The Weekly Spoon: Nomiku’s Food Delivery Biz, Anova Nano Review, Amazon Go Is Growing (And So Are We!)


The SKS team at Guinness Storehouse in Dublin for SKS Europe

People love our newsletters, so we thought we’d start also making them available as posts. If you want to get the Weekly Spoon in your inbox, just subscribe here. On to this week’s newsletter…

As the worlds of technology and food continue to collide, one trend gaining traction is the pairing of kitchen appliances with food subscriptions.

The idea makes sense. Hardware-only business models are nearly impossible to pull off nowadays, as the combination of ever-faster commoditization cycles, fickle consumers and Amazonification of online commerce make for rough sailing for those startups setting sail into consumer technology. Unless your product becomes a viral sensation – which does happen periodically – you’ll need to develop a sustainable long-tail revenue model (or have a plan for one), especially if you plan to raise funding for your new business.

Consumer sous vide pioneer Lisa Fetterman knows full well the difficulty of building a consumer hardware business. The author and mother of two started Nomiku back in 2012 and has been evangelizing her sous vide circulators ever since, but at a sub-$300 price point, it was hard to pencil out the P&L for a product made in the lofty-rent space of San Francisco.

Fetterman and Nomiku also had to convince consumers to use a product which, while delivering amazing results, also requires a significant behavior change on their part.  For a generation raised on frozen food, having them bag, submerge and sear to get dinner on the table is a big ask.

Which is why Fetterman decided to incorporate the entire meal journey – meal planning, food, and cooking – into the Nomiku experience.  The company introduced their Nomiku Meals last year, a food delivery service that allows consumers to mix and match sides and entrees in prepackaged portions and prepare them in 30 minutes. After starting with a 300 person pilot last May, today Nomiku Meals is available in eight states and makes up the majority of the company’s revenue.

It’s too soon to tell whether Nomiku will ultimately succeed in the face of competition from meal kits companies and Amazon, but from the looks of it, things are off to a good start.

You can read my full piece about how Fetterman is transforming Nomiku into a sous vide powered food delivery company here.

Nomiku isn’t the only company making news in the world of sous vide. Anova started selling their latest-generation circulator to the general public the past week on Amazon, and after picking up a Nano last week at the Anova Kitchen, i put together an appropriately-sized review of the diminutive device. And finally, the Spoon’s Jenn Marston visited a new food hall that uses sous vide to cook everything on the menu.

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With the July 4th holiday, it was a light work week for many in the States. To celebrate America’s independence in proper Spoon fashion, Chris Albrecht put together some ideas for a food tech Fourth. Catherine catches us up on efforts by Suggestic to incorporate AR into your diet planning.

If you’re on the east coast, be forewarned: The Spoon in headed your way. We’ll be hosting our first Spoon Food Tech meetup on the future of sustainable seafood in beautiful Providence, RI.  Ashley tells me the summers in Rhode Island are the best in the whole US, and while this Pacific Northwest resident is skeptical, I’m eager to eat some lobster and meet some of you at Providence Pilotworks on the 17th.

As you may have noticed, we’ve been growing here at The Spoon. We’ve added both Chris and Catherine as full-time writers this year, and have my old Gigaom friend Jenn Marston giving us lots of great insights every week.  It’s a great crew, and I’m very thankful to be working with them every day, and I hope you are enjoying their writing and insights into the fast-changing world of food tech.

With so much content, we’ve decided to start publishing the Spoon newsletter twice a week. I know it may not seem like that big of news, but for me, it’s yet another small sign of the exciting growth we’ve been experiencing.

It’s also been extremely gratifying to see what started out as a small idea to bring together the leaders across food, appliances, and tech to map the future of food at an event in 2015 grow into a company. It’s hard to believe that in the short time since we launched SKS in 2015, it now takes place on three continents; we just finished the inaugural SKS Europe, and I’m headed back to Tokyo for our second SKS Japan in August. And of course, we’re busy ramping up for the big show in Seattle in October.

I’m thankful to the sponsors who support us, and all the speakers who share insights about their businesses and where this exciting market is going. And of course, we’re thankful to all those who come to our events and participate in our growing community. We couldn’t do it without you.

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Mike

P.S. Looking to get smart on food tech and meet industry insiders? Join our food tech Slack already

In the 07/06/2018 edition of the Weekly Spoon:

By Catherine Lamb on Jul 06, 2018 09:38 am
What if you could wave your phone over a restaurant menu and see “through” the descriptions, instantly assessing which dishes are best (and worst) for you to eat? That’s exactly what Bay Area startup Suggestic is working on. When users first open the free app, they set up their goals (lose weight, have more energy) and dietary […]
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By Michael Wolf on Jul 05, 2018 02:00 pm
When Lisa Fetterman started Nomiku, all she wanted to do was get the word out about sous vide cooking. “When I first saw these machines in Michelin-starred restaurants,” said the CEO, book author, and mother of two, “I was like ‘Woah, this is it.’” By ‘it,’ Fetterman is referring to the technique employed by the […]
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By Catherine Lamb on Jul 05, 2018 12:30 pm
Tyson Foods produces a massive one out of five pounds of protein consumed in the United States. Barilla isn’t any slouch either, with its 30% dry pasta market share in the US and 10% worldwide. That’s a whole lotta chicken and pasta, so when execs for the investment arms of these two food giants took the […]
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By Catherine Lamb on Jul 05, 2018 08:17 am
This month we’re taking our food tech meetups on the road — to Providence, RI! We’re teaming up with SeaAhead and the City of Providence for this event, all about blue tech and sustainable seafood. Through panels and a town hall meeting, we’ll explore how innovation and technology can improve sustainability while still meeting the rising global […]
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By Chris Albrecht on Jul 04, 2018 06:00 am
In addition to expanding the number of locations of its Go stores, Amazon is also working on making them bigger. According to a story in Geekwire, Amazon is prepping a second Amazon Go location in Seattle opening in the Fall of this year, and this one will be 3,000 square feet, compared with the 1,800 […]
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By Michael Wolf on Jul 03, 2018 05:00 pm
When Anova named their newest product the Nano, there was no mistaking the message they were trying to get across: that this, the latest in their lineup of sous vide circulators, is their smallest yet. And so in the spirit of the Anova Nano, I present to you what is an appropriately small review of […]
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By Chris Albrecht on Jul 03, 2018 02:00 pm
It’s weird when a major holiday falls on a Wenesday, right? Do you take just the day off? The first half of the week? The last half? The whole week? Regardless of how much time you take off, we can help make your time at the grill a great one with these FoodTech finds. FOOD […]
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By Catherine Lamb on Jul 03, 2018 01:00 pm
At Smart Kitchen Summit Europe last month, a topic on everyone’s mind was the future of the connected kitchen market. In fact, we had a whole panel devoted to analyzing the regional perspectives of the smart kitchen marketplace: Chris Albrecht of The Spoon moderated the conversation between Holger Henke of Cuicinale, Robin Liss of Suvie, […]
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By Catherine Lamb on Jul 03, 2018 12:00 pm
Airplane food gets an (admittedly deserved) bad rap, but airlines are working to change all that with fresh, vertically-grown lettuce, local craft beers, and, now, plant-based burgers. Yesterday, Air New Zealand sent out a tweet announcing that the buzzed-about Impossible Burger will be available to Business Premier passengers on their Los Angeles to Auckland flight […]
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By Jennifer Marston on Jul 03, 2018 11:00 am
Last week, Sous Vide Kitchen (SVK) joined NYC’s sprawling food hall scene, where associations with celebrity chefs are the norm and $300 caviar is a thing. Comparatively, SVK’s take on the food hall concept is far more down to earth, focused mostly around technology and how it can streamline and improve the process of ordering […]
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