Every month, for now, we are sharing what we found interesting to know in terms of investments, trends, M&A, startups, tech in China, Asia, and in the rest of the World for everything related to Food, F&B and Restaurant Tech, because it's kind of the only thing we do at NextStepStudio.co.
This list is in no way exhaustive and the original purpose was for our team to remain on top of everything that is happening in our industry in link with our existing portfolio companies, and the area we are exploring for future projects.
We just decided to share it with anyone who could be interested.
What's new in China?
1. Didi launches errand service to compete with Meituan, Ele.me
China’s largest ride-hailing platform Didi Chuxing has launched a new intra-city errand service in two Chinese cities on Monday, local media LatePost reported. Didi’s new errand service promises to deliver everything from groceries, beverages, medicines, and even flowers within a city, with a starting rate of RMB 12 (USD 1.72) for the first four kilometers, RMB 20 for a delivery…
2. Starbucks to build up roasting capacity in China
Starbucks China announced on March 13 it will invest about $130 million in China to open a roasting facility in 2022, part of its new Coffee Innovation Park to further strengthen the company's coffee supply in Asia. [...] "The Supply Innovation Park will set a blueprint for the future of coffee roasting and supply chain, and propel China's coffee industry to a whole new altitude, while opening Starbucks' next growth chapter in China, with China," said Belinda Wong, chairman and chief executive officer of Starbucks China.
3. Yum China sees opportunities in corp catering after call for safe dining in China
KFC and Pizza Hut brands (from YUM China portfolio) in China rolled out contactless delivery and pick-up services across the country to avoid possible infection and keep their workers and customers safe.
4. Meituan-backed Heytea to close new financing round that will bring its valuation to RMB 16 billion ($2.2 billion)
Heytea, which originated in 2012 from Jiangmen, Guangdong province, has become a phenomenon in the tea industry, wooing young consumers who at times have queued for hours in front of the chain’s stores. The firm has opened 381 stores in 43 cities in both China and Singapore as of the end of 2019. [...] The new capital injection co-led by venture firm Hillhouse Capital and Coatue Management will boost Heytea’s valuation to USD 2.2 billion.
5. Visualizing The Impact Of Coronavirus On Hong Kong’s F&B Industry
By mid-February, interest in food delivery services nearly doubled on Google; as of April, it is at its highest level of popularity yet in terms of search volume. [...] After the second wave of outbreaks in Hong Kong in early March, Deliveroo notes that it saw a 4-fold increase in inbound inquiries from restaurants and doubled their orders in the first quarter of 2020 compared to Q4 of 2019.
6. Coronavirus prompts dietary changes among Chinese consumers
Fresh fruit and vegetable purchases have seen a significant spike [...] – with respectively 37 and 40 percent of respondents increasing their consumption of each category. Not all animals have fared well as a result of the virus however; the consumption of eggs and dairy has also jumped among 35 and 33 percent, as a protein alternative to limited fresh meat.
What's new in Asia?
1. Grab unveils Vietnam-focused accelerator program
Grab Ventures Ignite will nurture and support promising Vietnamese startups in their journey to become national champions in Vietnam’s tech startup ecosystem, in line with the government’s national strategy to create 10 technology unicorns by 2030.
2. Zomato is looking to enter the online grocery delivery scene as the Covid-19 outbreak slows down food delivery orders.
Zomato, the Indian restaurant discovery app is in talks with local online grocery startups Grofers and BigBasket to offer food products and other essentials on its platform, the Economic Times reported, citing a source familiar with the matter. [...]Food ordering online has seen numbers fall by as much as 20%. Grocery deliveries and mom and pop stores, on the other hand, have seen a major uptick in demand, as people hoard groceries and other goods over fears of the novel coronavirus, according to the Economic Times.
3. Food supply chain disruptions in Southeast Asia could spell trouble
The industry is of huge importance to both the health and economic well-being of the region, with the market not only providing essential nutrition to ASEAN populations, but also driving a large share of economic output and employment. According to the report, the food value chain contributes around $500 billion of economic output to the region – that’s about 17 percent of ASEAN’s total GDP. The industry also accounts for approximately 113 million jobs in ASEAN.
4. Singapore has moved all its hawkers indoors, and other big Asian cities are following suit
Along with the new facilities came regulations. Don't chop and prepare food on porous wood - surfaces must be stainless steel. Keep cooked and uncooked meat separate, and stored at precise temperatures. Wear gloves. Check the source of your ingredients.
What's new in the Rest of the World ?
1. Full-Service Restaurants Find Growth in Nontraditional Venues
"But when O’Neill and his colleagues toured the space, their entrepreneurial energy intensified. They envisioned a more approachable concept, brainstormed food-and-beverage programs catering to the hospital’s 9,000 employees, and discussed ways to leverage the 400-seat banquet hall punctuated by stunning city views. After a year of negotiations and a six-month prep period, Craveable opened WoodWind last October."
2. Immunity boosting box meals kit, medically approved by Primehealth, to Nourish Essential Workers and the Immunocompromised
The collaboration between Just BE Kitchen and PrimeHealth is the FIRST medically approved meal kit available for donations to healthcare, law enforcement or grocery workers or to purchase for immunocompromised individuals or for individual/personal purchase.
3. Nuro’s Driverless Delivery Vehicles Get Approval to Run on California Roads
The Nuro R2 is a pod-like, low-speed autonomous vehicle about half the size of a normal car that only travels up to 25 mph. It features two cargo compartments and no area for a human driver or passenger. [...] In February, the R2 got federal approval to operate on public roads.
4. COVID-19 Summit: How to Get Up, Running, and Efficient With Restaurant Delivery/Takeout
At today’s jam-packed yet socially distanced COVID-19 summit, we’ve been exploring the different strategies food businesses can take to survive the sudden changes brought about by coronavirus, a stopped economy, and massive disruptions to daily life. And no other sector in food has been hit harder than the restaurant industry, thanks to mandatory state closures of dining rooms that are forcing businesses to reach for off-premises ordering formats as a lifeline or die trying.
5. Coronavirus: Consumer demand for staple foods ‘high but stabilizing’
Frozen and packaged food purchases continue to increase in Europe as consumers stock their homes with long-lasting foods, according to the latest figures from market researcher IRI. However, the trends from Italy (which IRI puts at around three weeks ahead of the COVID curve in the UK) as well as Germany and France (around 2 weeks earlier) suggest consumer demand is beginning to stabilize but remains high.
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