The Future Food Tech Conference in New York City last week has reveled how different companies have different priorities and different views on how best to combine food and technology. However, the conference has reveled one thing that all those companies have in common: they all believe that tech features, only used by the most innovative restaurants, are now a must-have for any restaurant, and restaurants that neglect jumping into this technology have a hard time establishing their names out there.
In this new scenario, it doesn’t surprise how the conference has seen the participation of new and innovative startups, but also big food multinationals that can no longer ignore the rapid innovation taking place in their industry. The panel participant of the conference clearly reflected this; indeed this was composed by: Chobani, the yogurt maker well-known for reaching $1 billion in revenue in 2010, only a five years from foundation;the drink giant; and General Mills, marketing brands such as Cheerios cereal, Yoplait yogurt, Nature Valley, etc.
During the conference, General Mills’ global nutrition & principal engineer – Christine Ng – talked about the importance for the company in being open to innovation and to engage third part experts in the propose of innovating their approaches:
“I think with the fast-paced world that we’re in today, it is increasingly quite a daunting task to keep up with all the things going on so I think from an open innovation approach, it’s really [important] to leverage people with diverse backgrounds and see people with different disciplines to collect information from people outside the food industry – people who are doing great things in other technology fields and figure out how to actually leverage that. Over the last ten or twenty years, we’ve seen a lot of advances in the pharmaceutical industry and many other industries leveraging life sciences approached and many exciting innovations that may still apply to food.”
According to an article published by Forkspot, a food-tech app, technology has irreversibly changed our restaurant experience from deliveries and discounts to ratings and reservations, and that is why foodtech is now a $50 billion industry world-wide.
The infographic below is meant to provide some statistical insights about the restaurant market-size of one the hottest food-tech cities in US, Los Angeles as well as describe the main features that every successful mobile app should integrate. L.A. indeed with its 28,000 restaurants and 22,4B restaurants has quickly become a huge market opportunity for those who believe in the integration of food with technology.
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