Jeff Bezos-Backed Farm Aims to Revolutionize Conventional Agriculture

Jeff Bezos-Backed Farm Aims to Revolutionize Conventional Agriculture

Foodable has reported on indoor vertical farming in the past, but this startup is getting a major boost early on as it expands to compete in new markets.

Plenty, a Bay Area-based, vertical farming startup, will be expanding into Washington state with the help of a $200 million investment from this summer.

The company is backed by Jeff Bezos among other investors, and it has set plans to open a 100,000-square-foot warehouse in greater Seattle area— in Kent, Washington, to be exact— to become Plenty’s second vertical farm location. The new facility will be twice the size of the original one.

Out of all the vertical farming startups, this company has been able to raise the most money. However, what is most significant about Plenty is not its ability to appeal to investors, but the fact that it will be able to grow 4.5 million pounds of greens annually.

As reported by “Business Insider,” the amount of produce that will be grown in this new facility will be “enough to feed around 183,600 Americans, according to the USDA.”

Founded in 2014, Plenty “claims to grow up to 350 times more greens than conventional farms of similar size, while using much less water and land,” according to “Business Insider.”

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Dunkin' Donuts Downgrade Could Have Been Caused By McCafe's Recent Success

Dunkin' Donuts Downgrade Could Have Been Caused By McCafe's Recent Success

McDonald’s recent success with McCafe’s $2 menu items may be the reason why Dunkin’ Donuts was recently downgraded by a financial firm from a price target of $55.00 to $52.00.

According to “Business Insider,” Jeremy Scott, a Mizuho analyst, published a report explaining why the Dunkin’ brand was downgraded.

“We expect [McCafe] coffee products will be featured prominently in each pricing layer of its upcoming national value plan,” Scott’s report read, according to “Business Insider.”

The upcoming national value plan would be replacing the “dollar menu” the company retired in 2014. This new plan will include items priced between the $1 and $3 price points, in hopes to attract bargain shoppers

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Taco Bell's Urban Store Plans and Latest Menu Items

Latest news about Taco Bell are proving the brand’s tagline, ‘Think Outside The Bun,’ still fuels corporate’s decisions. The Tex-Mex QSR chain is breaking its mold by shaking off drive-thrus and adding alcohol to their future locations, in their latest push to expand into urban areas.

According to “Business Insider,” the company that brought to you the Naked Chicken Chips and, most recently, the Naked Egg Taco, had been testing its Taco Bell Cantina concept in seven locations and was slated to open four more by the end of 2017.

Now, they are expecting to open 300 to 350 “cantina-style” stores by 2022.

According to “Food & Wine,” the brand is “zeroing in on big cities like Detroit, Pittsburgh, Boston, and New York (including a plan to open at least 50 locations around the city’s five boroughs.” Each store will be somewhat unique with designs aligning with the local city culture, while featuring digital menu boards and open kitchens.

Taco Bell is known to push the envelope with its menu offerings. Take, for instance, the forbidden bowl and burrito, featuring forbidden rice, being tested in their Irvine location. According to “Thrillist,” a spokesperson told them “No other [fast food restaurant] has tested a black rice product like this." Claiming to be the first to test a dish with a grain product only eaten by royalty in ancient China, hence the name— ‘forbidden.’

That’s why it comes at no surprise that the chain will finally offer boozy drinks like beer, wine, sangria and Twisted Freezes with tequila, rum or vodka at their new urban, cantina-style stores. 

In their Las Vegas flagship location, for example, Spring Valley visitors continue to post pictures with their favorite spiked slush.

I came to Vegas just to get a bacardi baja blast

A post shared by Ava Lavalle (@avalavalle) on

I think I speak for everyone when I say: It was time, T-Bell! It was time...

From Clubs to Inexpensive Private Labels— How to Get in on the #WineTrend

Whether people are drinking more wine to get through the week #WineWednesday or to simply save the wine bottle corks for their next Pinterest project, wine culture has become increasingly popular in the U.S. showing a steady upwards growth in consumption year over year.

Wine Pouring

After all, the U.S. has about 9,091 wineries, with California vineyards accounting for about 87 percent of the total U.S. wine production, giving Americans plenty of options to choose from when it comes to New World wines alone.

The bottom line is wine is trending and big corporations, as well as consumers, are taking notice and doing something about it— from creating house wine to forming wine clubs.

While California, the fourth largest producer of wine in the world, celebrates their annual harvest in September, Target Corp., the discount store retailer, debuted its own private label of $5 wine called California Roots earlier that month.

California Roots

Although details about the production of this bull’s-eye brand have not yet been disclosed, five different varieties (Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Moscato, Pinot Grigio and a Red Blend) of the economic wine can be found in 1,100 Target stores.

Other discount store retailers, like Trader Joe’s, have been producing their own wine lines for some time now, but even though Target is just now launching this new bargain wine brand to compete with the likes of Charles Shaw or ‘Two Buck Chuck’ (now $2.99/bottle), the corporation does have previous experience selling the popular alcoholic grape beverage. Target’s Wine Cube line sourced through Trinchero Family Estates, has been sold in specific markets for years now proving to be a contender amongst other boxed wine brands.

Many different factors account into the price point a wine is sold. Some include whether the wine was mass produced or it was made in small-batches; if barrels were used or not during wine production; the weight and type of material used to contain the wine; what type of cork is used for bottled wine; the amount of wine that can be shipped at once; not to mention the quality of the soil where the grapes grow and how they interact with the climate in that specific location along with the appropriate care that is necessary to harvest the best grapes.

Earlier this year, Business Insider reported on how Charles Shaw wines continue to maintain such competitive prices. Foodable has reached out to Target Corporation to learn more about the production details of California Root wines and how the company can keep a low price tag. Target has not yet responded.

While Target and Trader Joe’s begin to go head to head with their inexpensive wine lines, the CEO of Vayner Media, Gary Vaynerchuk, is weighing interest on Twitter after he posted an idea for a fun new wine club to get in on the trend.

He posted two screenshots of an iMessage conversation to his friends, labeled ‘Wine Trash Talk,’ declaring “I want people to literally make fun of their friends for buying wine elsewhere lol.”

The idea is for club members to pay $50 a month in order to get four wine bottles ranging from different varieties (Red, White, Rosé, and Sparkling) delivered to their homes for no shipping fee. His promise? “...It’s either a sick, sick deal, or a stunning new find, or something really hot and hard to get…,” claims Vaynerchuck promising to surprise people with great value wines.

The vlogger and podcaster is asking people who are interested to specify in a google form whether they would like to join the four, six or 12-month-long club.