What was once considered an odd couple, food and technology, has turned into a delicious marriage. With a click of the button on Eat24, you can receive a meal from your favorite restaurants or have FreshDirect deliver your groceries. One works with ingredients and the other with images. With digital marketers always searching for the next wave of innovation, a marriage of the minds has occurred. Recipes can be read from artificial intelligence, grocery bills can summarize nutrition information of purchases to enable better food choices, and packaging can visually and interactively tell a brand’s story. It is a mouthwatering time to be in the food and technology industries.
Listen to recipes
Alexa could be the futuristic housekeeper thanks to Amazon. Campbell’s is partnering with Amazon Echo, a voice-control technology that works via a speaker system. Users can ask for recipes and have the steps described to them as they are cooking. Even more innovative is that the app can make grocery lists, including Campbell’s brands such as Swanson, Pace, Prego and Pepperidge Farm.
Show me the receipts
Designer Hayden Peek is seeking ways to make a balanced diet easier than ever. One of the times we think most about food is when we are grocery shopping. The sizable scale in the front of the store allows customers to weigh themselves before shopping. Those with weight issues may not do so to avoid public shaming, but a more discreet way to make healthy choices at the grocery store is to display nutritional information on checkout receipts. Foods in the UK follow a green-yellow-red light system to show which foods are a go (green) which should be eaten only if in balance with other foods (yellow) and which should be eaten sparingly (red). Still, with the rising rates of obesity we may need to get a bit bolder by summarizing purchases according to ratings of sugar, fats, and calories as high, medium, or low.
Take your packaging on an adventure
Packaging is not just taking up space. Brands such as Martell are now offering creative packaging. In collaboration with the creative agency AKQA, the cardboard afterthoughts can be turned into a virtual reality headset that showcases, via a virtual bird, the visual journey of the product. Coke has also come aboard and consumers can fold their cardboard packaging in such a way that it can implement a smartphone to view the brand’s storytelling video. Other companies are taking note of how to visually tell their brands story through an interactive journey.
In futuristic cartoons, food is dehydrated down to a single nutritious bite. While that may never happen, the future of packaging and receipts is happening now. Brands such as Campbell’s are utilizing artificial intelligence to read recipes and to download ingredients into a virtual shopping list that’s brand-friendly. Receipts may now discreetly summarize the contents of shopping carts, allowing consumers to tweak their diet if they find foods that are not quite as healthy as expected. Putting away said groceries may be made more fun with packaging that can be folded to hold smartphones or to take a visual journey of a brand’s story. The marriage of food and technology will be changing the way we cook, eat, and learn about a brand. What ways will you incorporate technology into your food brand?