Snap The Latest to Create a ‘Shazam for Food’
Haven’t we seen this episode before?
While many of us had a good laugh back when Silicon Valley’s Jian-Yang launched a Not Hot Dog app, the truth is big tech has been rolling out Shazam for food features for quite some time.
The latest company to create an augmented reality/AI-powered food recognition feature is Snap with Scan Food. Snapchat users can scan food by opening up the AR bar within Snapchat from the main camera menu option. From there, they choose to scan and click a picture of the food item. Snapchat’s AI will process the image and suggest a recipe from partner Allrecipes and other information, such as Wikipedia pages, associated with the item.
One reason for this is food is one of the easiest product categories to recognize and around which to create databases. It’s also because food recognition unlocks numerous commerce, health and nutrition tracking, and kitchen management scenarios if done right.
To read the full post and our review of Snap’s new feature, click over to The Spoon.
Food Tech Is Heading to CES!
The Spoon & CES Bring Food Tech To The World’s Biggest Tech Show
Did you know food tech will be a featured theme for the first time ever at the world’s biggest tech show in January and The Spoon is CES’s exclusive partner to help make it happen?
There’s still time to grab a booth! If you want to sponsor the event, let us know. See you in Vegas!
Amazon Alexa Debuts ‘What to Eat’ Feature
Amazon Alexa Expands Food Personalization Features With Launch of ‘What to Eat’
Last week, Amazon launched a new personalized meal recommendation feature for Alexa called ‘What to Eat?’. The new capability, which was part of a slate of new features for Alexa first teased at the end of September, gives users recommendations for restaurants, recipes, prepared items, and more based on their preferences.
What to Eat is an expansion of the personalized food recommendation capabilities of Alexa that the company began rolling out earlier this year with the ‘What’s for Dinner’ feature. Where What’s for Dinner offers personalized recipe ideas based on past purchase behavior, What to Eat goes a step further by recommending options based on a user’s dietary preferences and restrictions shared with Alexa.
You can read the full article about the latest evolution of Alexa’s food personalization technology at The Spoon.
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Our Ghost Kitchen Future Will Be Automated
Back at the Smart Kitchen Summit in 2019, Adam Brotman, the CEO of restaurant tech startup Brightloom, suggested if he was a young entrepreneur and wanted to start a restaurant business, he’d create a ghost kitchen powered by a food making robot.
I haven’t stopped thinking about this comment ever since.
The combination of food produced via robots with a ghost kitchen model makes so much sense, in part because both are new approaches that help reduce two of the most significant cost drivers of the legacy restaurant business: real estate and labor.
Consider the real estate costs of starting a new sit-down restaurant. Some estimates put the typical down payment required for the commercial space somewhere between $150 to $350 thousand dollars in a market like LA. And that’s before you even get to the cost of renovation and installing a new kitchen, which can cost up to a quarter of a million bucks
You can read the full story about the symbiotic relationship between food robots and ghost kitchens, here.
Kristen Barnett Launches Hungry House, an ‘Anti-Ghost Kitchen’ Ghost Kitchen
It seems a day doesn’t go by nowadays without a new ghost kitchen concept popping up.
While all that growth can be exciting, the ghost kitchen land grab has its downsides, at least according to Kristen Barnett. The former COO of ghost kitchen startup Zuul told me today in a video call that the industry’s rapid expansion has often meant low-quality food, a lack of transparency, and, well, just way too many chicken wing restaurants.
To counter this, Barnett has launched a new company called Hungry House, which she describes as an ‘anti-ghost kitchen ghost kitchen.’
What does that mean?
“We are actively being intentional about some of the more negative sides of the ghost kitchen industry that the public has come to know,” said Barnett. “Hungry House really was created as a reaction to that, seeing a way to flip those maybe less than ideal characteristics of the industry on its head and say ‘No, what happens if we infuse transparency, we tell customers it’s Hungry House making the food, we have a physical storefront that people can actually order at and see the kitchen and see the team?’”
You can read the full story about Hungry House here.
The Kingfish Company Wants to Lead a Tech Revolution in Aquaculture
Earth’s ocean ecosystems are deteriorating. Wild fish stocks are increasingly vulnerable. And yet by the year 2050, global demand for seafood may have increased by as much as 80%, according to research from the Blue Food Assessment.
The Kingfish Company wants to help satisfy some of that demand while reducing the environmental toll of seafood production. The agtech company launched its first land-based aquaculture production facility in the Netherlands before introducing its flagship line of yellowtail kingfish products in Whole Foods Markets across the U.S. Soon, Kingfish will bring its production operations to the U.S. with a new facility in Maine.
Earlier this week, The Spoon joined Kingfish founding partner and CEO Ohad Maiman on Zoom to find out more about the company’s aquaculture technology and plans for expansion.
To read the full interview with the CEO of Kingfish, head here.
Meet Nommi, a Robotic Bowl Food Kiosk
Last week, Wavemaker Labs announced the launch of a new startup and bowl-making robotic kiosk concept called Nommi. Nommi will be “a standalone robotic kitchen that is able to produce and dispense any grain-, noodle- or lettuce-based dish through a fully integrated cooking system.”
Nommi is the latest robot startup concept to emerge from Wavemaker Labs, the food automation incubation studio behind Miso Robotics (Flippy, a back-of-house fry and grillbot), Bobacino (boba drinkbot), Future Acres (farm assistant) and Piestro (pizza kiosk). What’s unique about Nommi is the company is a product of a partnership between Wavemaker, C3 and chef Masaharu Morimoto, each of whom hold equity in the new company.
“As we started developing it, we really wanted to get partners to allow this to scale quickly, and really kind of stack the deck before we start playing,” said Buck Jordan, President and Co-Founder of Nommi and CEO of Wavemaker Labs, in a recent zoom interview with The Spoon.
To read the full story about Nommi, click here.
Is Home Fermentation The Next Big Kitchen Tech Opportunity?
There’s been a fermentation boom in restaurants over the past decade. Chefs everywhere are using the age-old technique to make everything from kimchi to katsuobushi, and nowadays, it’s not out of the ordinary for high-end restaurants to have a head of fermentation on staff.
And now, thanks in part to the pandemic and the rise of experimentation in food making, more people than ever are doing fermentation at home. Anyone who’s tried to create a sourdough starter, brew kombucha or make sauerkraut has dabbled in fermentation whether they know it or not.
Still, fermenting is still viewed as something of a black art. Part of it is the weird and slightly creepy terminology (mother, anyone?). Mostly, though, it’s also because the act of farming bacteria to create tasty and healthy new foods is a far cry from the usual activity of assembling and cooking our meals in our kitchen.
Read the full story the rise of home fermentation tech, click here.