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Last-Minute Holiday Gifting

YourUpdateTV

A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/pc75McGSy5Q The holiday scramble is something many consumers know all too well. Whether they’ve procrastinated on shopping or are crossing off the final names on their lists, Emmy-Award Winning Television Host and Lifestyle Expert, Marisa Brahney has compiled a last-minute gift list to help those looking for presents ahead of the big day. DELIVERED GIFTS: As of December 1 st, consumers have completed less than 45% of their holiday shopping. Brahney says now is not the time to worry. Whether you’re looking to send something locally or across the country, it can be done via DoorDash’s Gifting Feature in a flash, or pre-scheduled for a drop on a special day. The lifestyle expert points out that there are many gifts to choose from, like floral bouquets, homegoods, self-care, desserts, and wine, to name a few. Brahney recommends DoorDash’s new Nationwide Shipping, where holiday shoppers can also order from iconic restaurants and retailers across the country. To gift someone, she says, “Simply open up your DoorDash or Caviar app and enter their address. Browse the list of stores — find the perfect gift — then, on the checkout page, click “send as a gift” to turn any order into a gift. Finally, share the link with your loved one so they can track the delivery.” For more information, go to doordash.com or trycaviar.com or download the apps to a mobile device. GIFT OF KNOWING EACH OTHER BETTER: Empty shelves can spell trouble for many last-minute gifters. That’s why Brahney says her list is perfect for those searching for something special for loved ones. The lifestyle expert says this time of year is perfect for reconnecting and spending time with friends and family, adding, “Now’s the time to really get to know one another.” She highlights Ancestry on her last-minute shopping list. “They are helping families learn more about each other by connecting them to family history, and billions of historical records, so they can build more meaningful connections to each other and their heritage.” AncestryDNA is a best-selling kit that makes it possible for people to find their unique story — from precise geographic regions to the most connections to living relatives. For more information, go to ancestry.com/dna to learn more. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ancestry TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@ancestry Twitter: https://twitter.com/Ancestry CASH GIFTS & MONEY MANAGEMENT: Brahney says now is the time to really think about less traditional gifts, along with keeping track of your payments. “Managing spending and payments is very important this time of year, especially if you’re going in on a gift with others,” says the lifestyle expert. With PayPal and Venmo, consumers can manage group expenses with digital payments — be it brunches with friends or chipping in for a group gift. PayPal also allows shoppers to send a free digital greeting and attach a gift of money so recipients can spend however they’d like, which is perfect for that last minute gift. Additionally, new PayPal customers can earn five dollars just by downloading the app, signing up, and adding a payment method, and new Venmo customers can also earn ten dollars when they sign up for a new account. Sign up online or download the PayPal or Venmo apps through the Apple or Google Play app stores. For more information, visit https://www.paypal.com/ or https://venmo.com/. Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/paypal/?hl=en https://www.instagram.com/venmo/?hl=en Twitter: https://twitter.com/PayPal https://twitter.com/Venmo GIFT OF POWER: At this point, most consumers are aware of supply chain issues, however, there is another top concern Brahney says many often forget about each year. “In the rush to get the perfect present, many of us forget the batteries. Duracell Optimum batteries are my go-to.” The lifestyle expert says battery-operated gifts are likely on a holiday list, adding, more than 1 of 5 toys on major retailer gift guides are battery operated! “When that ever-important gifting moment comes, you’re going to want to include the batteries that let those gifts truly shine.” A recent survey finds the majority of parents agree that the most important battery-operated toys and gifts should always be given with the best, longest-lasting batteries. “For me, if a gift is worth giving, it's worth giving what I think are the best batteries – Duracell,” advises Brahney. For more information, visit Duracell.com. Shoppers can find Duracell’s family of batteries at their favorite retailer. Facebook: @duracell Instagram: @duracell Twitter: @duracell GIFT OF FLAVOR: The last gift idea on Brahney’s list is chocolate. She says, “It’s perfect for loved ones or colleagues.” Lindt, the world-renowned Swiss chocolatier, has an extensive holiday collection, including chocolate figures perfect for stocking stuffers and seasonal chocolate gift sets. However, the lifestyle expert recommends the brand’s holiday classic, LINDOR truffles. These iconic truffles with a smooth center surrounded by a delicate chocolate shell were developed more than 50 years ago, and the round shape was originally designed for people to use as holiday decorations. She points out that they’re available in classic milk chocolate and other seasonal flavors, in festive bags or gift boxes. For more information, go to www.lindtusa.com, or find them at retailers nationwide. Facebook: @ lindtchocolateusa Instagram: @lindt_usa About YourUpdateTV: YourUpdateTV is a social media video portal for organizations to share their content. It includes separate channels for Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Media and Entertainment, Money and Finance, Social Responsibility, Sports and Technology. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727 yourupdatetv@gmail.com

December 21, 2021 01:34 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Mike Bako Presents His Holiday Gift Guide: GIFT IDEAS FOR EVERYONE ON YOUR LIST

YourUpdateTV

A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/ZxlS9kIS6CE For more information, visit DailyNational.com Every holiday season, we hear it again and again…The holiday season and the rush make it impossible to shop for everyone. Your spouse doesn’t know what they want, your kids have everything already, and yet, they keep dropping hints and making their wish list. With the holidays quickly approaching, many people are scrambling to track down the perfect gift for everyone in their lives. This year, there’s help. Digital Journalist and Trend Expert, Mike Bako, teamed with YourUpdateTV on a nationwide media tour to discuss great holiday gifting options for this year. Sending money for gathering and gifts: It’s the season of gatherings and gifts! With PayPal and Venmo, you can manage any group expense with digital payments – be it brunches with friends or that group gift for Grandma & Grandpa. PayPal also lets you personalize a free digital greeting and attach a gift of money so recipients can spend however they’d like. And New PayPal customers can earn $5 just by downloading the app, signing up and adding a payment method. Ways to Start a New Family Tradition: What better way to build traditions than through family. Ancestry helps families learn more about themselves by connecting them to family history so they can build more meaningful connections to each other and their heritage. AncestryDNA is a best-selling kit that makes it possible for people to find their unique story - from ethnic origins in precise geographic regions to the most connections to living relatives. With billions of historical records, like census, immigration, birth, marriage and military records, Ancestry helps people make meaningful discoveries about the places and people who came before them, and how they got to where they are today. Creating Your Holiday Wish List: Beyblade Burst Surge Speedstorm Motor Strike Battle Set has everything needed for battle including the first ever motorized Beystadium, 2 right/left spin launchers, and 2 spinning tops! Check this out, it features a spinning Motor Vortex disc in the center of the Beystadium and you can compete in head-to-head battling games with Beyblade Burst spinning tops, launchers, and Beystadium toys. For boys and girls ages 8 and up. Shop For Last-Minute Gifts: Target makes it easy and affordable for guests to shop for essentials and gifts up until the last minute, even when there is no longer time to ship. Target is truly a one stop shop for holiday needs, offering the most sought-after national brands such as Ulta Beauty gift sets and a curated assortment of only-at-Target products like the Target edition of Monopoly, limited-time-only LEGO® Collection x Target and popular heyday™ AirPods cases. And, knowing how important it is to get a great deal – especially in the final days of holiday prep – Target is adding new last-minute deals on thousands of gifts across its entire assortment from toys and electronics to apparel, home and beauty from Dec. 19-25. No matter how guests choose to shop, Target makes it easy to get last-minute gifts just in time for the holiday. With Target’s Drive Up service, guests can place orders online, let the store know they’ve arrived via the Target App and have a team member bring it out to their car. All without ever needing to unbuckle their seatbelt. With Order Pickup, guests can collect their online orders inside the store quickly and contactless with the scan of a barcode. Visit your local Target store, Target.com or the Target App to find and collect great holiday gifts in time for everyone on your shopping list. Last Minute Stocking Stuffers Gopuff is the leader in immediate delivery of everyday essentials. Gopuff delivers your everyday essentials in minutes, from cleaning and home products to baby and pet items, even local brands, food and drinks, including alcohol in many markets. Great for last minute gifts or stocking stuffers, Gopuff offers Gift Cards. Available for anywhere from $5 to $200, Gopuff Gift Cards can be used for any item on Gopuff, whether a high-end bottle of wine, coffee beans from a favorite local coffee shop or even a card game. The gift cards are delivered electronically, so there’s no waiting for shipping and since Gopuff features thousands of local brands on its platform, they’re a great way to shop local. About Mike Bako: Mike Bako is the Trends Editor for DailyNational.com. Mike is also the father to two beautiful boys, Evan and Henry. Reuters, FOX News, Fox Business, WPIX in New York, and ESPN Radio all frequently rely on Mike’s insights on new trends, current events, sports, and culture. About YourUpdateTV: YourUpdateTV is a social media video portal for organizations to share their content. It includes separate channels for Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Media and Entertainment, Money and Finance, Social Responsibility, Sports and Technology. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727 yourupdatetv@gmail.com

December 20, 2021 11:07 AM Eastern Standard Time

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New tech at ShowStoppers press event during CES 2022 gets kids outside to play, and sleeping better

ShowStoppers

New tech gets the kids outside to play, and sleeping better, at ShowStoppers® at CES, the press event scheduled for 5 Jan. 2022 during the CES tradeshow in Las Vegas. For press registration, please contact Steve Leon, sl@showstoppers.com, +1 310-936-8530. Picoo, https://picoo.com/, the world's first outdoor game console for kids, makes its debut at CES and ShowStoppers. Picoo gets kids actively running, jumping and playing together outdoors, and helps to reverse the decline of physical fitness and isolation caused by excessive screen time. Xplora, https://shop.myxplora.com/, will showcase a smartwatch for kids that provides security and peace of mind for parents, while also encouraging physical activity. Hatch, https://hatch.co, the brand that’s helped millions of people of all ages sleep more soundly, will introduce a new and dreamy product for little ones. The press event organizes product launches, sneak previews and hands-on demonstrations of new tech for work, home and play for journalists, industry and financial analysts, venture capitalists and business executives -- from AI to 5G to cloud, VR to digital health; to better, safer, healthier tools for working from home or going back to the office; to future mobility and autonomy, robotics or smart cities; to apps and hardware that drive mobile and desktop innovation; to wearables, IoT, appliances, entertainment, and more. About ShowStoppers Now in its 26th year, ShowStoppers, https://www.showstoppers.com/, is the global leader in producing press and business events spanning the U.S., Europe and Asia. Each event organizes product launches, sneak previews and demonstrations for selected journalists, bloggers, industry and financial analysts, venture capitalists and business executives. Industry leaders, innovators and startups exhibit to generate news coverage and product reviews, make new connections, promote brand and open new markets. ShowStoppers produces official press events at CE Week, IFA and NAB; partners with CTA, IFA, GSMA and CEATEC; and produces events during CES, IFA, MWC, NAB, CE Week, CEATEC and other tradeshows. ShowStoppers streams online, broadcasting live events, month after month. To learn more about how you and your company can meet the press at ShowStoppers press events in person and online at ShowStoppers TV, contact Lauren Merel, lauren@showstoppers.com, +1 908-692-6068, or Dave Leon, dave@showstoppers.com, +1 845-821-6123. Contact Details For press registration, please contact: Steve Leon +1 310-936-8530 sl@showstoppers.com Company Website https://showstoppers.com

December 20, 2021 09:45 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Shop the Hottest Jewelry Trends for The Holidays

YourUpdateTV

A video accompanying this announcement is available at: https://youtu.be/6_rpbsyq4eY Jewelry will be at the top of many holiday shopping lists as the gift that gives year-round. If you are thinking about giving the gift of jewelry you might be wondering, where do you start, what are the hottest trends, what is the gift that she is sure to love and how do I stay in the know and get the best value and style? On December 14 th, Anna De Souza – Beauty & Lifestyle Expert Journalist, conducted a nationwide media tour discussing holiday jewelry trends that will turn heads as well as offer product demonstrations. Unlike many other retailers struggling with inventory challenges, this season's most desired jewelry styles are in stock and ready to gift at Kay, Zales, Jared and Banter by Piercing Pagoda. You can get your gold and diamond gifts fast by shopping in store, with buy online and pick up at your local store or getting Same Day Delivery service to your home in select areas! You can also connect live with their Jewelry Experts in person or virtually and they'll help you find the perfect gift, but I hope I can help with that today, too! Top trends that Anna discussed included: The best gift to give HIM this holiday: Men’s jewelry is really hot right now, everything from statement watches like a Tag Heuer watch from Jared, to gold chains and diamond link bracelets from KAY and diamond studs from Banter by Piercing Pagoda that sit a little higher on the ear, really a thoughtful piece that makes a major statement. Diamond necklaces and earrings always make great gifts Look for beautiful necklaces you can stack shorter and longer. You always need some classic bling and a sapphire choker from Zales and sparkling diamond tennis necklace from Jared definitely do this nicely! Hoops are a HOT trend too! Yellow gold hoops are versatile and amust have, always a great place to start gifting with these styles from KAY. And for a romantic gift she’s sure to love, newest take on the hoop with a Vera Wang multi-hoop style from Zales. Shopping for diamonds for either anniversary or commitment jewelry: For a twist on a classic anniversary band, this Monique Lhuillier Bliss ring at KAY with round and pear-shaped diamonds. And keeping with the layering trend of the year, stacking multiple delicate and bold rings of different colors of metal really creates a gorgeous statement, and of course, you can also elevate your engagement ring with Jared’s lab-created diamonds, it’s a modern approach to classic jewelry! The Forever Connected necklace is also a must have with two touching center diamonds symbolizing those forever connected by love and is a gorgeous gift for her from KAY! For more information, go online or visit your local jewelry store by Kay, Zales, Jared and Banter by Piercing Pagoda. About YourUpdateTV: YourUpdateTV is a social media video portal for organizations to share their content. It includes separate channels for Health and Wellness, Lifestyle, Media and Entertainment, Money and Finance, Social Responsibility, Sports and Technology. Contact Details YourUpdateTV +1 212-736-2727 yourupdatetv@gmail.com

December 16, 2021 05:00 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Conscientious Consumers Misled by Humanewashing Food Certifications According to New Farm Forward Report

Farm Forward

American shoppers encounter a wide range of welfare claims on animal products, from loosely regulated terms like “humanely raised” and “free range,” to third-party certifications like Global Animal Partnership (GAP). Farm Forward’s new survey is the first of its kind to look at consumer expectations of animal welfare certifications, and its results demonstrate the demand for higher welfare animal products, including chickens who are not genetically modified for fast growth—which GAP has pledged to address. The survey results showed that there is a huge gulf between what consumers expect certifications to mean and what they actually mean. The vast majority of American consumers are impacted by humanewashing: deceptive marketing tactics used by meat producers and retailers to mislead shoppers about animal welfare. Conscientious shoppers who regularly seek humanely raised meat are the most susceptible to the effects of humanewashing. “All certifications, from the industry-aligned American Humane Certified, to the independent Global Animal Partnership, in our survey fell short of consumers’ beliefs about them,” said Andrew deCoriolis, Farm Forward’s Executive Director. “Many shoppers believed that all of these certifications guaranteed that animals were raised outdoors or weren’t genetically modified, when they don’t. The unfortunate reality is that, today, most certifications are marketing tools for factory farms.” Key Findings Americans largely cannot distinguish between independent certifications and those devised by industry. Survey findings paint a disturbing picture of rampant humanewashing by even the most trusted retailers, like Whole Foods, whose products are GAP-certified. Those who reported buying humane-labeled meat more often were also more confused about the meaning of certain labels. For virtually all certifications examined, consumers who purchased humane-labeled products at least once per month agreed with incorrect statements more, often by at least 20 percent, than those who never purchased them. There is a stark difference between what consumers believe to be true, what they believe should be true, and what is actually true with GAP, American Humane Certified (AHC), and One Health Certified (OHC) welfare labels. On measures like whether animals are raised on pasture, whether animals are genetically modified for rapid growth, physical mutilations, and more, Americans want higher welfare standards on farms and overestimate how much these certifications ensure. Cage-Free Confusion Over the past 10 years, hundreds of restaurants, retailers and food companies have committed to shifting toward cage free eggs. Farm Forward found that more than 50 percent of Americans believe that cage-free should mean that hens spend their whole lives on pasture, while 62 percent believed cage-free labels should at least guarantee consistent outdoor access (notably, only 9 percent disagreed with this statement). Regarding what the cage-free label actually guarantees, 38 percent believed it ensures that birds spend their whole lives on pasture, and 47 percent believed they have consistent outdoor access. In reality, cage-free merely refers to the absence of battery cages within an indoor, industrial-scale operation. Consumers expect that the "cage free" eggs and corporate pledges are much more meaningful for welfare than they are. These findings are particularly concerning when considered alongside the premium prices consumers pay for cage-free eggs that fail to meet their expectations. According to the USDA egg market report (Dec. 3, 2021), the average price for one dozen cage-free eggs (white/brown) was $2.63, versus the average price of one dozen conventional eggs at $0.97. Consumers are paying, on average, two and a half times as much for cage-free eggs expecting them to mean the animal welfare is meaningfully higher than conventional when in many cases, it’s not. In reality, producing “cage free” eggs costs approximately 25% more than conventional eggs, but retailers are banking on consumer misunderstanding of the “cage free” label and charging 200% more. It’s clear that consumers want hens to be given, at least, access to pasture and expect the “cage free” label to guarantee those standards. Retailers must do more to meet consumer expectations for welfare and animal advocates need to do more to educate the public that the modest improvements in systems like cage free still fall far short of their expectations. Methodology Farm Forward’s online survey was conducted by YouGov from September 3 through 7, 2021. The total sample size was 1,219 adults. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all U.S. adults (aged 18+). Participants were asked a series of questions about three certifications, GAP, AHC, and OHC, as well as the label claims to ascertain their expectations for products bearing these labels as well as their beliefs about what these labels actually mean. About Farm Forward Farm Forward works to improve the lives of more than 400 million farmed animals annually. Since 2007, its mission has been to end factory farming by changing farming, changing policy, and changing the stories told about animal agriculture. Contact Details Susan Peters susan@farmforward.com Company Website https://www.farmforward.com

December 16, 2021 02:20 PM Eastern Standard Time

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Journalists to discover new tech for work, home & play at ShowStoppers press event during CES 2022

ShowStoppers

Journalists will discover new tech for work, home and play at ShowStoppers® at CES, the press event scheduled for 5 Jan. 2022 during the CES tradeshow in Las Vegas. For press registration, please contact Steve Leon, sl@showstoppers.com, +1 310-936-8530. Stern, https://sternpinball.com/, will change the game of pinball as we know it. Boogie Board, https://myboogieboard.com, will push the envelope with new analog writing technology that supports efficiency and wellbeing. Sleep sensing earbuds from Kokoon, https://kokoon.io, will help wearers sleep easier and deeper. Vasco Electronics, https://www.vasco-electronics.com, will show an AI-based, award winning electronic translator. ViewSonic, https://www.viewsonic.com, will show new monitors and projectors for gaming, home entertainment and professional content creators, including the first reveal of the flagship ELITE XG321UG 32-inch, 4K gaming monitor. The press event organizes product launches, sneak previews and hands-on demonstrations of new tech for work, home and play for journalists, industry and financial analysts, venture capitalists and business executives -- from AI to 5G to cloud, VR to digital health; to better, safer, healthier tools for working from home or going back to the office; to future mobility and autonomy, robotics or smart cities; to apps and hardware that drive mobile and desktop innovation; to wearables, IoT, appliances, entertainment, and more. About ShowStoppers Now in its 26th year, ShowStoppers, https://www.showstoppers.com/, is the global leader in producing press and business events spanning the U.S., Europe and Asia. Each event organizes product launches, sneak previews and demonstrations for selected journalists, bloggers, industry and financial analysts, venture capitalists and business executives. Industry leaders, innovators and startups exhibit to generate news coverage and product reviews, make new connections, promote brand and open new markets. ShowStoppers produces official press events at CE Week, IFA and NAB; partners with CTA, IFA, GSMA and CEATEC; and produces events during CES, IFA, MWC, NAB, CE Week, CEATEC and other tradeshows. ShowStoppers streams online, broadcasting live events, month after month. To learn more about how you and your company can meet the press at ShowStoppers press events in person and online at ShowStoppers TV, contact Lauren Merel, lauren@showstoppers.com, +1 908-692-6068, or Dave Leon, dave@showstoppers.com, +1 845-821-6123. Contact Details Steve Leon +1 310-936-8530 sl@showstoppers.com Company Website https://showstoppers.com

December 16, 2021 09:30 AM Eastern Standard Time

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METER Group Unveils Major Update to AQUALAB Vapor Sorption Analyzer Software

METER Group, Inc.

Moisture Analysis Toolkit enables food and pharma manufacturers to address ingredient source changes, accelerate product formulation, extend shelf life, and employ the most cost-effective packaging using research-tested predictive models that present complex isotherm and water activity data as clear, actionable insights METER Group, Inc. USA (METER) today unveiled a major update to the AQUALAB Vapor Sorption Analyzer (VSA) Moisture Analysis Toolkit, enabling food and pharma companies to harness analytics and predictive modeling that accelerates product formulation, maximizes cost-efficiency of packaging, and extends shelf life. The AQUALAB VSA Moisture Analysis Toolkit (MAT) is a first-of-its-kind, intuitive, full-featured modeling solution that transforms moisture data into solutions using research-tested predictive models. This software helps overcome key water-related research and development challenges. It is particularly relevant as food manufacturers turn to high-tech solutions to increase profitability in the face of supply chain issues and consumer concern over safety and sustainability. Like most manufacturers, food producers are increasingly impacted by supply chain shortages. The pandemic has exacerbated existing ingredient sourcing problems caused by climate change. With the Moisture Analysis Toolkit, manufacturers can use high-resolution moisture data to predict the effect of new ingredient candidates on moisture in the final product. “In a new supplier situation, our clients rely on the toolkit to make faster decisions and react quickly to new ingredient sourcing,” says METER Executive Vice President Takuya Ohki. “That’s what the toolkit is all about—faster, data-driven decisions that allow our clients to stay competitive in a fast-changing marketplace.” Ohki says that data-driven decision making is at the heart of the MAT, which includes tools for selecting the correct packaging and determining shelf life. “Historically, companies have tended to over-package and set a conservative best-by date. Now consumers are pushing companies to address issues of 30-40 percent waste in the food supply—while still demanding a mold-free product. Tackling safety and sustainability in tandem requires our best use of science. Too much of this research is still not implemented in industry. The Moisture Analysis Toolkit is something designed to make this science immediately accessible, to allow food manufacturers to solve these problems today.” The MAT takes advantage of a unique moisture map created by METER Group’s AQUALAB VSA. The VSA generates a high-resolution isotherm called a Dynamic Dewpoint Isotherm (DDI) curve. DDI curves can save companies months spent identifying a critical water activity in low and intermediate moisture food and pharmaceutical products, because they clearly illustrate the change in sorption properties. While competitor instruments use just the DVS method, METER Group’s MAT not only delivers DVS isotherms, but it also provides truly dynamic high-resolution DDI isotherm curves, uncovering granular details which have never been seen before. Unlocking access to these critical insights allows for more precise formulation, more accurate predictions, and more complete product knowledge. The business benefits and value are significant. For example, a dry ingredients company struggling with excessive labor, time, and space spent on shelf-life studies reduced the amount of physical shelf-life tests by 75 percent, cutting expenditures on testing from $300,000 to less than $50,000 per year. METER’s Moisture Analysis Toolkit also lets manufacturers work backward, picking a final water activity that maximizes shelf life and then getting guidance on specific formulation decisions around ingredient selection. This not only makes the formulation process more precise, but also speeds it up. A cold press bar company used the MAT with VSA-generated DDI isotherms to assess moisture migration during the R&D process, allowing them to release new products 5x faster and bring new flavors to market before competitors. “We see our clients succeeding from a profitability standpoint, but to me, that’s only part of the equation,” says Ohki. “The Moisture Analysis Toolkit empowers food and pharma companies to eliminate waste and inefficiencies across their respective supply chains on an unprecedented scale. That’s about more than profitability—it’s about putting existing science to work on the big problems we have to tackle as a society.” About METER Group METER Group, a Decagon and UMS combined company, delivers real-time, high-resolution data that fuels production and processes for the food quality, environmental research, urban and agriculture sectors. Through the power of its employees, METER combines science, engineering, and design expertise to turn physical measurements into useful information. Learn more at www.metergroup.com. Contact Details JMRConnect Mostafa Razzak +1 202-904-2048 m.razzak@jmrconnect.net

December 16, 2021 08:30 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Instant Grocery Startup VOLY raises one of the largest seed rounds in Australia at $18m

VOLY

Australia's first instant online grocery supermarket, VOLY, has raised AU$18M in one of the nation’s largest ever seed rounds led by Sequoia Capital India, with increased backing from Global Founders Capital (GFC) and Australian-based Artesian Capital. This funding round will enable VOLY to continue to scale, expand the team, rapidly increase operations across key urban centres and start the national rollout. Following its launch in July 2021, VOLY has been preparing to take on the rapid food delivery market by delivering groceries to customers at incredible speed. It aims to make ordering groceries as easy and engaging as browsing Instagram and get them to you faster than you could do a trip to the supermarket yourself. Employing its own riders, delivery centre and store staff, VOLY does away with the need for customers to spend time in physical retail environments by giving people the power to order and receive their groceries in minutes. With a delivery promise of 15 minutes or less; VOLY is set to disrupt the +$122bn local grocery industry. Mark Heath, Co-CEO and Co-founder of VOLY, said: “VOLY is here to completely change the way people shop for groceries by giving Australians back their most precious resource, time. Our model, from a fully employed delivery and dispatch team to the way we use electric bikes to deliver, is designed around the way people live. We firmly believe that our customers have a better experience when our riders and other staff are part of the company, working with us.” VOLY retails most key household products available at any major supermarket - from fresh produce to baby formula and cleaning products - everything you could possibly need, available online seven days a week from 8am-10pm. The winning recipe is instant and free delivery, together with the best quality fresh produce; all sold at retail prices. “We’re doing away with the need to do a weekly grocery shop by providing convenience alongside reliability in a market that offers some of the slowest delivery times in the world. By owning our own supply chain, VOLY delivers at blazing fast speed without compromising on price, quality or availability. We source directly from suppliers, store in our own micro-fulfilment centres and deliver using fully employed and mostly full-time staff. VOLY is the supermarket of the future that is built around our customers, not the other way around,” said Thibault Henry, Co-CEO and Co-Founder. The seed funding announcement sets a new record for a food delivery company in Australia with support from Sequoia Capital India, a renowned venture capital firm. The interest in VOLY follows a new wave of investment in Aussie startups seen as world-class tech companies with potential to scale globally. "Australia's grocery market, which sees $90B in annual spends, is a large and profitable space that continues to be dominated by offline retail. The Sequoia Capital India team was impressed by the strong consumer love for VOLY, their compelling value proposition, and an impressive team of repeat founders that has blitzscaled businesses in Australia before. With on-demand models traditionally scaling very successfully in the country, the decision to lead their seed round and help them scale their business across Australia was an easy one to make," said Abheek Anand, Managing Director, Sequoia India. VOLY was co-founded by Mark Heath and Thibault Henry, who are also co-CEOs of the company and have experience working with on-demand technology brands across the food supply and logistics industries. Mark Heath helped launch Uber in Australia after a career at Goldman Sachs and Thibault Henry built, scaled and sold Balto which was a B2B last-mile business with clients such as HelloFresh, Marley Spoon and YouFoodz. VOLY’s management team includes Chief Technology Officer, Anthony Rey, Head of Procurement Lyana Labrode and Head of Marketing, Josh Peacock. VOLY has been an early hit with customers flocking to the app, spiking a rise of new users and incredibly strong week-on-week growth in sales. While currently available in Sydney across 42 suburbs - VOLY has plans to rapidly expand its offering from January 2022 to reach millions more Australians around the country in the coming months and year ahead. The VOLY application is available on both iOS and Android and at https://www.getvoly.com/ Ends Additional media images can be found here. About VOLY VOLY is an online supermarket and delivery service committed to disrupting the Australian grocery market by offering instant grocery delivery to millions of Australians through its mobile app. Setting new standards in the delivery industry, VOLY employs its own people and riders across micro fulfillment centres around Australia, offering household items to its customers in less than 15 minutes of placing an order. The move to employ riders full-time together with a strategy of vertical integration sets VOLY apart from the ‘gig economy’ and enables it to offer speed and quality without compromising on price. For more visit: https://www.getvoly.com/ About Sequoia Capital India Sequoia helps daring founders build legendary companies, from idea to IPO and beyond. Sequoia India operates in Southeast Asia and India where we actively partner with founders from a wide range of companies, across categories, including BYJUs, Carousell, Druva, Gojek, OYO Rooms, Tokopedia, Truecaller, Zilingo, Zomato and more. We spur founders to push the boundaries of what’s possible. In partnering with Sequoia, startups benefit from over 49 years of tribal knowledge and lessons learned working with companies like Airbnb, Alibaba, Apple, Dropbox, Google, LinkedIn and Stripe early on. From the beginning, universities, endowments and other non-profits have been the backbone of our investor base, which means founders’ accomplishments make a meaningful difference. For more information on Sequoia’s work in India and SE Asia, visit sequoiacap.com/india Contact Details VOLY Bilal Mahmood +44 7714 007257 b.mahmood@stockwoodstrategy.com Company Website https://www.getvoly.com/

December 16, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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Michelin Guide 2022 advances to Southern Taiwan Tainan actively prepares to host the world’s key leaders and let the world taste and see Tainan

Shape Advertising Co., Ltd.

TAINAN, TAIWAN - Media OutReach - 16 December 2021 - Having been in Taiwan for 3 years, the Michelin Guide has since become the growth motivation for local food culture, giving aspiring food and beverage operators a better international arena. Michelin Guide will be reviewing Tainan, the food capital, for the first time in 2022, lighting up Fucheng’s gourmet uniqueness. Facing a trend of globalization of food and beverage, Tainan specially hosted the “2021 International Gastronomy Forum” December 3, inviting 6 elite experts to speak on various topics, and share the unique insights of world- famous chefs and cross-disciplinary experts. The international and local gourmet forum and feast was attended by international ambassadors and representatives in Taiwan, with virtual participation by Japan’s Kyoto City and Yamagata City, Chinese Restaurant Association of Arizona, and sister city, Columbus. Tainan City Mayor, Huang Wei-che, said that Tainan is Taiwan’s famous ancient city with unique historical and cultural backgrounds, thus giving rise to the abundant source of delicacies, making it a top choice for domestic tours and delicacies for many people. Tainan’s attractions and delicacies have global potential. Besides winning the “Michelin Green Guide” 3-star travel in 2011, a Wall Street Journal’s food writer also praised and described Tainan City as the world’s gourmet museum; while CNN recommended 19 local must-eat street foods in 2015 for travelers to try out if they come to Tainan. The rapidly rising Southern Taiwan Science Park in recent years is creating the largest wave of south-drifting engineers in history, driving new demands, such as housing, transportation, education, etc. This is hence the perfect time to talk about the upgrade of food and beverage. The forum was led by foreign elite chef, Nicholas Pena Alvarez CMC, and Michelin-starred restaurant chef, Lam Ming Kin, who discussed the world’s overall objective definition of food ingredients, quality, aesthetics, service, etc., and the future trend of fine dining, and also analyzed Tainan’s unique advantages. Cross-disciplinary experts then continued to share various perspectives, such as product abundance, unique characteristics, local customs, quality and safety, etc., and how Tainan’s delicacies elegantly changed in the past four hundred years with the integration of culture. The event continued into the night, where the host led the guests in a feast by opening Tainan’s gourmet treasure box, which included the unique nine-square dish presented by an old local restaurant, ASHA Restaurant: Hua Wei Hsiang Stewed duck thick soup, Lily Fruits’ seasonal fruits, and the champion Swiss roll, “Irresistible”, by Shangri-La's Far Eastern Plaza Hotel Tainan. Key leaders from all over the world gathered in Tainan and learned about Tainan through the delicacies, declaring to the world: “Michelin Guide 2022”, Tainan is ready! https://youtu.be/YoAMR0nCN34 Contact Details Chen Zhaohong dana.tang@e-shape.com.tw

December 16, 2021 08:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

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