Coconut Husk Coolers, Non-Alcoholic Funding, Korean BBQ Car

Greetings! As the world is seemingly returning back to normal and your regular activities commence, we hope you still have some time to catch up on some food tech news. This week we found some neat stories on a cooler made from coconut husks, a brewery that raised money for its zero percent beer, and a car designed with a Korean BBQ kitchen set up.

Funding secured for Fortuna Cools ecofriendly coconut coolers

As you know, coolers or ice chests are normally made from plastic, and the cheap, temporary ones from Styrofoam. A company called Fortuna Cools, based in the Philippines, has created a cooler made from more sustainable material with the original intent for fisherman to use and keep their catch cold. The cooler is called the “Nutshell Cooler” and is made from coconut husks that would normally be burned by farmers, and therefore release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. The amount of funding was not disclosed but was led by ADB Ventures and Katapault Ocean Fund. The company will use this most recent round of funding to increase production volume and expand its sales and engineering teams. If you’re interested in getting your hands on one of these coolers, the company is set to launch a Kickstarter campaign soon.

Alcohol-free beer raises $50M USD in Series C round

Beer sans alcohol has created quite the buzz lately; Athletic Brewing, based in Stratford, Connecticut, raised $50 million USD in its Series C funding round led by Alliance Consumer Growth and TRB advisor. As more people choose to limit their alcohol intake, specifically Millenials, the non-alcoholic beer market is expected to reach a value of $35.6 billion by 2030. In the past, the only option for non-alcoholic beer was brands like O’Douls or Clausthaler, but now there are more “craft” non-alcoholic beers in the market like Athletic Brewing. The brewery uses four standard ingredients to craft its beer — hops, yeast, water, and barley — and offers varieties such as IPA, ales, stouts, and witbiers.

Rent a Korean BBQ Car

Korean BBQ typically consists of a very large meal with a wide variety of different meat and side dishes meant to be shared with friends and family. In the middle of the pandemic, Chef Chris Oh was inspired to bring the experience of Korean BBQ to people without a restaurant and designed the inside of a car to accommodate the cooking setup needed to create an entire Korean BBQ meal. Called the KBBQ Car, a table pulls out from the back of the car, which hosts a BBQ grill in the center and can seat four people. Some additional features in the car are a TV, strobe lights, and speakers. The rental comes with food to cook, including four pounds of meat, a variety of sides, rice, two bottles of soju, Korean beer, plus a variety of sides and steamed rice. The car can currently be rented in Southern California, and the standard experience costs $500, which includes a private server.

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