PantryChic cofounder Chris Lee talks about the next-generation food storage system

As a journalist, it’s my job to ask questions. Sometimes, however, those questions go unanswered. At which point I have to choose between waiting for an answer, or writing up what I have so far. After months of trying to get updates, it seems like it’s time to stop waiting for answers and just ask the question out loud: What’s going on with PantryChic?

PantryChic is the connected storage system that doubles as a precision dry goods dispenser. The company was actually a sponsor of the first Smart Kitchen Summit as well as a Startup Showcase finalist in 2015. I, personally, was excited by PantryChic as I get pretty persnickety about measurements and following recipes exactly. So PantryChic’s ability to pour out exactly one quarter cup of flour was just what I need.

The Spoon first wrote about the product back in March of 2017, when we did a video demo of the product at the Housewares Show in Chicago. Mike Wolf wrote at the time:

Those looking to get their hands on a PantryChic won’t have much longer to wait. Christopher [Lee, Co-Founder] told me they’ve secured funding and found a manufacturer and expect the PantryChic to ship this year.

2017 came and went, and the PantryChic did not ship.

Fast forward to March of 2018, when I did a video demo with PantryChic’s inventor and other co-founder, Nicole Lee, at this year’s Housewares Show in Chicago. She told me that the product would retail for $299 and was estimated to launch in August of this year.

August has come and gone and so far as I can tell, PantryChic is still not shipping. There’s no place to order on their website, and no mention of a shipping date. I emailed PantryChich in August, September and again last week to see what was happening with the product and have yet to hear back.

It could be nothing, or it could be a slight delay in manufacturing — that’s not uncommon for independent inventors to experience as the move from prototype to scaling. Perhaps the company is in deep, confidential talks with an appliance manufacturer, trying to do something along the lines of what Bartesian did with Hamilton Beach. That would be great!

But given the delay of more than a year at this point, plus the months-long radio silence, I’m left wondering if something more serious is going on. Especially since it’s been a rough year for independent food tech inventors. Cinder crashed and burned, HOPii went flat, and iGulu is still having all kinds of issues.

So what is going on with PantryChic? I can’t say for sure, but hopefully this won’t be the last time I write about them.

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