Perfect Company, a company specializing in smart devices for cooking and preparing food in the kitchen announced today that they have acquired the IP for the Orange Chef Prep Pad. Orange Chef, founded by Santiago Merea started out in 2011 as an iPad kitchen accessory brand. Merea recognized early on that consumers were bringing their phones and tablets into the kitchen to follow recipe videos and instructions and started by making a sleeve for iPads to help the device stay clean. Orange Chef demoed the Prep Pad at TechCrunch Disrupt in 2013, introducing the concept of a connected scale with a companion app to make cooking and following a recipe even easier.
The company has experienced a lot of change since that launch three years ago, including an acquisition by recipe discovery platform Yummly at the end of last year. After struggling to launch a line of new countertop products, 60% of Orange Chef staff joined Yummly including Merea himself, as chief revenue officer. Prior to the Yummly acquisition, Orange Chef had also faced challenges with the Prep Pad, dealing with many user complaints around app support.
Merea has since left Yummly to become a startup founder once again, this time to start a baby food company which The Spoon reported in October of this year. The company details are vague, but based on the website will likely “offer an ingredient delivery service and 10-minute prep time for fresh-from-scratch baby food at home.” Despite leaving Yummly, Merea retained the Prep Pad’s related IP including its patented technology and app. So how will Perfect Co use the acquired assets? Automated food tracking, for one.
Mike Wallace, CEO of Perfect Co responded in an email to The Spoon: “As you know we entered the health and nutrition space in 2016 with the launch of Perfect Blend™, which tracks nutrition as the user makes a blended recipe. Food tracking is the most challenging part of using any diet solution, and we see a huge opportunity in automating this process. The Orange Chef’s patented IoT technology, which not only measures nutrition of the food you prepare, but also records the recipes you make for next time, fits in nicely.”
Perfect Company’s acquisition of the brand makes sense; the company currently offers several different versions of the connected scale and app solution, including one to prepare alcoholic beverages, one to help with blended drinks and another to assist with baking. In a market where several of the popular connected scale hardware brands have abandoned their plans, including Orange Chef and Drop Kitchen, Perfect Co seems to have figured out how to make products that thrive.
Wallace explained, “A lot of Perfect Company’s success can be attributed to the company’s DNA. Prior to entering the connected scale space, the Perfect team had successfully designed, developed and delivered to market multiple technology products in the toy industry (accounting for over $500MM in retail sales)….The ability to execute is also what is propelling Perfect’s next phase of growth. Having successfully established a retail presence, the company is now aggressively extending its market footprint through partnerships with leading brands.”
We’ll keep an eye out in 2017 to see what becomes of the Prep Pad assets and how Perfect Company leverages them in new product offerings and partnerships.