London’s The People’s Supermarket is one example of a grocery store that offers lower prices in exchange for a few hours work each month. Now the Portobello supermarket in Italy is hoping to use the business model to tackle unemployment and poverty in an area struck by the credit crisis. Unemployment in Italy has peaked in recent months, even reaching a 20-year high of 11.7 percent in January. Such figures have a detrimental effect on local governments as the number of families relying on benefits rises. The Social Services of the City of Modena – in collaboration with the Association for Voluntary Services Modena – has launched the Portobello emporium, which is fitted out in much the same way as a typical grocery store. However, each item is assigned a value in points, rather than Euros, which are issued to local residents after means testing, according to their individual or family situation. The most needy are entitled to a greater number of points to spend.
Feast’s interactive, skill-focused classes make it easy for people to learn fundamental cooking techniques at home. Students follow a lesson in real time and are able to interact with both their teacher and other students for support and feedback. “The Food Network creates separation between people and their kitchens and cultivates a fear of failure,” says Feast co-founder David Spinks. Feast, he says, aims to “help people get over intimidation factors and feel comfortable experimenting, becoming more confident and capable home cooks.”
WHO’S BEHIND IT
Co-founders David Spinks and Nadia Eghbal may have no culinary training, but they do possess extensive online community building experience, hence Feast’s emphasis on social. Spinks previously created The Community Manager and consulted for online learning startup Udemy. Eghbal co-produced The Startup Product Summit and worked for Newsbound and GreatSchools.
Chicago-based food ordering startup GrubHub is merging with its rival Seamless, creating a company with more than $100 million in revenue and a combined network of more than 20,000 local takeout restaurants across the U.S. GrubHub and New York-based Seamless connect diners to restaurants that offer takeout and delivery, taking a cut of transactions processed through their technology platforms. The companies said they collectively processed about $875 million in food sales last year via their website and mobile applications. They have operations in more than 500 cities in the U.S.
Eating is traditionally a social experience, something recognized by the UK’s Casserole scheme, which connects elderly people with leftover meals cooked by their neighbors. Now EatWith aims to link up travelers in need of food with residents willing to meet new people. While established services such as Airbnb let homeowners open up their empty rooms to visitors on a short-term basis, EatWith users can advertise their kitchen as an alternative to expensive restaurants for those passing through the city. Adventurous travelers get to sample a taste of a regional cuisine not available in commercial eateries and can also connect with locals in a way otherwise not possible. According to co-founder Guy Michlin, it’s not unlikely they will receive tips not found in guide books to make their trip more unique, and might even make a friend. Hosts typically charge around USD 35 to USD 50 per head, of which EatWith takes a 15 percent cut. While it currently runs a scheme offering a ‘verified’ badge to users that the EatWith team have personally dined with, it hopes to eventually allow frequent users to make recommendations for others.
via Brooklyn Based
Farmigo, a new online farmer’s market, is launching today in New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles, and they’re looking for a few good food communities.
Here’s how it works: an office, school, neighborhood group or even an apartment building works together to form a food community. You just need a minimum of about 30 members, or 30 orders per delivery and a set pick-up and delivery location. One member (or a few) takes responsibility for coordinating with the Farmigo team to determine which producers you’ll work with, and handles the pick-up and delivery of the produce. Farmigo creates a custom shopping experience for your community
From Mobile Cuisine
Emergent Research, Intuit’s partner on this research project, forecasts the food truck industry to continue its rapid growth. By 2017 food trucks will generate about $2.7 billion in revenue. This is a fourfold increase from the 2012 food truck revenue estimate of $650 million provided by the National Restaurant Association.
I know after the presidential election, you may not want to hear about another damn poll. However, if you are into food, then you may to read about this. People who called themselves vegetarians only make up 5% of the US population according to a Gallup poll. The vegan number is even smaller with 2%. What’s even more interesting is how marital status may affect your eating habits.
Unmarried adults are more than twice as likely as married adults to be vegetarians. Vegetarianism appears to be slightly more prevalent among women than among men, and among those who are older than among younger adults, but these are not big differences.
If there are so few people claiming to be vegetarians and vegans, why is there so much attention in food media and marketing targeted to a small group? It’s a long tail market, but it has a big advocacy.
Niche Food started as a place for me to post photos and blog about food that wasn’t cupcakes. Now with Instagram and Pinterest, I haven’t been post here that often. Today I have decided to “trivet” the content on this blog. Instead of using the word “pivot” which is used to describe when a startup changes their business model, I am using the “trivet” since is a food-related. (I hope it catches on.) Anyway, I have been interested in food startups, food apps, and artisan food businesses, so Niche Food will be featuring news about the emerging food businesses.