationally. Congress voted to pass the U.S. Farm Bill, officially legalizing hemp. Farmers and food makers are now preparing to meet a growing industry that is said to hit $22 billion by 2022.

Check out our weekly round-up of last week’s top food startup, tech and innovation news below or peruse the full newsletter here.

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1. Amazon Has Officially Killed the Whole Foods-Instacart PartnershipRecode

Instacart will begin pulling the first group of workers out of Whole Foods locations in February.

 

2. Uber CEO and Alphabet Invest in Urban Farming StartupBloomberg

Bowery Farming has raised $90m to open new farms in the US and internationally. The round was led by Google Ventures with participation from Temasek, Uber’s CEO, Almanac Insights, First Round Capital, GGV Capital and General Catalyst.

 

3. Farm Bill to Help Hemp Grow into a Multibillion-Dollar IndustryThe Fern

Farmers and food makers will soon be able to legally grow, process and ship hemp across state lines and meet demand for a soaring market in products made with CBD. The industry could hit $22b by 2022.

 

4. Farm Bill Headed to Trump after Landslide house ApprovalPolitico

The compromise bill was stripped of every controversial House GOP proposal on SNAP.

 

5. Waitr Acquires Bite Squad for $321M, Expanding Footprint to 500 Cities, 22 StatesThe Advocate

The deal is its third and largest acquisition since being founded, and the first since it began trading on the Nasdaq stock exchange.

 

6. Constellation Pours $100M into Female-Led Alcohol Brands – Food Dive

As of now, the beverage and tobacco manufacturing industry is composed of about 80% male executives. Its first investments were made to Austin Cocktails and Vivify Beverages.

 

7. Nutella Maker Ferrero in Race to Buy Campbell’s International Business – Reuters

The Italian group is working on a possible deal, which could amount to more than $2b.

 

8. The Growth of AI and the U.S. Food System

A new report called Refresh: Food and Tech, from Soil to Supper, highlights more than 20 digital platforms and artificial intelligence algorithms being adopted across the U.S. food supply chain by farmers, distributors, grocers, retailers, and consumers.

 

9. Whole Foods Ranked Worst on Cancer-Linked Package ChemicalsBloomberg

In response, the company has removed all coated paper products in question and has started a search for new biodegradable packaging.

 

10. Online Liquor Store Drizly Just Landed $34.5M in Fresh FundingTechCrunch

Polaris Partners led the investment. The company now works with 1k liquor stores across the US and Canada.

 

11. Zymergen Raises $400M Series C in Largest Ever Upstream AgriFood Tech Deal in USAgFunder

Funding was led by SoftBank Vision Fund. The startup engineers microbes to replace environmentally-damaging inputs and harmful additives. It plans to invest in enhancing its platform to double capacity.

 

12. The Meat Growing in This San Francisco Lab Will Soon Be Available at RestaurantsFast Company

JUST is now producing real meat grown in bioreactors. Next up is affordable Wagyu beef.

 

13. From Grass-Fed to Lab-Grown: How Meat Is EvolvingWall Street Journal

Israeli-based Aleph Farms has created the world’s first steak grown in a lab. We get a taste.

 

14. Farm Bill Includes $125M for Food Waste ReductionFood Dive

The USDA will develop strategies for implementing municipal compost plans and food waste reduction plans in 10 states through 2023. It will also establish a food lost and waste reduction liaison.

 

15. Amazon Targets Airports for Checkout-Free Store Expansion – Reuters

The retailer is evaluating top US airports for new locations.

 

16. Trump Administration Rolls Back Obama-Era Rules for School Lunches – New York Times

The Department of Agriculture announced its plans to lower nutritional standards for grains, flavored milks and sodium in school cafeterias.

 

17. Women, Women of Color & Gender Non-Conforming Innovator Database

We created this open-source list to increase representation, support and investment in women, women of color & gender-nonconforming innovators in food. Join the list & help us spread the word using #womxninfood

 

18. Join the Alpha Food Labs Community

We’re rethinking the way food is made, starting with community. The Alpha Community. Join us to help develop, test, and get early access to food designed for your tastes and values.

 

Our newsletter is the absolute easiest way to stay on top of the emerging sector, so sign up for it today and never miss the latest food tech and innovation news and trends, Already signed up? Share the love with your friends and colleagues!

The post Amazon Ends Whole Foods-Instacart Partnership, JUST to Bring Cultured Wagyu to Japan + More appeared first on Food+Tech Connect.

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Author: Phoebe Tran

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