Whether their names are directly attached to their product or they’re just one in a long list of investors, celebrities have been highly influential in the food and beverage industry; their popularity and ability to fund projects has catapulted celebrity food brands in recent years. In this episode of the Xtalks Food Podcast, Sydney talks about five celebrity food brands from various pop stars and one celebrity chef. She discusses Rob’s Backstage Popcorn from the Jonas Brothers, Tingly Ted’s Hot Sauce from Ed Sheeran, Cravings by Chrissy Teigen, Snoop Cereal by Snoop Dogg and Big Sexy Frozen Pizzas by Lewis Capaldi, all of which are either debuting or expanding this year. The team wonders whether the rise of celebrity food brands is a new phenomenon and what differentiates them from celebrity endorsements or partnerships.
Also in this episode, Sydney talks about Israeli cell-based breast milk startup Wilk Technologies, which recently received a $3.5 million investment from French dairy giant Danone. Wilk, which launched in 2020, produces cell-based human breast milk and animal milk. The publicly-listed startup has a number of patent applications, including one approved patent, on laboratory production processes that replicate the milk-producing cells of humans and other mammals. Although the cell-based breast milk market is still in its infancy, Wilk already has competitors, including 108Labs, Biomilq and TurtleTree, all of which have received millions of dollars in funding to bring cell-based breast milk to the market. The team believes this cell-based venture could be the most beneficial one to date but points out that rigorous safety testing must be done before cell-based breast milk can be commercially produced, distributed and sold.
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