Happy weekend! We’re going to make this short and sweet, since there’s plenty of food tech news to read and (hopefully) a lot of sunshine to enjoy.
Without further ado, here are the stories in food and smart kitchen innovation that caught our eye this week.
New reach in food delivery
Food delivery creeps ever further and further into our lives. This week, delivery startup Postmates expanded to 100 new cities, adding 50 million potential new customers. They also deepened their partnership with DIY burrito chain Chipotle Mexican Grill, adding 300 new stores to their delivery route.
Postmates wasn’t the only food delivery startup with an announcement this week. Uber Eats teamed up with payment app Venmo to let people easily split the cost of rides and food orders. So if your friend eats half of your Pad Thai, you can make her pay you the $6 you deserve.
Target rolls out more Midwestern curbside pickup
Shoppers at over 200 Target stores throughout the Midwest can now take advantage of curbside pickup. This brings the total number of stores with the Drive Up feature to over 800, spread throughout 25 states — with more to be announced over the coming months. Which means Target is halfway to national curbside pickup retail domination and has no plans to slow down.
Drizly brings the Happy Hour to your office
This week online liquor store Drizly partnered with Anheuser-Busch to debut something that every workplace needs: an Office Bud-e fridge. The fridges have smart sensors that sync up to WiFi to automatically re-order beer (Anheuser-Busch, of course) through Drizly when stock is running low. According to a press release shared with the Spoon, the fridge can hold up to 180 cold ones at a time, and is set to rendering “classic ‘beer runs’ obsolete.”
A sneak peek at the new Delta faucet
Our friend Stacey Higginbotham of Stacey on IoT gave a video review of the new voice-enabled Delta faucet this week. In the video, she asks Alexa to “please turn on her Delta faucet” to let the water go. But things get a lot more specific; she asks Alexa to dispense “one cup” of water, and also to fill a vase that she places in the sink. Both times, success! These may seem like small victories, but it’s an indication of voice assistants connecting even further into smart home gadgets.
We the first to scoop the faucet, which lets you turn on the water with your voice, last year. The product isn’t actually for sale yet, but when it is — we’re interested.
PepsiCo unveils plans for new food incubator
PepsiCo has become the latest mega CPG company to launch its own food-centric incubator, following in the footsteps of General Mills, Campbell’s, and others. This week on an investor call they announced plans to launch a new food innovation center called “The Hive,” which is intended to refine and grow their niche brands, and seek out new startups for investment. This comes just a few months after PepsiCo partnered with The Hatchery Chicago, a non-profit food and beverage incubator, to help beef up their business.
Meat is off the WeWork menu
This week coworking space giant WeWork made some serious strides to cut their meat consumption. Its 6,000 employees were told that they could no longer get reimbursed for meals including meat, which includes poultry, red meat, and pork. WeWork co-founder also told staff that they were nixing meat options from the startup’s internal “Summer Camp” retreat. No mention was made of fish, so I guess pescetarianism is still kosher?