How Uber Eats Continues to Grow and Lead in the Food Delivery Space

This year's Winter Fancy Food Show was full of innovative specialty products and incubators helping reimagine the future of food. Foodable had the pleasure of joining more than 15 innovators to the Specialty Food Association (SFA) Live Stage where trending industry topics were discussed. The following video features Foodable’s Paul Barron, interviewing Bowie Cheung, Director of Operations for Uber Eats.

Cheung explains how Uber Eats has gone as a lunchtime delivery experiment, partnering with one to two restaurants a day with a curated selection of meals. Now boasting a 24/7 coverage to 70 percent of the U.S. population, as well as, 70 percent of the Canadian population, with over 100,000 restaurants.

“Food delivery is a really complex process, there’s a lot of steps involved,” said Cheung. “In a lot of ways, every single transaction can go wrong, and so you need to be thinking about all audiences and how it comes together, in order to deliver a winning platform.”  

For a restaurant to perform well on a food delivery platform, Cheung advises operators to offer unique products, like the ones featured at the Winter Fancy Food Show. Uber Eats features images of restaurants’ specialty menu items as a way to highlight these options to consumers.

Discover how this rideshare giant continues to lead the food delivery industry by watching the video above.

Video Produced by:

Vanessa Rodriguez

Vanessa Rodriguez

Writer & Producer


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Miracle Pop-Up Creates Christmas-Themed Bars for the Holidays

During the holidays your bar just might be the busiest it will be all year. If you’re looking for a unique way to attract newcomers, Gen Z and millennials, and your regulars why not recreate your space as a pop-up?

Miracle Pop-Up is a Christmas concept that takes over bars across the country to create Christmas-themed bars. With different bar owners, Miracle Pop-Up provides a unique experience for guests each year from November to December. Everything from the bar menu to the decor receives a complete makeover.

The concept first started in 2014, when owner Greg Boehm transformed an unfinished bar in NYC into a pop-up bar serving holiday-themed drinks with outrageous Christmas decorations. Crowds quickly began to swarm the location leaving bar owners asking how they could recreate the same thing. By 2016, the concept became a worldwide phenomenon with pop-ups in Greece, Montreal and Paris.

Currently, Miracle Pop-Up has 94 locations this year, including their newest concept, Sippin’ Santa. Sippin’ Santa is a bar takeover specifically for tiki bars in partnership with tiki-connoisseur Jeff “Beachbum” Berry.

The creative cocktail menu has a variety of drinks like the “Christmapolitan Vodka” made with elderflower, dry vermouth, spiced cranberry sauce, rosemary, lime, and absinthe mist. Or the “Grinch Grog” made with blanco tequila, herbal liqueur, pine, pear, lemon juice, and Grinch syrup.

“It’s capturing a little bit of forgotten magic from your childhood and your family memories,” Miracle Pop-Up’s bar manager, Joanne Spiegel, explains to “Thrillist.” “[You’ll experience] the magic of great cocktails in fun vessels, holiday music, and all the decor and twinkling lights. It’s a great way to socialize.”

For more on Miracle Pop-Up, the holiday-themed cocktails, and which bars are participating watch the video above and read more at “Thrillist.

Research by:

Rachel Brill

Rachel Brill

Social Producer


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The Future of Edibles in the U.S. and Canada

On this episode of The Barron Report, Paul Barron is joined by Nancy Whiteman, founder and CEO of Wana Brands, the leading edibles company in the Colorado medical marijuana industry in terms of quality, consistency, and potency. The two discuss future innovations, laws, and potential brands entering the marijuana industry.

Wana Brands’ products are in over 450 dispensaries and account for $2 out of every $10 spent on edibles in Colorado. The company under Whiteman’s guidance has expanded to Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, and Illinois with hopes to expand their market in Florida and several other states.

Listen to this episode of The Barron Report for more insights on what the future will hold for edibles in the U.S. and Canada and how it will impact the foodservice industry.

SHOW NOTES

  • 17:37 - Edible Sales to Reach More Than $4 Billion by 2020

  • 19:12 - From Drug Trade to Grown Commercially in the U.S.

  • 22:22 - Bigger CPG Companies Looking to Enter the Cannabis Sector

  • 26:18 - What’s Next for Wana Brands

  • 1:00 - How Wana Brands Became an Edible Company

  • 4:06 - How Edibles are Expanding into the Foodservice Industry

  • 7:15 - Cannabis-Based Stocks

  • 9:03 - Predictions for Public Consumption in Restaurants and Bars

  • 15:18 - Dissecting Dosages for Medicinal and Recreational Use

 
 

How This Firm Became One of the Biggest VC Funds in Food

As consumer tastes continue to evolve, the more demand there is for high-quality healthier products.

With that in mind, these suburban moms turned venture capitalists are on a mission to bring healthier packaged food brands to the masses.

Both Lauren Jupiter and Jordan Gaspar used to be in grocery aisles as “the people who read the nutrition facts, the people who read the ingredients in the two different products sitting next to each other on the shelf" and decided to launch the investment firm AccelFoods to help grow small packaged food products they believe in.

Found in 2013 with only $4 million, the firm now has three separate funds of $85 million.

The fund and the companies it backs have been a success because consumers have changed the way they shop at grocery stores.

They want “cleaner labels, more transparency, not having ingredient panels that are 60 items long and full of words that you can’t pronounce,” said Jupiter.

Today's buyers are willing to invest in higher quality products that are better for them. Food is now seen as fuel to millennials, the better the fuel or food, the better performance of the engine or body.

"The Baby Boomer generation that’s aging and looking for natural alternatives to traditional medicine...the millennial mom purchasing on behalf of her family and investing in allergen-friendly foods...digital natives who are willing to invest more heavily into the food they put in their bodies than even the house that they sleep in,” said Gaspar.

Read more about the firm and how it's fostering the growth of smaller food product companies at "Forbes' now.

Earlier in the year, we spoke to Gasper about how the firm is disrupting the industry with its companies in its portfolio offering innovative food products.

Listen to this episode of The Barron Report below, where host Paul Barron speaks with Gaspar about trends and what types of companies AccelFoods seeks to invest on.

Big Food is Fostering Innovation

Large corporations have been noticing how consumers have been favoring products made by independent startup food companies, since a good chunk of those provide craft, high-quality, niche, and, a lot of times, healthier products.

Needless to say, big food wants in. Especially, since this specialty food segment has a tremendous growth potential.

So, how is big food seeking innovation?

Companies like Campbell Soup, Chobani, Kellogg, Kraft Heinz, Nestlé, PepsiCo, and Tyson Foods are creating innovation centers and/or partnering with existing incubators to help niche brands grow and flourish.

PepsiCo

Pepsico’s new center for innovation is called “The Hive.”

According to Food Dive, “this incubator will be a separate entrepreneurial group outside of the core headquarters that will help nurture niche products already in the portfolio,” like for example Stubborn Soda.

As Foodable has reported in the past, PepsiCo also partnered with a Chicago-based, food and beverage incubator, The Hatchery, in order to look at other startup brands that have the potential of becoming a possible venture for the beverage giant.

Tyson Foods

Earlier this year, Tyson Foods announced that it will be working with two incubators—Plug and Play and 1871—linking the food giant to innovation hailing from Silicon Valley and Chicago.

That’s not the first time Tyson showed it’s commitment for innovation. In fact, the company launched a venture capital fund in late 2016 “to invest in companies developing breakthrough technologies, business models and products to sustainably feed the growing world population,” according to the company website.

Since then, Tyson has invested in brands like for example Beyond Meat, that promote sustainability and others that promote the internet of food, like FoodLogiq.

Tyson is spearheading innovation through its own brand, ¡Yappah!, which aims to fight food waste by utilizing “forgotten” ingredients like rescued vegetable puree and spent grain to make protein crisps, and investments in companies like Future Meat Technologies, an Israel-based “biotechnology company aiming to transform global meat production through distributive manufacturing of fat and muscle cells, increasing food safety and reducing ecological impact worldwide,” as stated in the company’s website.

Chobani

Chobani is another company looking to foster innovation through its Food Tech Residency. The company set out specific challenges in the food and agriculture value chain they would like to tackle (like food waste, food safety, water conservation, logistics, etc.) and invites like-minded, early-stage tech and agriculture startups to apply for funding.

Currently, the brand is hosting it’s fourth incubator class, since it launched the program in 2016, with companies developing products like tea, hummus and allergen-free baking ingredients. Alongside the food startups, two tech companies will be participating in Chobani’s inaugural Tech Residency Program—CinderBio and Skyven Technologies.

Watch the video above to learn more and stay tuned to other Industry Pulse episodes to keep up with all the innovation happening around your business! To learn about other consumer trends involving sustainability like plant-based meals, watch the video below: