FOOD FOR THOUGHT
In an effort to explore more of the ideas and changes in the food + technology space, I was inspired to start C+T longform, a (tiny) but growing collection on essays expanding upon the ideas and news shared through this weekly newsletter. Up first: some thoughts on food delivery technology / sort-of rebuttal to a recent SF Magazine piece that seemed a little too curmudgeonly for a tech-savvy audience. I’m excited about this one. You can read it on Medium.
Epicurious Can Send You Coupons While You Shop
In the continued theme of “get what you want exactly when you want it,” grocery shoppers can get ready for coupons that will push straight to their phones… as they’re walking down the store aisle. The functionality is built into the latest version of the popular Epicurious app, and thanks to the magic of Bluetooth, sends you coupons for products as you walk by them in the store. No joke. (Incognito shoppers can turn this functionality off.) The technology behind this was developed by a company called inMarket, but instead of creating a new and dedicated app, they’re smartly taking advantage of 10 million Epicurious app downloads and baking the tech right into the next app update. Fascinating.
Earth Day + Restaurants + Social
Hey, hey, it’s Earth Day, a holiday one probably doesn’t associate with restaurants. Until now? Chefs and food purveyors are arguably some of the most green-connected people on the block, sourcing fresh produce, local ingredients, and top quality, so it makes sense that they’d embrace the holiday. Of note: Mario Batali’s restaurants are offering lettuce mix seed packets with every meal, and Babbo in New York is hosting a special dinner featuring seven specially-selected wine growers to feature, paired with a local-seasonal food dish for optimal enjoyment. Given Batali’s position on the top of the charts as a digital-savvy (and perhaps opportunistic) chef, no surprise that he’d take the opportunity to promote an important day. And while the sentiment is so, so simple — promoting one’s restaurant specials online — his distribution network and the ubiquity of social technology spread the message farther than possible in the past. Happy Earth Day!
One to Watch: Morsel
Smart new company alert! Morsel, billing itself as “a beautiful storytelling app for chefs, mixologists and sommeliers” has started quietly sharing some well-informed digital marketing content applicable to the food and beverage industry. The actual app hasn’t launched yet, but industry pros should reserve a username now (Do this! Remember when you didn’t do this on Twitter?) to follow the very latest. I’m excited to see what comes of this company, because honestly, it’s why I started C+T: to showcase the best food talent doing the most exciting things online, translating the offline experience of eating to online success. Fingers crossed this turns into something awesome.
- “Fictitious Dishes” features gorgeous photography of meals as they appear in word descriptions inside famous books — Bon Appetit
- An app that delivers pizza and pot. For serious. — Mass Appeal via @Infatuation
- Mobile payments for everyone! (Fast food, especially.) — Foodable