As culinary offerings and ingredients become more diverse, finding the items you want when you want them has become a task fit for technology's greatest minds.
Fortunately, many of them are on the mission. At the recent Future Food Expo from Taste Talks, a food events organizer in Brooklyn, New York, the latest food tech ideas to hit the market were on full display. From on-demand food delivery to bringing the farm to your home table, here's how three new food companies are poised to change the gastronomical landscape:
This San Francisco-based company, which has expanded to other cities such as Los Angeles, New York and Seattle, allows users to order chef-prepared meals online or through an app, usually at a price point of $10-15 per entree. It caters to the busy working professional, who might not have time to make a healthy meal but is committed to eating one. Co-founder Ti Tran, who formerly worked for a software company in Silicon Valley, started Munchery in 2013 because he found himself facing that very problem. Today, on Munchery, top-rated local chefs prepare meals in the company's in-house kitchens, and the meals are then delivered to the customer's door or office. What sets Munchery apart from other delivery apps is the "fresh feel" that custom-made meals provide, says Pav Seepesaud, an assitant lead with the company.
This online farmers' market connects growers with people with an interest in locally-sourced fruits, vegetables, meats and other products. The site, which also is downloadable as a mobile app, caters to foodies who might not always be able to buy their groceries in the several-hour span that a farmers' market sets up shop in their neighborhoods. Currently operating in the New York and San Francisco areas, the site allows users to order items based on the ingredients that are available in the neighborhood and delivers them to customers' doors. Co-founder and CEO Benzi Ronen, who previously held positions at Microsoft and SAP, founded the company because he wanted to use his technology expertise to fulfill what he sees as a public service, making local food more accessible.
3. Ingredient 1
This app bills itself as a personal shopper for those often mind-boggling grocery-shopping outings. By scouting local grocery stores for ingredients and their nutritional content before you even set foot in the supermarket, you can learn if the store 1) has your desired item and 2) what exactly that desired item contains. Ingredient 1 asks users to create a FoodID that allows them to only see products tailored to specific dietary needs and flavors. For brands, the app boasts a vehicle for communicating with existing or prospective customers. Founder Taryn Fixel, who formerly worked as a producer at CNN and CBS, formed the company after a conversation with her mom, who's also an entrepreneur. They talked about how difficult it can be to find the items one needs at the grocery store.