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. New trends that food and beverage companies expect post the COVID-19 period: Infiniti reveals key lessons from China’s recovering F&B Industry
As China enters the recovery phase after months of battling the coronavirus outbreak, the food and beverage sector companies in China have started to resume operations. However, the food and beverage sector in the country is far from going back to the normalcy as it was before the crisis, much has changed in the consumer approach to the F&B sector.
2. Starbucks joins hands with Beyond Meat, Inc and Oatly to roll out plant-based options at Chinese stores
The plant-based meat market globally is estimated to be valued at $12.1 billion in 2019 and is projected to reach $27.9 billion by 2025 at an annual growth rate of 15 percent during the forecast period, according to research company MarketsandMarkets.
3. How is China’s catering industry evolving under the impacts of Covid -19?
Contrary to expectations, the price increase in dishes by restaurants came before the so-called retaliatory consumption by food aficionados. As lockdown is gradually ended and local people return to work in some areas, more and more consumers go to restaurants after a long absence. However, they soon found that there was a large price increase on the menu. Taking Haidilao’s popular dish, Fried Crispy Pork Sticks, as an example, its price was raised by 83 percent from CNY 24 before the lockdown to CNY 44 per dish early this April, when most of its restaurants were reopened.
4. Boosted by US$6 million Alibaba cash injection, Hong Kong compostable food packaging start-up takes on single-use plastics
Their product, dubbed “green composite material”, is made from the leftover pulp of bamboo and sugarcane using Ecoinno’s proprietary processes. The material will completely decompose in 75 days when put in the soil.
5. How COVID-19 Will Transform the Fresh Food Industry in China
According to global consultancy McKinsey, since the Chinese Lunar New Year in late January, the meat sales of large supermarket chains observed year-on-year growth of more than 30 percent, going even as high as 70 to 80 percent. Daily new users of major fresh food e-commerce and online to offline (O2O) platforms have increased by 50 to 200 percent, and year-on-year growth in transaction volume on these platforms has risen three to four times.
What's new in Asia?
6.Thai AirAsia Launches F&B Delivery Service
Thai AirAsia is about to launch a home delivery service of its most popular in-flight F&B options such as stir-fried yentafo, teriyaki chicken and rice, basil rice with fried egg, and mango with two-tone sticky rice.
7. Philippines-based CloudEats has secured $1.4 million in a seed funding round
Launched in June last year, the startup has partnered with 70 in-house restaurants and currently operates five cloud kitchens in the Philippines. Its meals are available through GrabFood, Foodpanda, and Lalafood.
8. Indian online grocery platform Bigbasket raises $50 million debt funding from Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.
In April, Bigbasket also partnered with mobility providers like Uber and Rapido to provide and deliver grocery orders in various parts of the country.
9. Singaporean AI startup that wants to personalize dining experiences secures funding
“The more a user uses Easy Eat’s AI tech, the more personalized it gets,” said Wassem, EASY EAT's Founder. “Imagine the app taking care of your dining preferences, allergies, calories, [and] the best payment options, and rewarding you for loyalty without any extra effort.”
10. A 'millionaires club' is chauffeuring take-out from Michelin-starred restaurants to its "ultra wealthy" members in Thailand
Jakkapun Rattanapet, founder of the concierge company Silver Voyage Club, said his company restricted its business to serve those ordering takeout, and launched the White Glove Delivery service as a rewards program for those who have at least $1 million in the bank.
The butlers, wearing white gloves, can even come in to set the table and formally present the take-out to clients, to give them as close to a true dine-in experience as possible.
What's new in the Rest of the World ?
12. How the changing restaurant industry has shaped investors' appetite for food and robotics
A wave of startups has made landfall in a food tech world that broadly claimed $13.5 billion in venture capital across 440 deals worldwide in 2019, according to PitchBook data.
Companies under the more-specific food robotics umbrella aim to leverage automation to make key tasks in the food industry faster, safer, more reliable and, over time, less expensive. Some of these solutions can replace or augment tasks traditionally completed by human workers. Here, investors spread $1.3 billion across 23 deals last year.
13. Uber Eats exits Saudi & Egypt, transfers business to Careem Now in UAE
The company in the filing announced that it would fully discontinue Uber Eats operations in the Czech Republic, Egypt, Honduras, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Uruguay and Ukraine by June 4, 2020.
14. VMG, China’s XVC lead nearly $50m funding for US-based online grocer Weee
Founded in January 2015 by Larry Liu, Weee started as a community group-buying platform that procured fresh produce, Asian spices and fresh ingredients, dairy products, as well as other groceries from third-party suppliers. In 2017, the company developed into an e-commerce website with a self-operated delivery and warehouse network and partnerships with brands, local farms, and restaurants to offer customers farm-to-door shopping experience. Customers can place orders on the Weee mobile app, WeChat mini-program, or Facebook to get doorstep deliveries.
15. Restaurant Suppliers Selling to Consumers is Officially a Trend
This sudden rush has forced even the biggest food retailers like Amazon and Walmart to struggle with inventory stocks and delivery windows. Shopping from restaurant suppliers gives consumers another avenue for grocery shopping, and helps ease some of the strain on existing retailers. This D2C move also helps restaurant suppliers stay in business, keep people employed and prevents food from going to waste.
16. Bear Robotics CEO on the Role of Restaurant Server Robots in a COVID (and Beyond) World
Bear is the company behind Penny, the autonomous front of house robot that can bring food to tables and carry empty plates back to be cleaned. [...]
The changes he’s talking about are what concerns customers now have. Before they didn’t care about the robot because they were most interested in the food. But in a pandemic world, customers now want to know who has touched their food and the cleanliness of those hands.
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