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You’ve successfully navigated through the first half of your week — early mornings, school drop-offs, and meal prep aside; let’s raise a (metaphorical) glass. There’s lots to celebrate.

Speaking of glasses, Chris Albrecht wrote this week about BEERMKR, a crowdfunded countertop beer brewing device with a connected mobile app. Now, this in and of itself is nothing revolutionary — Picobrew has done the same thing, and others like Hopii and Brewbot had the same idea — but Chris is surprisingly optimistic about its chances for success. And this from an admitted beer hater! Read his full piece to find out why he’s so bullish on BEERMKR.

I wrote another story about home brewing this week, though a very different kind. Coffee retail site Trade Coffee Co. recently launched an app called The Hookup, which asks users 6 questions to matches them with their coffee soulmate. Cringe-inducing name aside, I tried the service and think it could actually be a pretty helpful tool for coffee lovers who want to up their brew game with low risk (hi, me).

More in home brewing/cooking: This week Appetivo launched an online marketplace for home cooks to sell their food to, well, anyone — at least in California. Chris thinks it’s one of the many startups who will capitalize on AB 626, the brand new California law which allows people to run food businesses out of their home.

Excited to see new ideas for recreating the future of food and cooking? We announced our Startup Showcase winners this week, so you’ll want to check them out!

On the opposite end of the spectrum from homemade, we have delivery. This week Jenn Marston wrote about Bite Squad, a food delivery service which hopes to stand out from the Uber Eats and DoorDash’s of the world in two ways: targeting smaller cities, and treating their drivers really, really well. Somewhere in between delivery and homemade lies meal kits — and Kroger just made some big moves to reach what we at the Spoon think of as the Holy Grail: convenient, fully customizable meal kits. Read Chris’ piece to find out how.

Or how about robots? Flippy the burger-flipping robot arm just closed out a successful summer season manning the deep frier in Dodger Stadium. Chris, our resident robot expert, thinks this means we’ll see even more automation in high-volume, quick-turnover food areas, like sports arenas. He’s probably right: a recent survey found that half of U.S. adults are A-Okay with a robot cooking their food. Let’s hope they like tater tots and chicken fingers.

In other smart news this week: Walmart files for (another) high-tech shopping cart patent, just months after the retail giant got a patent for fully robotic carts which can lead customers around the store. Also, I wrote about indoor farming company Farmshelf’s newest partnership with sustainable fast-casual chain Oath Pizza. Talk about local ingredients.

So you like reading about things like robotic shopping carts, smart homebrew appliances, and food delivery, do you? Don’t miss the Smart Kitchen Summit, happening in Seattle’s Benaroya Hall in less than two weeks! We’ve got a powerhouse speaker lineup and will be tackling a wide swath of topics on food technology, from the future of cannabis edibles to AI in the kitchen. And make sure not to miss the Future Food Court with plant-based chicken nuggets and 3D printed food! Use code NEWSLETTER to get 25% off your tickets!


Stories from this edition:

Nomsly, Red Apple, Wise Apple All Shut Down. What can Save Kids’ Meal Kits?

Around this time last year, The Spoon published numerous posts about the possibilities of kid-centric meal kits. Typically these were simplified versions of the meal kit that offered healthy takes on kid favorites and required little to no prep for parents.

Would you Buy an Amazon House?

As I look around my house and see the number of Echo devices plugged in, look at the empty cardboard boxes piled up in my garage and finish watching season one of Forever on Prime Video, it doesn’t feel like much of a stretch to see how dependent I am on Amazon.

“The Hookup” Matches You with Your Ideal Coffee Bean Mate

Finding a soulmate can be hard — but what about finding your coffee soulmate? A new app from Trade Coffee Co. wants to help java lovers of all stripes discover the coffee of their dreams.

Walmart Files for (Another) High-Tech Shopping Cart Patent

Most of us probably think that aside from the occasional wonky wheel, shopping carts are pretty good as-is. Put stuff in, wheel said stuff around. Done. Walmart, however, seems hellbent on disrupting the shopping cart with all sorts of high-tech gew-gaws and gadgetry.

Survey: Half of U.S. Adults Cool with Robots Making their Food

Robots are playing an increasingly bigger role in what we eat, and for half of the people in a recent survey from, that’s just fine. conducted an online survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults between the ages of 18 and 60+ asking them whether they’d trust an artificially intelligent (AI) powered robot to make their food — and half said yes.

Kroger’s “Easy For You!” Line Gets Closer to Customizeable Meal Kits

Kroger appears to be inching towards what we at The Spoon consider something of a holy grail: The convenient, customizable meal kit. The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that the grocery giant’s Easy For You! program now (in select stores) lets customers bundle together frozen entrees and sides into a package that can be taken home and

Food-X Unveils the Chosen Startups for Cohort 8 of Its Food Innovation Accelerator

This morning, Food-X announced the startups chosen to participate in Cohort 8 of its food innovation accelerator. The NYC-based program, which has operated since 2014, is one of the most popular food startup accelerators in the world, and also one that supports a wide range of business types up and down the food chain.

Farmshelf Brings Indoor Mini-Farms to Sustainable Chain Oath Pizza

Earlier today Farmshelf CEO Andrew Shearer announced on Linkedin that the new Upper West Side location of Oath Pizza, set to open this Thursday, will feature one of their indoor growing units. Farmshelf builds turnkey hydroponic mini-farms, about the size of a bookshelf, for use in restaurants and hotels.

Appetivo and the Coming Wave of Home Cooked Meal Marketplaces

California’s AB 626 hasn’t even been a law for a full week and already we’re seeing startups step up to be the among the first to monetize the potential home cook economy. Case in point: Appetivo today announced the launch of its online platform for home based cooking businesses (and it’s the second one in a month).

Suggestic Brings Personalized Nutrition to Your Fingertips

As we all know, it’s easy to decide to eat healthier — but sticking to your diet plan can be very tricky indeed. That’s where, Suggestic, one of the 13 companies pitching at the Startup Showcase for the Smart Kitchen Summit (SKS) this October, comes in.

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