Nick Langston on How Kitchen Connectivity Can Make the Perfect Pizza

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In a smart kitchen, all your products are connected: your coffee machine, your fridge, your voice assistant, and your phone. TE Connectivity, one of the sponsors of the Smart Kitchen Summit (SKS), is working to help link up your devices more effectively and efficiently.

We connected (ha!) with Nick Langston, Director of Business Development for TE Connectivity, about how he envisions the future of the connected kitchen. Hint: it's got sensors, wearables, and perfectly-crisp pizza.

This Q&A has been edited for clarity. 

The Spoon: What products and services are TE Connectivity developing for the connected home, particularly in the kitchen?
TE Connectivity: TE’s portfolio of relays, signal and power interconnects, antennas and sensor solutions fit very well into the connected home space. TE products sit at the center of the connected home and our portfolio of products enable smart home device operation, data capture, sensor-based automation and remote access control.

Additionally, we have a development team working exclusively on next-generation sensing and connectivity products for the smart kitchen. We have development projects spanning the component level (smart relays, for example) up to appliance architecture (smart bus system). The solutions that are currently finding their way into product applications include wireless power transmitters and receivers, touch sensing solutions using piezoelectric films and wireless, energy harvesting (battery-less) temperature probes.

Are there any trends you see emerging in the smart kitchen which you think will shape the way consumers find, prepare, or eat food?
The proliferation of sensors into more and more applications in the kitchen is here to stay and will continue to grow. In addition, I think homeowners want more precise control over their food preparation aligned to their own specific tastes and lifestyle. Fast, digital access to recipes available at your fingertips, calorie counts, nutritional facts, etc. will allow homeowners to create a specific food experience with instant access to the nutritional aspects of the ingredients being incorporated into the food they are preparing.

Appliance manufacturers are working to ensure consumers enjoy a successful outcome no matter what conditions they place on the equipment. For example, closed-loop temperature monitoring allows a stove to change temperature as needed to ensure the food is being cooked properly – without user intervention. This requires precise, continuous sensing.

What’s one aspect of the connected kitchen you’re particularly excited to follow as it grows and becomes more refined?
The integration of individual health and activity data from wearables, mobile devices, our physicians and even social media to specify the optimal menu on any given day, in addition to the reduction of tasks and, finally, less direct interaction with our kitchen devices.

For example: I prepare a pizza and place it in the oven. The oven “knows” it’s a pizza, knows I like a crispy crust versus a soft crust, and sets the appropriate temperature and time to prepare the food to my specific taste. No longer do I need to set the temperature, set the timer, check on the pizza for the right crispiness level, etc. It’s all done automatically for me.

I also like the concept of instant digital access to the nutritional aspects of the food we are preparing and digital access to recipes, etc. With smart technology in the kitchen, and voice activation, I can say or input that I want to prepare a chicken dish for two people that is spicy and has less than 600 calories per serving. Immediately several options are communicated to me with the ingredient list. Even better would be if the system knew the ingredients I already had in my kitchen so the system would not make recommendations for meals which needed ingredients I did not have.

How do large companies such as TE stay competitive against smaller, more nimble startups in the connected kitchen space? 
In our space we see ourselves as a partner to startup companies to help them make the right connectivity selections for their end products to do everything they advertise. All our customers, large, small or start up, look to TE Connectivity to solve their most challenging connectivity problems. We’re in a great position in the market because we’re not competing with the innovators in this space. Rather, we’re enabling their innovation through our sensing and connectivity products. This allows us to see a vast spectrum of innovations and concepts that feed directly into our own R&D efforts.

Thanks, Nick! We're glad to have TE Connectivity as one of the sponsors for SKS. Get your tickets and be sure to stop by their sponsor workshop and say hi! 

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Meet the Finalists for the Smart Kitchen Summit 2018 Startup Showcase

Year after year, one of the most popular — and exciting — parts of the Smart Kitchen Summit (SKS) is the Startup Showcase. Not only do you get to watch as startup founders with an idea for the next great kitchen appliance, AI-driven personalization app or food robot get on stage at Benaroya Hall and tell us how they will change the way we cook and eat forever, but you get to follow that up by seeing, touching and tasting all the products at our Showcase happy hour.

This year we had an amazing pool of applicants, but have finally whittled the list down to 13 startups which we think show some serious potential. Learn about the diverse set of finalists, then snag your tickets to SKS to see live demos of their technology on the show floor.

Startup Showcase Finalists

Kabaq 3D Food Technologies

Kabaq partners with restaurants and food brands to create immersive experiences for their customers. Using AR, VR, and mixed reality, the startup creates 3D visualizations of food so people can visualize exactly what their next meal (or wedding cake) will look like.

Suggestic

Suggestic combines AI, AR and personalized nutrition to help people eat better. Users can input health goals and Suggestic’s app will create weekly meal plans, suggest restaurants, and give fitness tips. They’re currently working on an AR feature which will let users “read” restaurant menus to determine which items are on their diet plan — and which aren’t.

Dizzconcept

Croatian startup Dizzconcept designs pop-up kitchens designed to fit into our urbanized world. Their portable kitchens take up 1.6 square meters of space and function as a TV cabinet when closed. However, they open up to reveal a fully operational mini-kitchen, including a sink, fridge, and stove.

Dexai Robotics

Dexai Robotics makes a robotic arm for foodservice. Named ‘Alfred,’ the robot can learn restaurant layouts and recipes and rotate hand attachments for different ingredients. It also integrates with restaurants’ POS systems so that it can start preparing food as soon as an order comes in.

Soggy Food Sucks

Have you ever experienced the crushing disappointment of finding that your delivery fries have gotten soggy in transit? As its name implies, Soggy Food Sucks is out to fix that nagging problem plaguing food delivery. They make a patented peel-and-stick patch which absorbs condensation and can keep your food from getting soggy during transit.

Mimesis

Mimesis is the maker of smartcook, a connected all-in-one kitchen appliance that aims to streamline home cooking. Their smart surface acts as a visual interface with interactive recipes, video cooking lessons, and online grocery ordering, and also functions as a stove, cutting board, and kitchen scale.

Pizzametry

Pizzametry’s concept is pretty darn simple: pizza vending machines. They can make and cook 8-inch pizzas (in cheese or pepperoni) in three and a half minutes.

MyFavorEats

MyFavorEats uses AI to create modular, easily customizable online recipes. The startup translates online recipes into a machine-readable format, so users can easily swap ingredients and personalize meals to their particular diets, preferences, and kitchen appliances.

HotBot Beverages

Hot Bot is a two-part system which combines an in-store induction heating unit with special drink bottles. The result? Grab-and-go hot beverages and soups available in restaurants, grocery stores, office canteens, and more — all in roughly a minute.

MoJoe Brewing Co.

Mojoe is a portable coffee brewer/travel mug that lets users brew coffee on the go. Pop in some ground coffee or tea (you can buy a Mojoe pod or custom-fill your own) into the brewer, add any temperature water, and brew. The device can be powered by wall socket, car charger, or a rechargeable battery, and fits in a standard cupholder.

Klove Chef

Klove Chef is a white label voice technology service for the kitchen. Their technology can guide users through recipe preparation, sync up with smart home devices to monitor cook temperature and time, and can also order groceries.

MockMill

The Mockmill 100 is a tabletop stone mill for home/restaurant/bakery production of bakery-quality flours, also for milling of spices, pulses,and other dry foods.

Garbi

Garbi is a smart trash can that recognizes items you throw away and reorders them for you from local e-commerce retailers. They’re also working on a recycling functionality that would let Garbi’s garbage cans indicate to users whether items should go in the trash, recycling, or compost.

Curious about this diverse group of food tech startups? Join us at the Smart Kitchen Summit on October 8-9th to see them pitch live, ask them about their companies, and learn which will win the $10,000 prize! Make sure to get your tickets today and save 25% today with discount code SPOON

SKS – The Leading Global Event on the Future of Food and Cooking – Heads Back To Seattle This October

Fourth annual event focuses on the reinvention of the meal journey for consumers and the role of AI, robotics, Big Data and connectivity on the kitchen

Seattle, WA – June 8, 2018 –Smart Kitchen Summit, the leading global event and community focused on the future of food, cooking and the kitchen, announces its fourth annual flagship event in Seattle, Washington, October 8-9, 2018 at the world-renowned Benaroya Hall. This year’s overarching theme is the reinvention of the meal journey, with two days of speaking sessions, fireside conversations, product demonstrations, and more with speakers from Starbucks, Google, Bosch, Wired, America’s Test Kitchen, Barilla and more. SKS is excited to welcome Chef Richard Blais to the stage as well as our resident celebrity chef for the event.

The show agenda will explore various themes tied into the reinvention of the meal journey, including:

  • The impact of AI and robotics on how food is shopped for, prepared, made and consumed across the retail, restaurant and home environments
  • The reinvention of the restaurant and how technology is enabling entirely new formats and business models for the restaurant operator
  • The transformation of the kitchen to digital and the business model impacts for big players in food, grocery and appliances
  • The move to more personalized food and nutrition, the use of biomarkers and food science along with VR and AR to rethink the food we consume
  • Technology for good in the food and cooking ecosystem: how can we use technology to make for healthier cooking outcomes, waste less food, and feed more people?

To speak to these themes, SKS 2018 is curating a powerhouse speaker lineup of top executives and thought leaders from companies and organizations that touch every element of the meal journey, including appliances, food science, retail, new food business models, non-profits, Big Food, connected home and more. The early lineup includes speakers from Whirlpool, Nokia, Barilla, Panasonic, Starbucks, Chef’d and Wired. Submit to be a speaker at SKS 2018 here.

Also returning for SKS 2018 is the popular Startup Showcase Competition, a platform for exciting startups, inventors, culinary makers and cutting-edge product companies to showcase what they are working on and let others experience it firsthand. Applications are due August 17. Interested companies can submit at www.smartkitchensummit.com/2018startupshowcase.  Finalists get a demo table, a chance to pitch on stage and tickets to the full event.

For more information on this year’s event or to submit to speak or inquire about a sponsorship or partnership with SKS, visit www.smartkitchensummit.com and to stay up to date on event announcements, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About SKS

Created in 2015 by smart home and IoT veteran analyst Michael Wolf, the Smart Kitchen Summit is the leading event and community focused on the future of food, cooking and the kitchen. Along with its sister editorial site The Spoon, the Smart Kitchen Summit aims to be the annual forum for leaders and C-level executives across the food, cooking, appliance, retail and technology ecosystems to discuss trends, develop partnerships and envision the future of this emerging market.

SKS is a global event with SKS EU 2018 held on June 12, 2018 in Dublin, Ireland, SKS Japan in August 2018 and SKS 2018 in the United States, October 8-9, 2018 in Seattle, Washington.

The Weekly Spoon: eMeals teams up with Meredith Corp, HelloFresh acquires Green Chef & wine tech startup Kuvée shutters

With the meal kit market flooded with choices from big brands HelloFresh and Blue Apron to specialty offerings like Paleo on the Go, some companies are choosing to deliver other methods of meal prep convenience. One such company, eMeals, announced a partnership with Meredith Corporation this week to offer recipes from EatingWell, AllRecipes and Better Homes and Gardens on their meal planning app. 

eMeals give users the ability to browse and select recipes to create a meal plan or have the service select meals for you and add ingredients to your next grocery delivery. The founders of eMeals think of themselves as an alternative to meal kits and are trying to take the guesswork out of meal planning. The partnership with Meredith give eMeals more content to curate from - read the full story and takes from eMeals founder on The Spoon. 

It's the last week for early bird tickets for the Smart Kitchen Summit Europe - if you want even more of a discount, use code newsletter to get an additional 15% off. 

Speaking of meal kits, HelloFresh made news this week with the acquisition of Green Chef, a specialty meal kit competitor. The move will expand HelloFresh's offerings to include more organic, vegan and gluten-free menus. Check out the full announcement.

In the connected beverage space, wine tech startup Kuvée announced it was shutting down this week. Despite having raised $10 million to create smart wine dispensers, Kuvée CEO Vijay Manwani said the company would need even more funding to educate the market and succeed. But other wine tech companies are succeeding and Kuvée's problems may have stemmed from their "walled garden" approach to building an ecosystem. Kuvée essentially required the customer to buy wine bottled in their proprietary bottles as opposed to letting users use any bottles of their preference. 

Read my full analysis on the closure news on The Spoon. 

I also got to chat with Mike Lee, founder of The Future Market about the future of the grocery store and get his take on the space. Check it out here and add it to your weekend podcast playlist.

I just got back from an exciting event at the Target Open House on the personalized smart kitchen - it was a great discussion with several leaders in the connected kitchen and personalized nutrition space including Innit, Habit and Nima. We'll have the panel up on the podcast sometime next week! 
 
Have a great weekend - 

Mike

P.S. Want this weekly newsletter in your inbox? Subscribe here.

P.P.S. Join our slack community while you're at it. 


In the 03/23/2018 edition:

Former Uber CEO Lands in the Cloud Kitchen Market

By Allen Weiner on Mar 23, 2018 10:00 am
Former Uber CEO Travis Kalanick is playing a new game modeled after those HGTV shows, where teams of fortune hunters turn distressed properties into quick-sell gems. In the case of the newly formed City Storage Systems, the narrative differs in that these down-and-out chunks of real estates are empty or neglected strip malls and parking […]
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The Stone Notebook for Chefs is Water Proof and Grease Proof

By Chris Albrecht on Mar 23, 2018 07:00 am
Write in the kitchen without fear of smudges and spills.
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This Startup Is Using AI to Bring “Post-Organic” Farming to the (Urban) Masses

By Jennifer Marston on Mar 22, 2018 04:30 pm
New Jersey-based Bowery is on track to open the world's most technologically advanced indoor farm.
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Podcast: Reimagining The Grocery Store with The Future Market’s Mike Lee

By Michael Wolf on Mar 22, 2018 02:00 pm
Growing up in Detroit, Mike Lee loved going to auto shows. His favorite part was seeing the concept cars auto makers rolled out to help consumers envision the future. As he got older, Lee wondered why food companies never created similar concept products. Why not, after all, create the products of the future and show them […]
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Smarter CEO Christian Lane Coming To SKS Europe

By Catherine Lamb on Mar 22, 2018 10:34 am
At the age of 19, Christian Lane became the youngest person to ever pitch for investment on British TV’s Dragons’ Den, on which he won an investment from Dragon Theo Paphitis. Back then, Lane was pitching a foldable stationary product called Foldio, but nowadays he’s the CEO of a company building products to make the […]
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Can Celebrities (and Celebrity Chefs) Help Us Overcome The Insect “Ick” Factor?

By Catherine Lamb on Mar 22, 2018 06:00 am
We all know that we should be eating insects. After all, bugs are a dietary staple for billions of people around the globe, and they have a significantly lower environmental footprint than meat. But Americans are still having a tricky time getting over the “ick” factor that comes with munching on crawling critters. The concept is popular […]
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Kuvée, Maker of Connected Wine Dispensers, Is Shutting Down

By Michael Wolf on Mar 21, 2018 01:31 pm
Kuvée, a maker of connected wine dispensers, is shutting down. In an email sent to customers today, Kuvée CEO Vijay Manwani said the company, which had raised nearly $10 million in funding, would need to raise significantly more in order to educate the market and have a “louder voice”. Because of this, the company would be […]
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Knorr’s “Eat Your Feed” Delivers Instagram-Inspired Recipes… Sorta

By Catherine Lamb on Mar 21, 2018 05:00 am
Millennials everywhere can finally justify all those overhead photos they just had to snap (and then Instagram) before digging into their food. Knorr, the powdered soup and seasoning brand owned by Unilever, has developed an AI-powered tool which scans your Instagram feed and then recommends recipes based on your photos. Dubbed Eat Your Feed, the tool uses […]
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HelloFresh Acquires Green Chef to Bolster Meal Kit Menus

By Chris Albrecht on Mar 20, 2018 02:49 pm
Meal kit delivery company, HelloFresh, announced today that it has acquired Green Chef, which offers certified organic meal kits. The move will help diversify HelloFresh’s meal catalog with organic, vegan and gluten-free menus. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The acquisition comes at an interesting time for the entire meal kit by mail space. […]
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Reis & Irvy’s FroYo Robot Kiosk Hopes to Bring in Cool Profit for Grocery Stores

By Catherine Lamb on Mar 20, 2018 01:59 pm
We’ve seen robots in grocery stores before restocking shelves and packing products — but now, robots will be used for perhaps their most important task yet: dispensing frozen yogurt. Billed as “the world’s first robotic frozen yogurt vending kiosk,” Reis & Irvy launched in 2016 as a subsidiary franchise concept of Generation NEXT Franchise Brands. Starting this spring, […]
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The Weekly Spoon: Little Caesar's Pizza Robot, Guided Cooking @ Housewares, Join Us in San Francisco

Don't be surprised if the Little Caesar's notable "Pizza pizza" slogan is soon uttered by a robot. That's right - the pizza chain is the next fast food giant to look into using automation to improve efficiency and take away repetitive, simple tasks from human workers. The Spoon uncovered a new patent that Little Caesar's was issued "for what is described as an automated 'apparatus provided for assembling pizza,' which includes “a pizza sauce spreading station, a cheese spreading station and a pepperoni applying station." 

Read the full scoop from The Spoon's Catherine Lamb here.

The pizza chain isn't the first company in the fast casual restaurant space to employ automation and robotics in their back of house operations - Zume Pizza in California has robots that prepare the early parts of a pizza. But Little Caesar's pizza robot appears to be more sophisticated and can even finish the pizza prep process by adding toppings. This optimization is another example of food manufacturers and restaurants looking to technology to improve speed and lower price point in a space getting crowded with competition from meal delivery and quick food offerings. 

Do you have tickets to SKS Europe yet? We are just three months away from our first European smart kitchen event and we have a 15% off discount for our newsletter readers. Early bird ticket pricing ends in 2 weeks so don't wait too long.


I just got back from the International Housewares Show in Chicago last weekend where I led a series of talks on the smart home and tech implications for the housewares market. One of the themes that emerged at the 2017 Housewares event was guided cooking and this year the concept was everywhere. For the full rundown of guided and connected cooking offerings at the show, be sure to read my Housewares trend piece

It was a busy week for food and appliance news in general - media giant Hearst unveiled a visual guided recipe skill for the Amazon Echo ShowiCuisine showed off their platform to connect regular utensils and Weight Watchers will soon have meal kits on grocery store shelves.

Next week I'm heading to San Francisco to partner with Target in hosting an event on the personalized smart kitchen. The event is from 6-8 pm on 3/22 at the Target Open House in San Francisco.

We're going to have a discussion on the trend of personalization in food and the connected kitchen with Shireen Yates, CEO of Nima, Kathrin Nikolussi, VP with Habit and Kevin Brown, CEO of Innit.

The tickets are free but limited - if you're not busy next Thursday and you're in town, come by.

Happy St. Patty's Day!

Mike

P.S. Make sure to sign up for the Spoon Slack to network with other foodtech pros and get alerted about new Spoon stories.

In the 03/15/2018 edition:

Guided Cooking Trend Continues Momentum In 2018

By Michael Wolf on Mar 15, 2018 05:55 am
Two years ago at the Housewares Show in Chicago, I saw the emergence of a new trend called guided cooking. At the show, companies like Cuciniale, Oliso and Hestan Cue showed off early efforts to combine sensors, software, precision heating and content in an orchestrated experience that guides home cooks through the creation of a meal. As […]
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Byte’s Smart Fridge Is Upstaging the Vending Machine. That’s Great News for Offices

By Catherine Lamb on Mar 14, 2018 05:01 pm
It’s hard to get amped about the food options inside an office building. Unless you work for a Google-like company and get subsidized or free meals, you’re probably stuck with vending machines. And we all know Fig Newtons do not a healthy lunch make. Byte Foods, founded in 2015 by husband-wife team Lee and Megan […]
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Bone Broth’s $103M Funding Shows Food Supplements Are A Hot Industry

By Catherine Lamb on Mar 14, 2018 02:27 pm
How would you like to have your bone broth and drink it too? Ancient Nutrition, a company best known for its bone broth-based protein supplement powder, just snagged a $103 million investment. The funding round was led by private equity firm VMG partners along with Hillhouse Capital and Iconiq Capital. It also included participation from over 100 […]
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iCuisine Wants To Bring Smart Features To Everday Kitchen Utensils

By Michael Wolf on Mar 14, 2018 10:34 am
While it seems like there is a new connected countertop appliance announced every other week, the smart kitchen revolution has largely left everyday kitchen tools like spatulas, whisks and other cooking utensils behind. That’s where iCuisine‘s founder Luic Mucha hopes to change things. Mucha was at the Housewares show this week in Chicago showing off […]
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Scoop: Little Caesars Has a Patent for a Pizza-Making Robot

By Catherine Lamb on Mar 13, 2018 02:57 pm
It’s hard to fear the robot revolution when they come bearing pizza. Little Caesars is the latest fast food chain to get in on the robot action. The pizza chain was issued a patent today for what is described as an automated “apparatus provided for assembling pizza,” which includes “a pizza sauce spreading station, a cheese spreading […]
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Walmart’s New Patent Filings Look to Farming, Drones, and “Bee Robots”

By Jennifer Marston on Mar 13, 2018 01:00 pm
Not to be outdone by Amazon, Walmart has rolled out a series of updates to its grocery business recently, including a partnership between its Sam’s Club wing and Instacart, the acquisition of Parcel, and the recent announcement of its Eden technology, which could help save the giant retailer $2 billion in food waste costs over […]
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Weight Watchers Unveils In-Store Meal Kits—and Possibly a New Approach

By Catherine Lamb on Mar 13, 2018 10:14 am
Weight Watchers is trying to carve out a space in the meal kit market—they’re just skipping the whole delivery bit. Instead, the weight management company announced last week that it is working with California-based FreshRealm to get a line of healthy meal kits on grocery shelves. The launch, slated for the second half of this […]
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Aspire’s Acquisition of Insect-Protein Bar Maker Exo Gives Bugs a Boost

By Jennifer Marston on Mar 12, 2018 03:00 pm
Get ready for the rise of the cricket-powered protein market.
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Hearst Unveils Visual Guided Recipe Skill for Amazon Echo

By Catherine Lamb on Mar 12, 2018 11:51 am
Alexa, let’s have Pancetta Chicken for dinner. Last month, publisher Hearst expanded its Amazon Echo- and Spot-enabled Good Housekeeping skill to include connected recipes. Dubbed Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, the skill provides simple “meal ideas” that can be thrown together in 30 minutes or less. The recipes will be curated by Susan Westmoreland, food director of Good […]
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Roundup: CPGs Are Exploring Foodtech Through Startup Incubators

By Jennifer Marston on Mar 10, 2018 04:00 am
CPGs look to emerging tech startups to keep up with changing consumer food preferences.
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The Weekly Spoon: Trends in AI and Flavor, deal with Hamilton Beach plus a mini road show!

Artificial Intelligence is creeping into almost every industry, especially restaurants, food manufacturing and even cooking. But one unexpected area where AI and machine learning are being used is in taste and flavor creation. This week, The Spoon's Catherine Lamb looks at five companies who are using AI-based algorithms and platforms to hack flavor and create new combinations of tastes. 

One interesting startup highlighted is dishq, a food AI company that's developing what they call "taste analytics as a service." Basically, they are using loads of different types of data to predict consumer taste preferences. In a world where algorithms are trying to predict what we want to listen to, watch or buy next, it's no surprise that companies would want to replicate predictive analytics to determine what people want to eat. 

Check out the piece on the new food tech trend of flavor and AI. 

We've talked at length on The Spoon about the challenges that smart kitchen startups face when building and delivering hardware. In a market where large appliance makers can just take the idea from a startup and replicate it at scale much faster, startups have to be nimble and look for strategic ways to compete and last. And Bartesian, the cocktail tech startup, has found one way to do that -  the company announced this week they will retain all IP and branding while handing over the bigger task of manufacturing and distributing their forthcoming countertop cocktail appliance to Hamilton Beach. 

The deal brings up an interesting discussion point - should startups look to larger companies to help them build and distribute their hardware as they scale up? It's hard to imagine how some of these companies compete against the giant appliance makers and if they want to retain their own brand and ownership, this type of partnership might make sense. Read our analysis at The Spoon for more details and some info from Bartesian co-founder Ryan Close.

Hitting the Road

We are leaving the office for the next few weeks and hope to see many of you at the International Housewares Show in Chicago this weekend. I'm hosting a series of smart talks in the IHA Smart Home Pavilion from Saturday to Monday on a variety of topics on how smart home tech is impacting the housewares industry. I'm also moderating a future kitchen keynote panel with Mike Wallace from Perfect Co, David Rabie of Tovala and Jon Jenkins of Hestan Cue on Sunday and giving a talk on the state of the connected kitchen in the innovation theater on Saturday. 

After Housewares, we are heading to San Francisco to partner with Target in hosting an event on the personalized smart kitchen. The event is from 6-8 pm on 3/22 at the Target Open House in SF and we'll have some smart kitchen product demos as well as a panel with Shireen Yates, CEO of Nima, Kathrin Nikolussi, VP with Habit and Kevin Brown, CEO of Innit on the move to personalize the connected kitchen. RSVP to grab your ticket now - seats are limited.

Hope to see you on the road!

Mike

P.S. Early bird tickets are still left for SKS Europe - but time's running out to get the discount - plus you can use code NEWSLETTER to get 15% off those prices. June's right around the corner, don't wait!


In the 03/08/2018 edition:

Augean Robotics’ Autonomous “Burro” Follows Farm Workers to Haul Stuff

By Chris Albrecht on Mar 08, 2018 11:00 am
As Augean Robotics Co-Founder and CEO Charles Andersen explains it, when you work on a farm, you do a lot of high dexterity activity—like picking fruit. But you also spend a lot of time just running stuff like harvested fruit or equipment back and forth. He should know: Anderson grew up on a 100-plus acre […]
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PicoBrew Ships The PicoStill, An Accessory To Make Hooch At Home

By Michael Wolf on Mar 08, 2018 06:35 am
Ever want to distill your own spirits? That job may have gotten a little easier, at least if you own a PicoBrew brewing appliance. That’s because the company announced they’ve started shipping the PicoStill, an add-on to the Pico brewing appliance that will convert beer into the hard stuff, to their Kickstarter backers. Here’s what I wrote […]
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Walmart Believes Its New Freshness Technology Can Reduce Food Waste

By Allen Weiner on Mar 08, 2018 06:00 am
  A crucial area for technology in the food world’s battle against waste zooms in on the ability to track the freshness of produce as it travels from farm to wholesaler to retailer to table. Keeping perishables out of the landfill requires more than a passing squeeze of a tomato or thumping of a watermelon […]
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VitaCup Scores a Dose of Funding for Its Vitamin-Infused Coffee

By Jennifer Marston on Mar 07, 2018 05:00 pm
The San Diego-based company looks to bring its Keurig-compatible cups to new markets.
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Walmart Issued Patent for Robot Shopping Cart

By Chris Albrecht on Mar 07, 2018 01:04 pm
Yesterday, U.S. Patent No. 9,908,760 B2 was awarded to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. for “Shopping facility assistance systems, devices and methods to drive movable item containers.” Translation, robot shopping carts could be making their way to Walmart. The patent was filed two years ago for what looks like a Roomba underneath a shopping cart, which drives […]
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Services that Combine Flavor and AI Are a New Food Tech Trend

By Catherine Lamb on Mar 07, 2018 10:04 am
Artificial Intelligence is making its way into our food system in a big way. It’s on dairy farms monitoring milk quality, in restaurants powering food-running and burger-flipping robots, and even in the kitchen, walking you through a recipe in the guise of a voice assistant or chatbot. Lately, we’ve noticed AI playing another role in what we […]
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The “No Mess French Press” Just Broke the Record for Coffee Products on Kickstarter

By Jennifer Marston on Mar 07, 2018 05:09 am
The Rite Press has raised over $1 million in just two months.
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Bartesian Focuses on Drinks, Hands Manufacturing to Hamilton Beach

By Chris Albrecht on Mar 06, 2018 02:00 pm
Bartesian said today that it has signed a three-year deal to make Hamilton Beach the exclusive manufacturing and distribution partner of its forthcoming countertop cocktail making appliance. Bartesian co-founder Ryan Close told us by phone that this move will allow his company to focus on the drink making and development side of the business, while […]
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Ordermark Raises $3.1 Million to Simplify Restaurant Delivery Orders

By Chris Albrecht on Mar 06, 2018 12:35 pm
Canter’s Deli is a storied eating institution in Los Angeles, serving up delicious food since 1931. Alex Canter, the deli’s fourth-generation owner and operator, wanted to embrace the new customers restaurant delivery services like GrubHub and DoorDash could bring. But there was a problem. Though he successfully set up 14 different online ordering platforms at […]
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Flippy Clocks in at CaliBurger, Miso Robotics Makes Expansion Moves

By Chris Albrecht on Mar 06, 2018 08:53 am
Miso Robotics announced yesterday that Flippy, the burger cooking robot, is officially going to work at CaliBurger’s Pasadena location. Additionally, Miso announced that its robot kitchen assistants will soon be coming to sports and entertainment venues, thanks to the company’s partnership with sports and entertainment hospitality company Levy. According to the press announcement, Flippy will start […]
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SKS Heads to Europe in June 2018

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Smart Kitchen Summit, the leading event and community focused on the future of food, cooking and the kitchen is expanding into Europe with its first-ever SKS EU on June 12, 2018 at the Guinness Storehouse in Dublin, Ireland. Entering its fourth year, SKS is a global event series that brings together powerhouse line-ups of startups, leaders and innovators across food, tech, design, commerce, appliances and housewares.

SKS EU will explore the impact that technology has on the entire food ecosystem: from where and how food is grown to the global problem of food waste to making cooking good food at home easier and more accessible and using data to hack personal nutrition. Led by The Spoon founder and NextMarket Insights chief analyst Michael Wolf, SKS was founded to examine the ways that innovation is shifting the food, cooking and kitchen space and provide discussion, demonstrations and analysis from leaders around the world.

SKS EU will explore a cross-section of themes including:

  • The digitization of the senses and the evolution towards hyper-personalized food and nutrition
  • Increased transparency across the food system using technologies such as blockchain
  • The Internet of Food and the move to corral data and intelligence from the things we eat
  • AI, machine learning and how it’s transforming the methods and tools we use to cook and prepare food
  •  The reinvention of the kitchen as a living and activity space within the home

The first-ever European smart kitchen and food tech event will bring together leaders from some of Europe’s biggest food brands, appliance manufacturers and some of the most innovative startups across the food and cooking marketplace.

Don’t miss the opportunity to get early bird tickets on sale now through February 2018. If you are interested in obtaining a press pass for the event, let us know! Send an email to ashley@castercomm.com for info.

For more information on 2018 SKS EU, visit www.smartkitchensummit.eu and to stay up to date on the latest additions to the agenda, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Campbell Soup Company + SKS Announce Indoor Food Tech Startup Verdical As The 2017 Smart Kitchen Summit Startup Showcase Winner

Campbell Soup Company and SKS (Smart Kitchen Summit), the leading event and community focused on the future of food, cooking and the kitchen today announce the winner of the annual Startup Showcase + Pitchfest: indoor food cultivation platform Verdical.

Verdical was selected from a group of 15 finalists, which included startups, inventors, and culinary makers across a wide range of food technology applications. CEO Andrew Deitz presented on Verdical’s mission to simplify the produce growing process to bring indoor food cultivation to the kitchen as part of the qualifying Pitchfest at the show.

Verdical provides a platform for growing food indoors. Each elegantly designed standing hydroponic gardening system uses horticultural LED's along with various sensors to make growing year-round as easy as inserting seed pods and pushing a button. Because of its size and scale, Verdical is perfect for a wide variety of use-cases including residential applications or commercial applications in restaurants or other community kitchens.

 Verdical CEO Andrew Deitz and Campbell Soup Company VP of Digital Marketing Matthew Pritchard

Verdical CEO Andrew Deitz and Campbell Soup Company VP of Digital Marketing Matthew Pritchard

“At Verdical we believe food is deeply emotional and our work reflects that; we’re thrilled to be named the 2017 Smart Kitchen Summit Startup Showcase winner,” said Andrew Deitz, CEO, Verdical. “Our team is excited to partner with Campbell in developing a new generation of urban farmers who will have the ability to harvest food onsite year-round.”

Campbell Soup Company, the leading maker of soups and simple meals, beverages, snacks and packaged fresh foods, sponsored the 2017 Startup Showcase. As the winner of the showcase, Campbell will provide Verdical a cash prize of $10,000 and the opportunity to be mentored by Campbell executives.

“The connected kitchen of our future will provide fresh ingredients, modern recipes and cooking assistance at the touch of a button,” said Shakeel Farooque, Vice President and Head of Digital and e-Commerce, Campbell Soup Company. “By allowing consumers to grow fresh ingredients in hydroponic columns in their kitchens, Verdical is proving that the future is closer than it appears. We look forward to working with Verdical as they revolutionize kitchens across the nation.”

In addition to the finalist award, an award for innovation sponsored by Storebound was also presented to runner-up eCooker at the show. A kitchen appliance used to cook solid food homogenously in a short time at low temperatures, the eCooker doesn’t impact the nutrition of a food during cooking, preserving taste and texture.

For a full list of finalists, check out our blog post and for video of the Startup Showcase event, click here.