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Can a kitchen’s design help us eat more sustainable, plant-forward diets?
Swedish appliance manufacturer Electrolux thinks the answer is yes and, to that end, has launched an ambitious new kitchen system concept to help us get there.
Called GRO, the new system is comprised of a collection of interconnected modules that utilize sensors and AI to provide personalized eating and nutrition recommendations. According to the company, the system was designed around insights derived from behavioral science research and is intended to help encourage more sustainable eating behavior based on recommendations from the EAT-Lancet report for planetary health. The company will debut the new system at this week’s EuroCucina conference.
“How can a thoughtful kitchen slowly nudge you to more sustainable choices,” asks Tove Chevally, the head of Electrolux Innovation Hub, in an intro video to the GRO system. “To make the most of what you have, to buy smarter, and eat more diverse?
To see a video of the new GRO and to read the full story, head here.
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I’ve always been fascinated with dumbwaiters. An elevator built specifically to deliver food between floors of a building, the dumbwaiter is an idea that is both ridiculous and fascinating.
And while I can’t be sure that someone like Donald Trump or Jeff Bezos doesn’t have dumbwaiters built into their homes (though Bezos would probably prefer robots and Trump manservants he could yell at), what I am sure of is the dumbwaiter has, for the most part, largely gone extinct as part of modern life.
Until now. That’s because Taco Bell sees them as a potentially integral part of their restaurant of the future. Called Taco Bell Defy, the taco chain’s new restaurant concept includes an elevated restaurant with multiple drive-thru lanes, food lifts, and a lot of digital integrations.
While I wouldn’t, unlike others, claim this new concept possibly “the most ambitious” prototype in restaurant history, I would say it makes a whole lot of sense for a restaurant chain that does most of its business through a drive-thru. While many chains have developed drive-thrus that have multiple order lines, the choke point always comes later when cars zip-up into a single line to get their food. By spreading out the hand-off of food to four lines, the choke point of a single window for food handover is eliminated.
Say you’re leaving for work and want to come home to a fully cooked meal? Or better yet, you want to line up a work week’s worth of meals and just want them prepared when you get home?
You might be a good candidate for the Celcy, an autonomous cooking appliance that combines a countertop oven with a freezer that stores the meals until ready for cooking.
The Celcy, which is currently in development, will store up to four meals in a freezer. Cooking can be rescheduled via an app or on-demand via request. When it’s time to cook, the meal is shuttled from the freezer compartment on the left side into the cooking compartment side on the right. A built-in elevator lifts and deposits the frozen meal in the top upper right cooking chamber where it is cooked for consumption.
You can read the full post here.
Food Retail Tech
Mashgin, a maker of computer-vision-based self-checkout machines, announced today it has signed a deal with Circle K parent company Couche-Tard to deploy seven thousand self-checkout machines at the convenience store chain over the next three years.
The move follows the initial deployment of Mashgin systems at nearly 500 Circle K stores across the United States and Sweden since 2020. The move by the second-largest convenience store chain in North America with almost seven thousand stores will represent one of the largest ever deployments of self-checkout systems to date.
For Mashgin, the deal represents its biggest customer win yet and is yet another sign of why the company was able to recently raise a $62.5M Series B round at an impressive $1.5 billion valuation. The move represents a 700% total increase in deployments over its current installed base.
The Mashgin self-checkout system is installed at the checkout counter and enables customer checkouts without scanning barcodes. As seen in the video interview from CES in January, customers can essentially toss their items onto the small checkout pad, and the system will automatically recognize and tabulate the products.
To read the full story, head here.
According to a release sent to The Spoon, 3D food printing startup Cocuus has raised €2.5 Million in a Pre-Series A funding round to scale up its proprietary 3D printing technology platform for plant-based and cell-cultured meat analogs. The round was led by Big Idea Ventures, with participation by Cargill Ventures, Eatable Adventures, and Tech Transfer UPV.
Founded in 2017, the Spanish startup has developed a toolbox of different 3D printing technologies under its Mimethica platform to enable the printing of different types of foods. These include Softmimic, a technology targeted at hospitals and eldercare facilities that transforms purees into dishes that look like real food (think of a vegetable or meat puree shaped into a “steak”), LEVELUP, an inkjet printing technology that prints images on drinks like coffee or beer (like Ripples), and LASERGLOW, a laser printer platform that engraves imagery onto food.
Read the full post at here.
SCiFi Foods, a Bay Area-based food tech startup, announced that it has raised a $22 million Series A round led by Andreessen Horowitz (a16z), making it a16z’s first investment in the growing cultivated meat market. The company, formerly known as Artemys Foods, also announced that it will be adding a new board member, Myra Pasek, the General Counsel of IronOx, who will be utilizing her expertise from Tesla and Impossible Foods to help SCiFi Foods bring its novel plant-based and cultivated meat hybrid through regulatory approval to the market.
The new funding raises SCiFi Foods’ total funding to $29 million and will primarily be used to scale R&D efforts, build out the leadership team, and market the company.
The Spoon sat down with CEO and co-founder, Joshua March, to learn more about SCiFi Foods’ new name, a hybrid meat product, and what it looks like to raise funding from one of the most famous venture capital firms during a recession.
Read the full interview with Joshua March here.
If you’ve ever visited a cafeteria at a tech giant like Google or Facebook, you probably found that the food is just as tasty (or tastier) and often better for you than what you might order at a corner restaurant or make in your own kitchen.
But according to Xook CEO Raja Natarajan, this kind of access to an abundance of tasty, healthy, and free food is more the exception than the rule for US office workers. This is very different from countries like India, said Natarajan, where most corporate employers provide access to cafeterias stocked with food options for employees. This is why, after trialing a prototype for what he and cofounder Ratul Roy describe as a “food court in a box” in Bangalore, they are eyeing the US for the rollout of their robotic kiosk.
“In countries with high labor costs and high food costs, it is very hard to offer this kind of experience unless it comes with automation,” Natarajan told The Spoon in a recent interview.
To read the full story, click here!