Inside the Race to Build the Netflix of Food
Kraft-Heinz’s Evolv is using the algorithmic analysis pioneered by tech companies to help us plan our meals
“Food is the single most important habit that we have as human beings. What we’re doing is bigger than tech, it’s bigger than food, it’s bigger than I think any of the things that I’ve worked in my career. We’re fundamentally changing how people think about the single most important habit of their lives.”
– Mani Gopalakrishnan, VP of Digital Innovation for Kraft-Heinz
Food and technology are having a moment.
The love affair began in the 2000s, when companies like Seamless burst onto the scene. Then came Blue Apron, which knew that the value of food wasn’t merely in the food itself, but rather in the social experience of making it. So-called “track and trace” companies have since taken center stage by offering interested parties unprecedented insight into every aspect of their food: where it’s from, how long it traveled from farm to table, what it’s been exposed to, if it was produced on a farm with GMOs, and more.
We’re still very much in the top half of the first inning in terms of maximizing what food can be to people, for two main reasons: 1) a lack of data-driven solutions to deliver convenience and personalization to consumers at scale thanks to the messy nature of consumer packaged goods (CPG) data, and 2) the food value chain is organized around retailers, not consumers.
Some companies are attempting to solve these problems, and the race is officially on to create the Netflix of food.
It’s crucial to understand that massive companies are borne out of shifts in the technology landscape. Uber was only able to launch once the mobile phone reached a certain saturation point. Likewise, the Netflix moment for food is only possible in a world where technology can index nutritional data from millions, if not billions of people, and turn those insights into useful solutions for consumers.
That moment is now, and one company on the precipice of realizing it is Evolv, Kraft-Heinz’s answer to the future of food.