Few things are as inherently social as food, we love eating it, cooking it, and learning about where to best get it from and experience it with others. Brands and startups have been fast to mobilize around this opportunity – from Jamie Oliver‘s Food Revolution, to Foodspotting, to the oftentimes polarizing Whole Foods. The instinctive opportunity for collaboration, innovation and creativity resulting from the intersection of food and technology have us particularly interested in the organization Food+Tech Connect, which identifies, connects & elevates opportunities specifically at this intersection.
Chitra Agrawal hosted a panel at this year’s SXSW on ‘How Technology is Revolutionizing the Way We Eat’, recapping full learnings and emerging innovators in a recent blog post on Food+Tech Connect. We were particularly interested in some of the emerging trends & patterns they observed, as well as the related examples cited:
- Customized recommendations: Based on previous choices, diet preferences, and the like: Food On the Table and Foursquare Explore
- Food source transparency and education: Food Sprout, QR codes on vegetables, Snooth (wine education)
- Merchant and customer engagement: Social Grub on Facebook, Specials on Foursquare
- Forming communities: Super Marmite, Grubwithus
- Sales/specials aggregators: AnyLeaf, Seven Lunches
- Improving economies of scale for buyers (group grocery shopping): Wholeshare
- Networked objects, cooking instruments: There may come a day when we receive mobile alerts that we’re running out of milk or eggs. For now, the iGrill is the first grilling/cooking thermometer and app that transmits temperature measures to your smartphone through a Bluetooth connection
- Reviving food traditions and DIY craft: Learning to make kimchee or cheese, brew beer, or grow a hydroponic vegetable garden is more accessible than ever. Enter David Chang’s Lucky Peach, Lovefre.sh, and Maangshi’s Korean Cooking Show
- Increasing accessibility to locally-grown foods: Real Time Farms, Greenling and Relay
We believe food, whether its consumed at a restaurant, at a supper club, or purchased from local purveyors to be prepared at home, represents a naturally social and engaging opportunity that can be particularly enhanced by technology. We look forward to seeing some of these trends permeate, and the offerings that can address them.
Trend report on two of my favorite things tech and food. See they are related