4 concepts that offer ultimate convenience and a next level experience
37% of people worldwide are ready for the future. Consumers wish to see more automation, robots and machines in the food world. They are eager for food delivery to become automated without any human intervention. Think of drones delivering cakes and self-driving cars bringing home the groceries.
Automation is at the heart of many Ultimate Convenience innovations. They cater to the 37% of consumers who say they would like shops without checkout operators and robots filling the supermarket shelves. At the same time, automation can make shopping more fun. Seeing a robot bake bread before your eyes adds a memorable moment to any shopping spree. Thus offering a Next Level Experience as well; it offers consumers something to talk about or share online.
These four innovative concepts are all part of the Ultimate Convenience and Next Level Experience trends, which have consumers leaning towards hassle-free solutions that make their shopping and eating experiences easier and more exciting:
1. Le Bread Xpress, robotic micro-bakery the size of a standard vending machine for baguettes, croissants and calzone
It takes about 30 seconds from placing your order to receiving freshly baked warm bread with the Le Bread Xpress, the world's only multi-product micro-bakery. The machine is stocked with about a hundred par-baked loaves from a local wholesale bakery. The loaves are baked off in small batches within the vending machine.
An SF Gate reporter did a blind taste test, comparing the vending machine baguette to one of a local bakery. To his surprise, most of his colleagues couldn’t guess which one came from the automated micro-bakery. They even preferred the machine-baked bread over the bakery one, stating the crust was thicker, it had bigger air bubbles and the outside was still dusted with flour, giving the baguette an artisan look.
Besides the baguette vending machine, Le Bread Xpress has options for croissants, pizza’s, chocolate croissants, calzone and even pasta. Each machine can offer up to six choices in baked goods and meals that are made while you wait. The machines are often placed in shopping malls, workplaces, universities and transportation hubs.
2. Pizza restaurant Pazzi
In Paris, pizza restaurant Pazzi makes fresh pizzas without having even a single kitchen employee. Robotic arms do all the work, from spreading the dough to putting the pizza in the oven and cutting it into slices. Customers place their orders online or via touchscreens and they can grab their orders from a window by scanning their receipt.
While the aim was to open a restaurant with consistent quality and without staff, the pizza-baking robots have become a major part of the experience as well. ‘Come for the show, stay for the pizza’ the Pazzi website states, and customers enjoy watching their pizza coming together before their eyes in an efficient 5-minute process.
The restaurant took eight years to develop and a lot of time went into making sure the machines could work with the dough. “The dough is alive”, says Thierry Graffagnino, chef consultant at Pazzi and triple world pizza champion to Euronews. “The machine must constantly adapt to the evolution of the dough. So we had to give the robot the means to make these corrections on its own, and some pizza makers can't even manage that themselves".
3. Perfectly warm cookies from Alibi Cookies
There are lots of vending machines for baked goods to help consumers gain access to fresh snacks 24/7. In Japan, they have canned bread vending machines for instance, and the Sprinkles cupcake ATM in LA has gone viral multiple times. But entrepreneur Mike Evans came up with a new innovation to offer ultimate convenience to his customers.
With his Alibi Cookies, he has several cookie bot vending machines filled with cookies in about twelve flavors, from M&M, s’mores and red velvet to pumpkin spice. The cookies come wrapped and warm at a temperature of 100 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit (around 40 °C) at all times. Offering consumers the perfect eating experience, because the cookies feel fresh and have the perfect soft texture. With the cookies - which are freshly made each morning - he wants people to have the same experience as walking into a bakery and getting a cookie straight from the oven.
4. The BreadBot mini bakery
While Le Bread Xpress uses semi-finished products from local bakeries, The BreadBot does all the work from scratch. It mixes, forms, proofs, bakes and cools bread all on its own. And because it’s a transparent machine, the process is completely visible. Customers can watch how the bread starts from basic ingredients and ends up as a complete loaf.
From start to finish, the Breadbot takes about 96 minutes to bake a loaf of bread. And it can deliver around 10 loaves per hour. The bread that rolls out of the machine is a pan loaf, the most sold bread in the US.
In our interview with Randall Wilkinson, CEO of Wilkinson Baking, the creator of the BreadBot, he explains how the baking robot taps into several food trends. Wilkinson: “Consumers trust the bread to be healthy and clean label, because they’ve seen it being produced from just flour. And additionally, they can see that the bread doesn’t need trucks for transport to stores; dry ingredients are the only items shipped. Combined with the minimization of waste – the number of loaves baked can be tailored to daily demand – makes this a planet-proof way of producing bread.”
Another interesting innovation is the 3D food printer. That technology is experimented with now in the fight against food waste. We talked with Upprinting Food founder Elzelinde van Doleweerd and Natural Machines founder Lynette Kuczma about their 3D food printing. Read what they have to say.