German appliance giant the Miele Group has bought a minority stake in foodtech startup Plant Jammer. The Copenhagen-based company uses AI to suggest complimentary ingredients and build modular recipes. 

As I wrote back in February:

Vegetarian recipe-generating app Plant Jammer is out to help those with low kitchen confidence who want to cook healthy meals and reduce their food waste. The app creates custom recipes for users based off of whatever ingredients they have in their kitchen—then walks them through how to go from recipe to meal, step by step.

According to a press release, Plant Jammer’s algorithm and “choose your own adventure” approach to cooking is now being tested in Miele’s experimental kitchen. The two companies are working together to improve Plant Jammer’s app and test new ideas for kitchen equipment and interfaces.

Around the same time they took a minority stake in Plant Jammer, Miele also invested in German shoppable recipe startup KptnCook. And just a few weeks before that, they announced that they were partnering with MChef to create a food delivery service for customers who own Miele’s high-end Dialog oven.

My colleague Chris Albrecht posited that Miele’s investment in KptnCook could be used to gain valuable data on customer recipe preferences, then applied to MChef meal development. Down the road, their partnership could also help Miele get into a more direct version of shoppable recipes.

I imagine Miele could use Plant Jammer for a similar purpose. They would collect data on what types of recipes customers “jammed,” then use the information to develop plant-based dishes for MChef. But more importantly, they will use Plant Jammer to see if people prefer their modular recipe creation to the traditional recipe format.

“We set out to find if Plant Jammer’s approach could be a viable alternative to recipes for the next generation and the preliminary tests point to a roaring YES” Gernot Trettenbrein, Executive Director of Miele Venture Capital, said in the press release.

If they discover consumers prefer a more flexible, dynamic recipe creation process to following a list of instructions, that could inform their future plans to get into the shoppable recipe game. At the moment Plant Jammer doesn’t have shoppable recipe integration built into their app, but they do have a service where users can build a shopping list; it’s not hard to imagine them teaming up with an e-commerce company at some point.

Plant Jammer launched in early 2018 and has roughly 10,000 active users. Miele’s investment shows that they’re not sure exactly what the future of the recipe will be, but they’re willing to invest in a few to find out.

 

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