After traveling these past few weeks to CES and the Fancy Food Show, we’re excited to kick back and do precisely nothing this weekend. Hopefully you have a similar amount of plans. But before you get to finally reading that New Yorker stack on your coffee table, take a quick read through our weekly food tech news roundup. This week we’ve got stories on everything from dairy-free yogurt to booze-free cocktails — enjoy!
McDonald’s Israel uses sensors to help blind customers
This week McDonald’s Israel announced that it would install a voice navigation app in all its stores in order to assist blind customers and those suffering from dementia. In-store Sensors from Israeli company RightHear will interact with customer’s phones, which will read out custom directional voice instructions. This move will make McDonald’s Israel the first restaurant chain in the world to offer full access to visually impared customers. It’s kind of shocking that it’s taken so long for this to happen, but hopefully if the sensor program has success at McDonald’s Israel it will spread to the rest of the chain’s global locations — and to other fast-food restaurants, too.
Shake Shack announces plans to launch mobile food truck
Shake Shack is going mobile. This week Randy Garutti, CEO of the wildly popular fast-casual chain, announced that Shake Shack would be launching a food truck concept in early February. The first two trucks will be in New Jersey and Atlanta, but move around throughout their respective regions. According to Skift Table, Shake Shack’s leadership team plans to mainly use the trucks for community events, private parties, and local festivals.
Israeli company YoFix launches dairy-free/soy-free yogurt
Last week we wrote about how Chobani was getting into the plant-based dairy game — it seems they’re not the only ones. This week YoFix Probiotics, winner of PepsiCo’s European Nutrition Greenhouse Programme 2018, announced a line of vegan, soy-free yogurts made from a blend of oats, legumes and seeds. The three flavors will have the “same or better” nutritional value as regular yogurt but will have no dairy, soy, added sugars or preservatives.
Coca-Cola debuts non-alcoholic “cocktails”
If you’re doing Dry January (and hats off to you), good news: there’s a new mocktail option for you. This week Coca-Cola introduced Bar None, its new non-alcoholic cocktail concept, in various retailers in Atlanta. The booze-free bottled drinks come in four cocktail-inspired flavors, like Sangria and Ginger Mule. According to Food Dive, this marks the first time a Big Food/Drink company has launched a line of non-alcoholic beverages — we’ll see if their bet pays off.
Did we miss anything? Leave us a comment or tweet us @TheSpoonTech!