The Latest in Food and Tech | Society for Nutrition Education and Behavior (SNEB)

The Latest in Food and Tech

Posted by: on Thursday December 2, 2021

Projected online grocery shopping, food delivery more expensive, food pickup, grocery smart carts, social media marches on in the food space, robots and more are the latest food and tech news stories. And in a ‘sign of the times’…the Butterball Turkey Line (40 years old!) is available by phone, text, Alexa-enabled devices and now TikTok. Snapchat matches ingredients and online recipes. Is this a good thing? Below I describe the ‘gaps’ in online recipes and what the public needs to know.

Food pickup/grocery news…

The future of grocery e-commerce… a new report with data from online shopper surveys projects that within the next 5 years online grocery shopping will account for 20% of U.S. groceries. From the report are new online grocery habits: buying a wider variety of items (34%) and spending less time shopping (29%).

The state of food delivery costs: it’s more expensive than it used to be. Google Maps expands tracking/pickup time for 2,000 Kroger stores nationwide. Uber One is a yearly/monthly subscription service to get discounted rides for some rides, food, delivery and guaranteed pricing on rides and delivery targeted to frequent users. More grocers testing smart carts means quicker shopping and more shopper data collected.

Augmented/immersive reality…

Coca-Cola opens a holiday augmented/immersive reality store in Snapchat.

Social marketing/online recipe gaps…

Plant-based meat companies market to consumers in different ways including national ads, YouTube videos, social media, an online community of ‘mom’ ambassadors and more.

Going viral on TikTok…some ideas in a 35-minute podcast – hint: you have a VERY short window to capture someone’s attention.

H-E-B’s shoppable livestreaming cooking classes on FB began this past summer with a 12-hour event and continue weekly in a 1-hour format.

Snapchat’s new Food Scan scans ingredients and finds recipes in Allrecipes. Why is this important? Allrecipes is the world’s largest digital food brand reaching 23 countries in 12 languages. How can we raise awareness of online recipe ‘gaps’? Shoppable recipes and social media linking the public to online recipes makes it easier to find recipes that aren’t always the healthiest. Why? Online recipes categorized as ‘healthy’ may not provide lower fat, salt, sugar substitutions or in some cases, they provide substitutions for some ingredients and not for others. Here are 5 ways to make recipes healthier. I would add this tip: add more veggies to a recipe whenever possible. For some, suggesting nutrition guidelines when choosing recipes may be helpful but not all recipes provide nutrition information.

Coming to a restaurant, university, street near you…robots…

Where you’ll find (a few) robots in restaurant kitchens and other food-related places: White Castle, Buffalo Wild Wings, DoorDash. Workers needed, restaurants turn to robotsRobot food delivery at universities and on the street.

And a reminder that tech needs humans…

Some big restaurants are stopping online ordering/delivery at peak times – weekend mornings and evenings – due to staff shortages. This helps restaurants focus on dine-in customers.