Saturday, October 19, 2019

New Technology Brings Fresh Food to You

Food trucks have delivered fresh food to work sites, workers, and offices for 100 years or so.  However, like everything else technology has evolved and one company is now using advacned robotics to drive incremental success according to Steven Johnson, Grocerant Guru® at Tacoma, WA based Foodservice Solutions®.
Ono Food Company, is launching later this month the first of a fleet of mobile food trucks powered by advanced robotics that’s right advance robotics in a food truck. 
Ono Blends, is billing its smoothie shop on wheels, as the first mobile restaurant in the world that uses cutting edge technology and advanced robotics to power everything from ordering to food production. The company plans to launch Ono Blends in late October at a popular Venice, Calif. food truck lot, where it will share space with Roy Choi’s pioneering food truck, Kogi BBQ.
Regular readers of this blog know that “differentiation does not mean different it means familiar but with a twist” well  Ono Blends Co-founder and CEO Stephen Klein stated  “There’s no one else doing this,”
Klein, worked at grocery delivery company Instacart and robotic coffee bar Café X in San Francisco, clearly garnering the insights, for his innovative, incremental food platform, Ono Foods that launched in July 2018 with his business partner Danny Fukuba. Fukuba previously led robotic assembly for SpaceX and worked at Zume Pizza, which uses robot pizza cooks. Johnson says this guys know food, technology and portability all hallmarks of the grocerant niche.
Ono Foods, focus is on state-of-the art food trucks that move around and feed people in so-called food deserts. “We believe the future of robotics is modular. It can be placed in different locations,” Klein said.
Garnering $2 million in capital raised from investors, the team spent the past several months developing a menu of healthy but affordable custom blended smoothies. Signature and customizable shakes are made by an assembly line of machines outfitted in a 56-square-foot space inside a 23-foot long Mercedes Sprinter.
 Interactive and participatory the team built a viewing window is built at eye-level so customers can watch their smoothie being prepared. Klein stated “Ono’s robotics system resembles the automation at fast-casual bowl concept Spyce in Boston, which made national headlines when it opened in May. Famed chef Daniel Boulud is an investor.”
Let’s talk making fast food fast and fresh, Ono robots can crank out a 20-ounce avocado & matcha smoothie in about 60 seconds. The cost: $5.95. Klein said the price is a bargain when compared to brick and mortar shops in the Los Angeles area.
Consider that Moon Juice, which has three shops in boujee Los Angeles enclaves, sells its wellness-centric shakes for $12 to $14. Klein continued “Fast-food options usually fall into two buckets: fast, healthy, and unaffordable, or fast, unhealthy, and affordable and nothing in between,”. “Combining our backgrounds in tech, automation, and culinary fine dining, we knew we could fill this void to give more people access to healthy, high-quality food.”
While technology is crucial to the business model, Klein said food quality is paramount. “The quality of the food is still the most important thing. Automation is the means to the end,” he said. Every drink is “designed to keep people energized and rejuvenated throughout the day,” the company said.
Technology is important for all food retailers according to Johnson.  Ono Blends said advanced robotics improves order accuracy, minimizes food waste, reduces water usage, and improves speed of service.  Food safety is also enhanced with self-cleaning technology.
Is you brand getting faster, fresher, or closer to you customers? Are you focusing on relevant customer touchpoints that are both interactive and participatory?
Invite Foodservice Solutions® to complete a Grocerant Program Assessment, Grocerant ScoreCard, or for product positioning or placement assistance, or call our Grocerant Guru®.  Since 1991  of Tacoma, WA has been the global leader in the Grocerant niche. Contact: or 253-759-7869

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