In this issue, we take a look at the potential for plant-based yoghurt in the country as we speak to The Collaborative’s CEO about the challenges and opportunities ahead as the company moves into the market. We also take an in-depth look at hemp as an emerging ingredient, asking whether it has the potential to stake a claim in the dairy-free sector.

Covid-19 has highlighted the fragility of meat processing across the pond, as plants have shut down and the workforce has been reduced due to health concerns. We dig into the potential of automation and try to find out if it could be the solution.

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The global pandemic has also had an effect on M&A activity.  We hear from the executive director at M&A corporate finance firm DC Advisory, who tells us what impact Covid-19 has had in packaged food and what could drive transactions in the next few quarters.

Furthermore, incredible pressure has been put on the food supply chain due to lockdowns, but experts are generally impressed with how it has coped with the system shock. We learn what improvements need to be made to maintain resilience, and why data is key,

Looking forward, as businesses open up to customers in the next few months, there is a revitalised concern over the safety and hygiene in food production. Could robotics and AI be the answer? We speak with the CEO of UK-based robotics startup Karakuri to find out.

Furthermore, across the globe, consumers have understandably shifted their outlook when it comes to food. We take a look at the long-term changes in consumers’ opinions on food, and how businesses can benefit.

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Continuing our coronavirus case study series, we speak to a tech-for-good firm about how it has been impacted, and in return how it has been forced to adapt.

Lastly, looking to the future, we speak with ValuSect, a newly launched consortium aiming to raise the profile of edible insects across north-west Europe.

In this issue

The Collaborative’s Meiky Tollman on plant-based yogurt’s prospects in the US

The Collaborative has dropped coconut from its name, received funding and is planning to drive the US dairy-free yogurt category forward under new CEO Meiky Tollman. Andy Coyne spoke to Tollman about his plans.

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Hemp: the next big thing for dairy alternatives?

Driven by consumer interest in a ‘flexitarian’ diet, the dairy-alternatives market is booming – and it’s crowded. No longer the upstarts competing with soy, the likes of almond and oat are now well-established. Is there room for other ingredients to carve out a foothold? Dean Best looks at the prospects for hemp.

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Will automation be the saviour for US meat processing?

Production rates have declined due to the coronavirus outbreak, with meat processors in the US either closing plants or operating with a reduced workforce. Simon Creasey investigates how automation could be the solution for meat processing in the US, and looks to the impact it could have in the future.

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DC Advisory’s Andreas Kulcsar talks deal-making during the pandemic

Andreas Kulcsar, executive director at M&A corporate finance firm DC Advisory, has worked on deals for more than a decade. He speaks to Dean Best about how Covid-19 has affected M&A activity in packaged food and what could drive transactions in the next few quarters.

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Covid-19, technology and the food supply chain: Strained, but not broken

The lockdowns as a result of Covid-19 have put incredible pressure on the food supply chain, and experts are generally impressed with how it has coped with the system shock. But there are improvements to make if it is to maintain resilience, and data is key, as Lucy Ingham learns.

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Rise of the robots: will tech revolutionise the QSR sector?

Though many still view it as a futuristic notion, the introduction of robots in the quick service restaurant sector is gaining momentum. Peter Nilson speaks to Barney Wragg, CEO of Karakuri, to find out how the company is gearing up to disrupt the sector with robotics and AI.

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How could Covid-19 change the way we think about food?

Ben Cooper looks into the potential lasting effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on consumer attitudes to food and on the global food system.

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Coronavirus case study: how Food Drop is helping charities access unsold food

Following our previous look at how some companies are using tech to adapt to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Lucy Ingham speaks to Food Drop about how the company has had to adjust.

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The drive for edible insects in Europe

There has been something of a buzz over insects as a novel ingredient in recent years. Peter Nilson looks at how a new initiative launched in north-west Europe is aiming to further the development of the sector.

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Next issue preview

In the next edition of just-food, we’ll be taking a look at sustainability in the food sector, highlighting the latest prospects for the work to deliver a truly sustainable supply chain for palm oil.

We’ll also be diving into the impact of the proposed US-UK trade deal, as we consider what the potential ramifications could be for food safety in the UK.

And, of course, we’ll look at the ongoing impact of coronavirus, but also look to the future, asking what potential opportunities there are for recovery in the food sector. Will we see a growing direct to consumer sector as companies adapt to the new normal?

You’ll be able to read the latest analysis and insights in the next edition, but until then, keep up to date with the latest news on our Covid-19 timeline.

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