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The “Grub Street” column in New York magazine reports on a new investment fund designed to “back nascent food-tech companies that want to improve the hospitality industry,” with possibilities ranging from “a WeWork for food preparation, to enterprise software for the restaurant industry, to new consumer food companies.”

According to the story, those examples aren’t random: “They’re the first three types of companies in which Almanac has invested. Pilotworks rents co-working kitchen spaces in six cities, BlueCart is a ‘streamlined’ mobile platform for ordering restaurant supplies, and Nona Lim sells all-natural soups and bone broths at organic stores like Whole Foods.”

The fund has been launched by brothers Dan Barber and David Barber, who have for almost 20 years “used their Westchester farm and restaurant to transform the food industry, from serving single-udder butter to inventing entirely new varieties of wheat.”

Dan Barber argues, the story says, that “the younger generation’s faith in Big Food has ‘eroded’ to a point where start-ups can easily poach customers, and that Almanac’s financial backing will help create products that can amaze today’s cynical, more health-conscious consumers.”
KC's View:
I tend to agree about it being a prime time to challenge big food … and it’ll be interesting to see how funds like these nurture small but ambitious companies.