By selling one in every five pounds of chicken, beef or pork in the US, it’s safe to say that Tyson Foods is responsible for a whole bunch of the food that goes onto consumer plates.
And now, if smart kitchen platform company Innit has its way, consumers will soon be cooking all that meat (and maybe eventually some of the lab-grown stuff) with the help of QR codes, Google smart displays and connected appliances.
That’s the vision anyway that will be on display this weekend in New York City as the company demos an integration developed by Tyson at the Food Loves Tech conference. According to Innit CEO Kevin Brown, the company will show off its integration with GE ovens and a Google smart display.
The demo will start “with a QR code on a package of Tyson protein, connecting via Google Assistant to Innit, and sending an expert cook program to a GE oven (that is) tailored to that SKU,” said Brown via email.
It makes sense that Innit, who has been busy partnering with big appliance brands like GE, LG and Electrolux over the past year, now has its sights set on packaged food brands. The company, which acquired Shopwell in 2017 and recently relaunched that platform at Smart Kitchen Summit, has a huge database of CPG information that it can tie directly to optimized recipes.
As for Tyson, partnering with a company like Innit makes sense as well. Through Innit’s integration with Google Assistant, packaged food brands like Tyson can get recipes and integrated advertising onto what is a rapidly growing installed base of smart displays. This deal could also allow them to create cook instructions optimized for specific appliance brands (350 degrees in a GE oven might be slightly different than 350 degrees in LG or Whirlpool) and have them sent directly to the oven.
The news caps off a busy time for Innit. Not only did they launch their app into the UK this past week, they will also unveil the first fruits of their partnership with small appliance division of Philips. The company will show how a Phillips air fryer is discoverable within the My Appliances section of the Innit app and how a home cook has access to “appliance-aware modular meals with video guidance on how to use the appliance,” according to Brown.
Stepping back, the move to integrate packaged food providers into the connected kitchen marks a step forward in the space as companies like Innit try to tie together the various pieces of the cooking journey. At the Smart Kitchen Summit last month, one of the issues brought up on stage was the need for greater connections between the various platforms to enable more seamless digital-powered cooking experiences. While fragmentation isn’t going away anytime soon, the connection between food and appliance is an important one and it will be interesting to see if other big CPG brands get on board with the connected kitchen.