I read an interesting and amusing quote somewhere. It goes like this – technology is advanced when I can download food! I am not sure if these are the exact words, but the quote more or less indicates the intent of the person who came up with this. Well, it is not possible right now, but who knows, someday in the future, it may become reality. Yes, I am a die-hard optimist with a belief system that refuses to wither away!
We often hear the terms, food tech, food apps and order food online. These are not terms used in exclusivity. They have become commonplace words used in everyday life. On an average a person orders via food delivery apps at least once a week. This is a global statistic but if you were to check country specific statistics, some countries like the United States, France and Singapore have higher ratios of people vs. order food online iterations.
‘Food tech is evolving at a fast pace!’ is yet another phrase we get to hear. That makes me wonder what food tech is actually. Like so many other technology related words or phrases, there is no specific definition given regarding food tech. In a broader sense, food tech is the use and application of technology that is available to us today in the fields of food produce, packaging, management and supply. Another way to look at it would be use of technology from the time food grains are produced until it is sold as an end product to a willing customer. Food delivery apps are technology agents that help a customer order food online. They are just one part of the whole food tech ambit.
Another important aspect of the food tech are the players, who are basically various parties involved in making this business run. Order food online apps are the starting point for sure. They are the first points of interaction for any customer. Once a customer places an order via an app, it starts a chain. The order is accepted by a provider. The provider can be a standalone restaurant, a food aggregator like the Swiggy or Food Panda or someone like FreshMenu who run cloud kitchens, (We will talk about cloud kitchens in details some other time. For now, let’s just understand them as kitchens that do not run in a strict brick and mortar premises in a restaurant.) The food is then delivered. The customer has the full liberty to rate the services of the provider on different kinds of apps. This whole chain of actions is supported by an underlying technology which is also food tech.
An important contributor to food tech is mobile technology. Android and Apple based smart phones have easy to download and use food delivery apps. These apps are designed with great attention to detail with respect to interface and user experience. The visuals provided in these apps help one decide or decline a particular food item. Plus, these apps allow a lot of scope for customization of ingredients.
These whole gamuts of activities fall under the purview of food tech. It is a space that is definitely evolving and at a fast pace!