Blue Apron Stock Falls Below $1, Legalizing Marijuana a NY Priority + More

Source: Blue Apron

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.

On Monday, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo stated he supported marijuana legislation and will make it a legislative priority in 2019. In addition to recent news of hemp legalization in the Farm Bill, food & beverage companies are gearing up for the CBD and cannabis boom. AB InBev just announced a $100 million research fund for cannabis drinks in Canada with Tilray.

In retail news, Blue Apron’s stocks have dropped to a record low at less than $1 per share, representing a 90% drop since the company’s IPO. Kroger has become the world’s first retailer to launch autonomous delivery as it moves into its next pilot phase with Nuro.

Plant-based and cultured meat are poised for a turning point in 2019. Sales reportedly exceeded $760 million in the last year. The global supplement industry has reached $128 billion, with the United States in the lead. And finally, Chew Innovation has pulled out of its plans to take over Pilotworks and launch the Nursery, leaving hopeful entrepreneurs without a home for the holidays.

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. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo Just Made Marijuana Legalization a Top Priority – Vox

Cuomo named marijuana legalization as one of his priorities in the first 100 days of 2019.

 

2. Blue Apron Stock Drops Below $1. Could an Acquisition Be Next?Food Dive

The stock has dropped more than 74% since July and has lost 90% of its original value since the company went public last year.

 

3. USDA Moves To Tighten Restrictions on Food StampsUSA Today

The newly proposed rule would restrict the ability of states to exempt work-eligible adults from having to obtain steady employment to receive food stamps.

 

4. After Pilotworks’ Reopening Fails, Brooklyn’s Small Food Businesses Won’t Be Home for the HolidaysEdible Brooklyn

A new food incubator called Nursery announced it would open quickly and invite members back, but the plan fell through.

 

5. Global Supplement Industry Reaches $128BNew Hope Network

The US supplement market represents the largest country, but it has slowly been losing market share to China.

 

6. 2019 Could Be a Turning Point for Plant-Based and Cultured MeatsForbes

Sales grew over 23% in the last year, exceeding $760m. In 2019, look for plant-based and cultured meat companies to navigate new partnerships, new markets and an evolving regulatory landscape.

 

7. The Hatchery, a $34M Food & Beverage Incubator, Opens in East Garfield ParkChicago Sun Times

The 67k sf facility is a partnership between Accion and the Industrial Council of Nearwest Chicago. Celebrity chef Rick Bayless will offer a training program for aspiring chefs.

 

8. Kroger’s Driverless Delivery Pilot Enters Next PhaseGrocery Dive

The retailer and its technology partner, Nuro, have made more than a thousand grocery deliveries since June. The vehicle will now handle deliveries autonomously going forward.

 

9. Canada: AB InBev and Tilray Invest $100M to Study Cannabis-Based DrinksFood Dive

The partnership, which combines AB InBev’s beverage insight with Tilray’s expertise in cannabis, will be limited to Canada. Each company will invest $50m in the venture.

 

10. Novamex Acquires Tio Gazpacho, Accelerating Distribution and AvailabilityFood Navigator

Financial terms were undisclosed. The beverage importer and marketer has a focus on tapping into the Mexican-American consumer audience.

 

11. UK: Unilever Buys Meat-Free Food Company the Vegetarian ButcherThe Guardian

Acquisition of Dutch brand highlights Unilever’s scramble to tap into meat substitutes market. Financial terms were undisclosed.

 

12. India: Food Delivery Startup Swiggy Raises $1B More from Naspers, Tencent and OthersTechCrunch

The company plans to use the capital for hiring machine learning and engineering talent, and further its AI technology to improve matching and discovery inside its service.

 

13. Omnivore Technologies Raises $10M in Series A FundingFinsmes

The round was led by Coca-Cola and Performance Food Group. The company plans to use the funds to accelerate development and growth of products that minimize friction for restaurant brands, third-party technologies and POS companies.

 

14. Middle East: Careem Launches Delivery Service, Expects to Close Funding Round SoonReuters

The company is planning to raise a total of $500m. It launched a delivery service covering everything from takeaway food to pharmaceuticals. Careem plans to spend $150m developing the delivery business, starting with services in Dubai and Jeddah.

 

15. Crew, a Workplace and Slack Messaging Rival for Shift Workers, Raises $35M, Adds Enterprise VisionTechCrunch

Funding came from DAG Ventures, Tenaya Capital and previous backers. The company just launched Crew Enterprise, which helps businesses better manage messaging across large groups of these workers.

 

16. Trump Offering Farmers Extra $4.9B in Trade ReliefPolitico

The second batch of payments is Trump’s latest effort to stem the pain inflicted on US agricultural producers by his trade feuds. Commodity groups are still concerned it is not nearly enough to offset the damage from retaliatory duties.

 

17. Chef-Focused Media Company Buys Leading Pop-Up Platform Feastly – Eater

ChefsFeed has purchased leading pop-up dining platform, Feastly. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

 

18. 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

 

 

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The post Blue Apron Stock Falls Below $1, Legalizing Marijuana a NY Priority + More appeared first on Food+Tech Connect.

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Author: Phoebe Tran

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