Welcome to the weekend! Let’s kick things off with some food tech news, shall we?
We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites from ’round the web, including stories on fancy ice cube-making devices, digital produce procurement platforms, and augmented reality sandwiches. Enjoy.
GE’s innovation hub tackles clear cocktail ice with new countertop device
Aspiring mixologists, rejoice! FirstBuild, an innovation hub backed by GE Appliances, is following up on its opal nugget ice maker with a crowdfunding campaign for a new countertop device that makes large, crystal-clear cocktail ice cubes. It’s a multi-part system. First, the Forge Ice System makes a pair of large ice “gems” in four hours. Then, a separate heated press (available at an added cost) transforms each gem into an ice sphere in roughly one minute. With 21 days remaining on the campaign, the Forge Ice System has raised 252 percent of its funding goal. Anticipated delivery is May 2020.
Subway teams up with Qreal.io for augmented reality (AR) sandwich promos
To celebrate the launch of its new Ciabatta Collection, Subway is partnering with QReal.io (a subsidiary of the Glimpse Group) to create an AR-powered promotional mobile ad campaign. People can click through a Subway blog post to see a 3D model of any of the three new ciabatta sandwiches, which they can turn and enlarge using their mouse. The promotion doesn’t have a ton of capabilities (you can’t actually order anything), but nonetheless it’s interesting to see a chain as large as Subway experimenting with AR.
Fairway market now using Forager to source local food
This week Forager, the digital procurement system for food, emailed The Spoon to say it was working with Fairway to help the grocery chain better source local goods in its stores. Maine-based Forager has a platform which connects restaurants and grocers to local producers, helping them buy food directly and streamline payments. Fairway is currently using Forager only for produce right now, but may expand those efforts to cheese and other areas if the partnership proves successful.
ckbk launches digital cookbook subscription service
Digital cookbook platform ckbk launched this week to the professional market. Kind of like the Spotify for recipes, ckbk lets chefs, caterers and other foodservice pros access cookbooks from its digital database. The company launched its consumer-facing service in March of this year after completing a successful Kickstarter campaign and finishing the Techstars startup accelerator program. ckbk’s online collection currently includes 350 cookbooks and over 75,000 recipes.
Did we miss anything? Tweet us @TheSpoonTech with your favorite food tech stories from the week!