Eating is one of those things that humans have been doing since the beginning of time, so you would think that we’d have perfected the art by now. Indeed, it is getting a lot harder to carve out new territory in the food and beverage industry, but every year there is still a wealth of great new ideas and game-changing innovations that are changing how people buy, consume and think about the things they put in their body. Here are five interesting innovations that evolved in the food and beverage industry this year.
Recipes to Go
This one falls under the category, “Why Didn’t Anyone Think of That Before?” A grocery chain in Brazil has started printing recipes on the back of customers’ receipts that takes into account their current purchases. For the customer, it’s a great way to grab a few new culinary ideas for that evening’s dinner. For the store, and the brands it sells, it’s an opportunity to increase sales and focus on staple items that can easily be incorporated into all kinds of meals. Now, if only they could go ahead and prepare the meal for you.
A company called Halfsies is partnering with restaurants to give patrons the option to buy a half portion at full price and donate the proceeds to a local food poverty charity. This is similar to the one for you, one for them used by many socially conscious clothing and eye glass companies. It’s a great way to get consumers to think about important issues like hunger and poverty, and a great way to make a meaningful contribution without having to make a huge statement.
Old Dog, New Tricks
Guinness is one of the oldest breweries in the world, but that doesn’t mean they’re comfortable doing things the old way. The company loves to use it’s expertise to answer the demands of the ever-expanding craft brew market. They recently introduced an English IPA, which takes the perfect balance of their legendary stout and ups the hop content to appease a more modern palette. Other large breweries have struggled to appeal to the craft brew scene by being overly pandering and often downright dishonest. Not Guinness. They simply took what made them great, and put just the right amount of spin on it.
Subscription Services Evolved
Last year we had food subscription services and we had music subscription services. Now Turntable Kitchen has gone and combined them into one thing. Like Blue Apron, Turntable provides all of the ingredients you need to prepare a delicious meal, but it also provides a soundtrack to accompany the cooking process. It’s all customizable to your tastes. Are you a vegetarian who loves early 90s hip hop? Then Turntable might just be the food and music subscription service for you.
The year 2016 will go down in the history books as the year of made-to-order food, and we don’t just mean getting to select the toppings for your burrito or yogurt parfait. Companies like uFlavor and Make Cheese are giving adventurous eaters the opportunity to design their own foods to their specific likings. UFlavor lets users create their own drink flavors online and then purchase them from select beverage fountains, which mix the drinks onsite. Anyone has the option to try your drink, and the most popular ones are ranked on uDrink’s website.