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?
01 - China’s Pudu raises $15M for indoor delivery robots
Pudu describes itself as a “smart delivery robotics” company, with a majority of its products falling within the food services category. [...]. Rather than focusing on delivery apps, the robotics are designed for a variety of scenarios under the same roof, including hotels, restaurants and office buildings.
02 - Beyond Meat Launches Retail Products In Mainland China In Collaboration With Alibaba Group
Following its recent high-profile foodservice partnerships with Starbucks China and fast food operator Yum China, the food tech will now be collaborating with Alibaba Group’s retail platform Freshippo to roll out Beyond Meat products in supermarkets across the country.
03 - China online fresh foods surge: JD expects COVID-19 sales momentum to persist after 618 promotion
JD’s online fresh food business JD Fresh recorded a 800% increase in sales year-on-year in the first hour of its June 18th grand promotion (618) – with the firm tipping the trend that first appeared during the COVID-19 outbreak to persist.
04 - China’s largest private courier SF Holdings enters food delivery sector, challenging Meituan and Ele.me
The firm, which is the largest private courier by 2019 revenue in China, has gathered 85 restaurant operators on its new mini program on WeChat, named Fengshi, including Pizza Hut, Yoshinoya, and Chuangeyu Dumplings. SF Holdings targets both corporate clients and individual consumers with its new offering. Fengshi allows companies to apply for food delivery for employees regularly. Each employee can order lunch or dinner meals via a calendar on the mini program and all meals for one company will be delivered collectively.
What's new in Asia?
06 - Singapore to Allocate $40M to Help Agtech and Aquaculture Startups Grow More Local Food
SinGapore relies on imports for about 90 percent of its food. As the pandemic has shown us, that reliance on external sources can be problematic if the supply chain gets disrupted. The city-state already has one initiative in place to address this, the “30 by 30” program, which aims to have 30 percent of Singapore’s food produced domestically by 2030.
07 - COVID-19 Tea Transformation: Sri Lanka giants call for further digital gains after online auctions.
The Colombo tea auction is conducted two days a week on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It is considered one of the most crucial segments of the local tea industry as over 99% of tea is sold via auction. Before the online auction was introduced amidst COVID-19, things were done manually and took up the entirety of the two days.
08 - How functional drinks are fizzing while carbonated and energy sectors fall flat
Both the APAC soft drinks and energy drinks markets are amongst the largest worldwide, but rising health and sugar reduction trends within the industry have dealt mighty blows to both beverage categories. In this edition of the FNA Deep Dive, we take a closer look at how beverage firms are innovating to survive these changes - or risk getting overtaken by newer players.
What's new in the Rest of the World?
[In 2020], The restaurant industry was decimated. Online grocery shopping experienced record setting sales. And the weaknesses in our supply chain were exposed as people panicked and left store shelves bare. This year’s Food Tech 25 isn’t an all-pandemic list, but watching how companies navigated this, the darkest timeline, was certainly a factor for us (The Spoon).
10 - Foodtech remotekitchen shows that only a certain kind of digitalization will save restaurants
remotekitchen, a Mexican foodtech, is enabling restaurant owners to run their businesses using nothing but their smartphone. And I truly mean “running” in every sense of the word. It lets owners not only communicate with customers and receive orders, but promote the restaurant and even process payments.
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