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As the pandemic brings our plates and pantries to the forefront of a global discussion, technology is shaping more of what and how we eat. In the first half of the year, food tech companies raised over $8bn. After a year of operating in beta, HNGRY is launching a premium subscription media service for food and technology insiders called HNGRY Trends.

For $200/yr or $20/mo, subscribers will gain access to a platform of weekly deep dives, digests, and bi-monthly reports into trends like ghost kitchens, grocery delivery, personalized nutrition, alternative proteins and much more. …


Startups and restaurant groups are leveraging underutilized kitchens to deploy celebrity-branded delivery concepts in thousands of cities across the US, offering a new revenue stream to large and small restaurants alike. (Source: Earl Enterprises)

What do Wiz Khalifa, Tyga, Pauly D, Steve Aoki, and Travis Barker have in common? They’re all part of the inaugural class of celebrity-themed virtual restaurant brands deployed in ghost kitchens and existing brick-and-mortar restaurants seeking a new lifeline. According to Second Measure, as food delivery grew 158% YoY in August, tech startups and celebrities have formed new partnerships to design turn-key dishes to sell through brick and mortar restaurants in need of an extra boost. …


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Zuul Kitchens is unveiling its direct Market ordering platform that enables NYC residents and workers to order from 100+ dishes across six concepts for free.

All photography courtesy of Zuul

“Delivery as it exists today is a $26bn market that everyone hates,” says Corey Manicone, co-founder and CEO of Zuul Kitchens, NYC’s first ghost kitchen operator. “It’s one person delivering food from one restaurant to one location. It’s tough to find a winner in that equation.” Zuul is optimizing that by delivering multiple orders from multiple restaurants to one location using a single courier. “Having multiple brands under one roof allows us to change the game,” he adds.

The startup has been heads down on solving the challenge of boosting average order values for its local restaurant tenants Stone Bridge Pizza, Naya, Junzi, and Sarge’s Deli. Last year, it launched its first 5,000 sqft facility in the heart of Soho with five restaurants and a meal kit operator. Over the last six months, it has been beta testing its own multi-concept direct ordering and delivery platform that has partnered with local office and residential buildings in Manhattan to batch delivery orders on a limited schedule, drastically reducing the cost of its deliveries. An average delivery within Zuul’s core downtown NYC radius costs about $5, but can now be split across up to as many as seven orders, bringing the average delivery cost per order to less than a dollar.


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Pizza makeover: Slice’s Accelerate program invests $15,000 in independent pizzerias like Pizza Mia in Staten Island, NY to help transform their physical and digital consumer touchpoints.

All photography courtesy of Slice

While Papa John’s and Domino’s experienced impressive Q2 YoY same-store sales growth at 28% and 16% respectively, another platform powering 14,000 independent pizzerias’ online orders saw its core segment double their sales volumes. That platform is the New York-based Slice, which is steadily inching its way towards disrupting the pizza franchise model as it leverages its economies of scale to help local independents thrive in the online age with a comprehensive marketing, technology, branding and advertising playbook. …


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Deep cover: HNGRY investigates Amazon Fresh’s new “dark store” delivery service from a driver’s POV over the course of two days.

Photography by Patrick Fallon for HNGRY

A year ago, Professor Carlos Moreno of the Paris-Sorbonne University coined the idea of a “15-minute city,” a proposal to transform “mono-functional” urban centers into highly accessible, polycentric cities that support the six essential urban functions of living, working, supplying, caring, learning, and enjoying. Amidst simultaneous health and climate crises in the US, his words ring truer than ever:

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Prof. Moreno’s vision of a highly mobile cityscape that supports the six essential functions of urban centers. (Source: Carlos Moreno)

“Our world cities, everywhere on the planet, concentrate time and again the core of human activity, but they are still driven by the paradigm of the oil era and its impact on roads and general urban planning. The era of omnipresent cars, associated with a lifestyle based on the ownership of a vehicle as an element of social status, is still present, but is faltering. …


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CloudKitchens is aggressively expanding into 25 nationwide markets through acquisitions of non-traditional real estate like the warehouse above in the Wynwood neighborhood of Miami, FL. (Source: Big Move Properties)
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A map of CloudKitchen-owned properties. (Source: HNGRY, Google)

If he builds it will they come?

That’s the big question for Travis Kalanick and his portfolio of 41 CloudKitchens locations that HNGRY has uncovered by searching through dozens of shell property companies and lease materials associated with its City Storage Company parent. …


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Molson Coors and HEXO Corp have unveiled five product lines of THC and CBD-infused beverages and tinctures aimed at targeting new occasions where alcohol may not yet exist. (Source: Truss Beverages)

There are 140 billion global beverage occasions per year and if Molson Coors gets its way, a good chunk of those will eventually be celebrated with cannabis. In 2018, it formed a joint venture with HEXO, one of the largest publicly traded cannabis companies in Canada, under the Truss Beverages brand. Last week, it finally released its lineup of five functional THC and CBD infused beverages in Canada, crafted as better-for-you alternatives to alcoholic beverage analogs with low amounts of natural sugar. The drinks retail at a $6.99–9.99 CAD price point ($5.36-$7.66 USD), with the majority containing low-dose, 1:1 ratios of THC and CBD that target occasions ranging from health and wellness to higher energy social events. The initiative stems from Molson Coors’ pre-pandemic research into its core beer segment, finding that a third of beer drinkers have reduced their consumption while a quarter are looking for wellness-aligned alcohol options. Around the same time as its CBD launch last fall, Molson Coors dropped ‘Brewing Co’ from its name in favor of ‘Beverage Company’ as it pivoted into other alcoholic categories like vodka and hard seltzers and most notably, non-alcoholic ones like kombucha, hopped sparkling water, and cannabis-infused beverages. …


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Postmates is testing a new ghost kitchen model in Los Angeles that licenses its top selling brands to caterers in existing commercial kitchens like the former French fine dining restaurant, Spring.

Photos by Patrick Fallon for HNGRY

When it comes to ghost kitchen models there are real estate plays like CloudKitchens on one side, pure-play subleased facilities like Kitchen United and DoorDash Kitchens in the middle, and asset-light franchise models on the other. Postmates is making its debut into the space using the latter strategy as it puts together a three-way partnership between top performing restaurant brands, caterers, and its marketplace. It’s not your typical idea of a ghost kitchen–– all licensed brands are prepared from a single kitchen housed in a former French fine dining restaurant in a historic loft building fully equipped with a skylight atrium and marble countertops. The site is located around the corner from Grand Central Market in Downtown LA and launched on July 24th with Canter’s Deli, followed by Trejo’s Tacos and Dialog Cafe over the subsequent weeks. …


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Levels is a new behavioral change tool that helps individuals understand the impact of their diet, exercise, sleep, and stress on their metabolic health. (Source: Levels)

97% of Covid-related deaths are associated with obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. Americans cannot afford to continue to shut down our economy and overwhelm our healthcare system each time we face a new pandemic.

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Kitch is a new marketplace for flexible commercial kitchen rentals by the day or month, powering new innovative delivery-only expansions while providing new revenue streams to commercial tenants and landlords.

When it comes to leasing shared commercial kitchen space for off-site catering, prep, or delivery, there are generally two routes: multi-tenant facilities like Cloud, Amped, and Hana Kitchens or a growing number of restaurants, hotels, and clubs with underutilized kitchen space due to the pandemic. The latter is only growing in number and falling in price as the growing majority of restaurant closures become permanent in tier 1 cities like New York. …

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