Smart Kitchen Notes: Full Program Announced, ChefJet Alive, Smart Appliances Still Expensive
This is Smart Kitchen Notes, a newsletter with news and analysis about the connected kitchen and the Smart Kitchen Summit. If you were forwarded this email and enjoy our content, do yourself and us a favor and subscribe!
In This Edition...
- Full program for SKS 2016 announced
- 3D Systems ChefJet still alive according to CIA's 3D food printing expert
- 3D printing pop up restaurant makes its way to London
- Freshly nabs $21 million for being fresh
- Smart appliances still too expensive according to Lux
- Food service jobs most likely to be taken over by robots, according to McKinsey
- Podcast: From Cars to Precision Cooking: The Story of Cinder
This has been an exciting week for us here at the Smart Kitchen Summit, as we finally announced our full schedule of programming.
Starting with the opening reception on the evening of October 5th with our Startup Showcase to an action packed day of programming on October 6th exploring cutting edge technologies such as food and cooking AI, guided cooking, 3D food printing and personal produce to new disruptive business models such as connected commerce, food subscriptions and more, we can't wait to bring the connected kitchen ecosystem together once again in Seattle to chart the course for the next year.
Check out the full schedule here as well as our amazing list of speakers. If you're interested in coming to the Summit, you can still get early bird tickets for the next two weeks here.
If you're heading out for a long weekend, make sure to download some of our podcasts, including our latest conversation with Eric Norman, who went from designing cars in Japan to making a smart cooking device in the Cinder Cooker.
Lastly, if you want to get this weekly newsletter with the latest on the future of the kitchen, cooking and food in your inbox, remember to subscribe today.
On to the news...
Last year, one of the world's biggest makers of 3D printing hardware, 3D Systems, had sailed into rough waters. First it was a class action lawsuit from angry investors who claimed management has misled them, then a plant closure, and finally the departure of their CEO under a cloud of controversy. All of this would be somewhat tangential to foodtech other than the fact the company is the highest profile manufacturer to announce plans for a mass production 3D food printer. The company first signaled an entry into 3D food printing in 2013 with the acquisition of Sugar Labs, and by 2014 they'd announced the ChefJet and ChefJet Pro at CES. By CES 2015, they were talking about a mid-year release and showing off a demo. Read More
Around The Kitchen
While chefs around the world have been experimenting with 3D food printing for the last few years, we've yet to see a restaurant dedicated exclusively to 3D printed food. Until now, that is. Food Ink, which is actually more performance art concept than a true restaurant, bills itself as "a conceptual pop-up dinner series where fine cuisine meets art, philosophy and tomorrow's technologies". The experience, which includes 3D printed utensils and a meal where they claim everything is 3D printed (though we have our doubts after seeing pictures of a salad complete with lettuce and tomatoes), will travel to other locations, including New York City and LA, in the future. Read More
Freshly, a food delivery startup focused on delivering healthy and fresh food, announced a $21 million series B round. The food delivery startup business - while still the largest sector in foodtech - has seen some doubters lately and a resultant pullback in funding dollars and some companies going out of business entirely. Freshly seems to be bucking the trend, but also may just be a sign that despite a downturn, investors still see a big opportunity is food delivery. Read More
They are if you ask Lux Research, who published a report saying that pricing of connected kitchen products are three times that of other products. We've noticed a similar price premium for new high profile products like the Samsung Family Hub refrigerator, which is not altogether surprising since we're still in the earliest phases of the connected white goods market. That said, as companies like Whirlpool begin to roll out their product lines into their mainstream brands (they're starting with their premium brand Jenn-Air) and as companies like Sears begin to offer connected appliances, we expect pricing to drop fairly quickly in the coming 12-24 months. Read More
In fact, after evaluating over 800 types of jobs, the consulting firmed said food service jobs are more at risk than any other job category. According to the Wall Street Journal, the report said "Food service is the industry most likely to be taken over by technology, according to the report, since 73% of the tasks performed by food workers could be automated based on existing technologies."
While cooking automation and the arrival of robotics in high-end culinary as well as, longer term, in the home kitchen is exciting, there's definitely a darker side to the advancement of the technology around job displacement. Read More
A decade ago, Eric Norman was working on product design at Toyota headquarters in Japan. Now, he's taken his love of cuisine and food and is applying much of what he learned creating big metal boxes to cart us around to helping create the next generation of cooking devices. Listen!