Food startups are adopting new strategies to adjust to challenges such as supply chain disruption, store closures and layoffs stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, Monica Watrous writes. Beyond Better Foods -- the maker of Enlightened ice cream -- is delaying innovation and selling more products online, Koia is adjusting the supply chain for its plant protein beverages and cereal brand Three Wishes ramped up production by ordering five months worth of inventory.
Thrive Market, a member-based online natural food retailer, says it has taken a number of steps to cope with unprecedented demand caused by the coronavirus outbreak and the drastic changes it has brought. CEO Nick Green discusses how the company weathered the initial storm and the procedures it has put into place to keep workers safer, and customers happier, as a new normal of shopping patterns starts to settle in.
Sales of beverage brands from Bolthouse Farms are hitting triple-digit growth with consumers seeking sources of vitamin C during the pandemic, said CEO Jeff Dunn. Sales for the company's C-Boost and Green Goddess lines have increased 200 to 300% due to their "immune-boosting functionality," he added.
Consumer interest in the nutritional value of plant-based proteins is spurring continued innovation in the beverage sector, Donna Berry writes. New plant protein beverage offerings include almond and pumpkin seed protein-based Oath, whey-enhanced Protein 20 water and Koia Coffee, she adds.
Allset, an app that lets consumers order ahead for dine-in or pickup at restaurants, has closed an $8.25 million Series B funding round. The startup recently added a contactless takeout option, and the new round brings its total funding to $16.6 million.
Restaurants around the country are experimenting with America's beloved burger, with options like the No Regrets Burger from Chicago's Heritage Restaurant and Caviar Bar made with duck rillettes, egg, gold leaf and bowfin caviar. Comfort and creativity combine with a mac & cheese burger at Truffles n Bacon Cafe in Las Vegas, while North Carolina's The Cowfish blurs the lines between sushi and burgers.
DoorDash is partnering with more than 2,000 grocery stores in the US to deliver items to people age 60 and older without fees. Grocery technology and delivery startups Freshop, Rosie, Mercato and GrocerKey are also part of the initiative.
Gerber Group, which operates more than a dozen bars and eateries in markets including New York City, has continued ordering in bulk from suppliers so that its shuttered properties can support laid-off employees as food pantries. Individual restaurants are also doing their part, with businesses such as Brooklyn's Greenpoint Fish & Lobster offering free meals to members of the community who are currently out of work.
With most of the country's restaurants offering only delivery or take-out, the online reservation service Open Table is working with partners in California to offer users reservation times for local food stores. The procedure is similar to booking restaurant reservations, and Open Table is currently working with six restaurants that have become pop-up markets and one local grocer, with officials saying the company is in talks to bring the service to other stores as well.
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