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.
McDonald’s has unveiled plans this week to launch its own plant-based line, dubbed “McPlant.” The news follows its pilot with Beyond Meat testing “P.L.T.” burgers in Canada. Pizza Hut became the first major pizza chain to launch plant-based toppings nationwide with its roll out of Beyond Meat partnership.
In other news, Obama-era officials and lawmakers top the list of potential nominees for agriculture secretary in the Biden administration, and, for the first time, most of the contenders are women.
Last but not least, Nuro has raised $500 million to expand its fleet of autonomous delivery cars.
We need your support. Producing our newsletter takes a lot of time and resources, and we need to change our business model to keep it going. To date, we’ve funded our work through our events, sponsorships and consulting, which are all on hold due to the pandemic. If you find our newsletter to be a valuable resource, we hope you will consider making a one time or monthly contribution, so we can keep the newsletter going and free for those who can not afford a subscription fee. Whether it’s $5 or $500 every bit helps and shows us that you value our work. Not able to contribute right now? You can help by sharing our newsletter with friends and colleagues.
McDonald’s is creating its own plant-based line called “McPlant.” Shares of Beyond Meat, which made the meat-free patties for McDonald’s Canadian test, fell as much as 6%.
2. Women Dominate List of Potential Nominees For Agriculture Secretary – The Fern
Obama-era officials and lawmakers top the list of potential nominees for agriculture secretary in the Biden administration, and, for the first time, most of the contenders are women.
3. Autonomous Delivery Startup Nuro Hits $5B Valuation on Fresh Funding of $500M – TechCrunch
The Series C round was led by funds and accounts advised by T. Rowe Price with participation from SoftBank Vision Fund 1, Greylock and others. Funding will aid in expansion across multiple markets.
4. 72K Food Workers Have Contracted Covid-19. OSHA Is Ignoring Them. – Mother Jones
Regulators in California and Oregon have fined agricultural employers more than – $400k – twice as much as the fines handed out so far by federal OSHA – for workplace violations linked to the pandemic.
5. With Beyond Meat Partnership, Pizza Hut Is the First Major Pizza Chain to Launch Plant-Based Toppings Nationwide – Forbes
Pizza Hut today announced the launch of its Beyond Italian Sausage Pizza and Great Beyond Pizza nationwide.
6. Cutting Greenhouse Gases From Food Production Is Urgent – New York Times
While the world tends to focus on reducing emissions from fossil-fuel burning, a new study shows cutting emissions from food is crucial, too. Food emissions alone would bring the world close to the 2-degree limit by 2100.
7. Canada: A Cannabis Company Is Throwing Down the Gauntlet to White Claw – Fortune
While cannabis has not yet been federally legalized in the US, Aphria is laying down the rails in preparation for looser regulations across the country.
8. Food System Workers May Get Early Access to a Covid-19 Vaccine, But How Should States Prepare? – The Fern
As of November 9, more than 72.5k food system workers have contracted the virus – including over 9% of the nation’s meatpacking workers. At least 327 workers have died.
9. Netherlands: The Protein Brewery Raises $26M from Pea Protein Maker Roquette, Novo Nordisk Affiliate – AgFunder
Novo Growth led the round. Funding will go towards R&D and forays into the microbial world as well as cover operational costs and scaling up production of the startup’s flagship alt-protein product, Fermotein.
10. Walmart and Cruise Partner to Test Autonomous Grocery Delivery in Arizona – TechCrunch
Under the new pilot program, customers will be able to place an order from Walmart and have it delivered via Cruise’s autonomous cars. The program will begin early next year in Phoenix.
11. While He’s Still President, Trump Will Freeze Farm Worker Pay, and Cut Projected Earnings by $1.68B Over 10 Years – The Counter
From 2021 through 2022, DOL will freeze minimum wages for over 200k seasonal farmworkers participating in the H-2A visa program at current levels.
12. Softbank-Backed Delivery Startup GoPuff Enters the California Market with Its Deal to Buy Alcoholic Beverage Chain BevMo! – CNBC
The $350m deal means goPuff, which currently provides on-demand delivery of household goods in 500 cities, will significantly expand its infrastructure with the addition of BevMo!’s 161 stores.
Food & Ag Anti-Racism Resources + Black Food & Farm Businesses to Support
Check out our list of resources to learn about systemic racism in the food and agriculture industries. We also highlight Black food and farm businesses and organizations to support.