Tovala, creator of the eponymous smart oven, announced today that it has expanded the capabilities of its scan-to-cook feature to include packaged breakfast items from brands including Amy’s Kitchen, Eggo, Special K and more.
The update is being automatically sent out by Tovala and works with both gen-1 and gen-2 ovens. Tovala owners can go to https://www.tovala.com/scantocookgroceries to see the full list of nearly 400 compatible products. To cook, users simply scan the barcode of the item and the Tovala will run through a pre-programmed cooking sequence developed by the company’s chefs.
The move builds on earlier efforts by Tovala to broaden the usefulness of its device. Initially, the Tovala oven was primarily good for cooking Tovala meals, but the company has improved the flexibility of its product over the past year by releasing its second-gen oven, launching its scan-to-cook feature for Trader Joe’s frozen food, and releasing automatic cook programs for Beyond Meat products.
All of these moves help make the Tovala more versatile in the smart oven space, which is packed with the likes of June, Brava, Whirlpool and Suvie. By expanding beyond its vertically integrated beginnings, it can attract customers who want a smart oven, and want the flexibility to use it for more than Tovala meals.
Tovala has always been the least expensive smart oven option, and in addition to the breakfast products, Tovala also this week changed up its pricing structure. You can now pick up a Tovala for $49 up-front and pay the remainder in $3.99/week installments, with the option to return the oven at any time. Or you can pay $299 upfront to own the oven outright.
Of equal interest for Tovala with its scan-to-cook feature is the data that it can provide CPG companies. Tovala will know what brands and products people are cooking, when and how often. This data would provide insight for brands looking to develop new products or sell more in different regions. I spoke with Tovala Founder and CEO David Rabie yesterday about the prospect of prospecting its newfound data, but he said Tovala is not looking at sharing or monetizing it right now. “The goal is for us to make the Tovala more useful,” Rabie said, “and to make our partner’s products easier to consume in the way they intend.”
As Tovala continues to expand its scan-to-cook functionality, I asked Rabie whether at some point the company would give up on its own meal delivery service in favor of just automating the cooking of other people’s products. “We’re not going to get rid of meal delivery,” Rabie said, “It’s the core reason people are buying the oven.”
That may have been true when cooking its own meals was mostly what a Tovala oven did. But now there are nearly 400 more (scan-to-cook) reasons for people to check the Tovala out.