It’s been quite the week for news, both political and in the food tech sphere (which is, you know, just as important).
You can catch up on The Spoon’s latest stories here. To kick off the weekend, we also rounded up a few pieces of news that piqued our interest from around the web this week. Read on to hear about a new bioplastic made from fish scales and skin, customer engagement software for sushi restaurants, and inroads for voice technology in food. Enjoy!
New bioplastic made from fish scales and skin gets award
A new biodegradable plastic-like material made from byproducts of fish processing just won the James Dyson Award for innovative product design and engineering (h/t Smithsonian Mag). Called MarinaTex, the material was invented by Lucy Hughes when she was a student at the University of Essex in the U.K. Hughes can make 1,400 MarinaTex bags out of the waste products from a single Atlantic cod, and the “plastic” biodegrades in six weeks. The James Dyson Award comes with a £30,000 (~ $39,000) prize, and Hughes told Smithsonian Mag that next up she would seek government funding to build a processing facility.
Japanese restaurant YO! partners with Yumpingo for deeper diner insight
This week YO!, the London-based Japanese restaurant chain, announced it was partnering with restaurant intelligence service Yumpingo to get more insight into its customers. According to a press release emailed to The Spoon, when diners at YO! are presented with the check, they can rate their experience on everything from taste to speed of service. Yumpingo then distills the feedback into insights which YO! can at least theoretically use to improve its customer experience. The restaurant will use Yumpingo’s digital review platform in all 70 of its U.K. restaurants as well as for dishes sold via its Tesco grocery store kiosks.
Walmart partners with Apple for voice-enabled grocery ordering
A few months after launching Walmart Voice Order with Google Assistant, which let customers add items to their Walmart Online Grocery Cart through voice assistants, the retailer just announced via a company blog post that the service will also work with Apple’s Siri. Shoppers can now ask Siri to add items directly to their online Walmart grocery cart through any connected Apple devices, after which orders can be delivered to their door or picked up at the store. in addition to Siri, Walmart Voice Order also works with Google voice assistants.
Trager Grills integrates with Amazon Alexa
Speaking of voice assistants, this week Traeger Grills, known for its wood pellet grill, announced a new integration with Amazon Alexa (via HJ News). Now owners of Traeger’s WiFIRE-enabled grills can ask Alexa to do things like set the grill temperature, set/adjust timers, or shut down the grill after cooking. If they have the Traeger Pellet Sensor Accessory (this year’s hot accessory), they can also ask Alexa to monitor the wood pellet levels.