This Week In Smart Kitchen: Brita's Dash Pitcher, Food 3D Printing, Campbell's VC Fund

This week was an exciting one for us, as we announced the date for Smart Kitchen Summit 2016. We were also thrilled to announce the Smart Kitchen Advisory Council, an amazing lineup of thought leaders in the smart kitchen and foodtech space that will ensure the Smart Kitchen Summit continues to be the premier event focused on the future of the connected kitchen.

After last year's hugely successful inaugural event, we're can't wait until October 5th-6th to stretch our wings in a bigger venue. One of the things we want to do this year is create more breakout sessions and formal networking opportunities, and our new event location on the Seattle waterfront is the perfect place to do that. 

The year's event will focus on a number of themes, including how to better understand the data and intelligence we gather from our food, how emerging technologies will transform the ways we shop, cook and eat, and how the arrival of the smart kitchen will reinvent the kitchen as a living space within the home.

Check out the post here to get more info as well as see the rock star lineup on the Smart Kitchen Advisory council. We'll have more info soon, including speakers (we've already got some amazing ones), program and sponsors. If you are interested in speaking at or sponsoring the event, be sure to drop us a line

Early-early bird tickets are available now (limited quantities), so if you're planning on coming, you might want to head on over and pick one (or more) up now.

Now, on to the news.

Brita Ships Dash Powered Connected Pitcher

Brita Infinity Pitcher

Brita Infinity Pitcher

The Gist: Brita started shipping its Infinity water pitcher, a Wi-Fi connected device that uses Dash Replenishment Service. The Infinity will notify a person's Amazon account to order a new filter for the Infinity via DRS after it reaches its capacity, approximately 40 gallons of water

Our Take: Amazon continues to add interesting partners and device use-cases to its DRS portfolio. As of today - the beginning of March - Amazon has assembled 15 announced Dash partners, and this is the first exclusively in the water filter space. Others like GE or Whirlpool, could conceivably add filter change notifications to its Dash implementations. Stepping back and looking at Dash, the Dash partners break into these rough categories:

  • 2 Printer/cartridge replenishment (Brother, Samsung)
  • 2 health-centric (Gmate, Thync)
  • 4 pet-centric (Oster, Obe, CleverPet, Petnet)
  • 2 white goods-centric (Whirlpool, GE)
  • 2 soap/sanitizer dispensers (Gojo/Purell, Sealed Air)
  • 1 smart lock (August Home)
  • 1 water filter (Brita)
  • 1 pool monitor (Sutro)

 Amazon has DRS implementations across a fairly broad range of categories (though a little heavy on the pets), but we think there's room for growth. Over at the Smart Home Weekly, we suggest a few other categories they could pursue.

Food 3D Printers Are Changing High End Cuisine

The Gist: looks at the rising adoption of 3D food printers in high end restaurants.

Our Take: New technology that finds it way to consumer kitchens almost always finds a home first in professional kitchens. Food 3D printing will be no different, and it's interesting to see how chefs are beginning to use the technology today. embrace the technology, but given some of the intricate designs possible with a food 3D printer, it's no wonder since presentation is so much of the artistry in high-end cuisine. One has to wonder if chefs will begin to let customers know they use 3D printing in the kitchen, like they did with sous vide years ago. My guess is food 3D printing is still a bit of a strange thing for most consumers to get their minds around, and as the article states, it's important that they recognize that today's food 3D printers like the Foodini use fresh food.

Campbell Soup Launches $125 Million VC Fund

The Gist: Last month, Campbell Soup CEO Denise Morrison announced the company has launched a VC fund called Acre Venture Partners that will invest $125 million in food startups.

Our Take: Like many CPG brands, Campbell Soup is aware that the food landscape is changing radically, due to shift in both consumer eating patterns and the emergence of a rapidly growing startup ecosystem that is disrupting every part of the food creation, delivery and consumption value chain.  Campbell first showed interest in startups with a $10 million investment in high profile foodtech startup Juicero in 2014, but this looks like the start of a more proactive attempt to invest in the food startup space.

$6.8 Billion Invested in Foodtech in 2015

The Gist: According to Rosenheim Partners, an estimated $6.8 billion was invested in foodtech in 2015.

Our Take: This report is largely focused on the rapidly growing food delivery and convenience economy space, which has been increasingly frothy over the past few years.  While some may not see an immediate connection between restaurant and prepared meals delivery and the connected kitchen, we see a direct connection between the home and convenience delivery as we anticipate players like Amazon trying to unify mealplanning and food budgeting within a single app that has some understanding of your food shopping, in-home inventory, cooking patterns, eat-in/out behavior and more. Definitely worth taking a look at the report overview for the industry map alone.