Is Printing Food The Next Big Thing?

By: Sam Ventresca

Technology is growing now more than ever and with the advancements in 3D printing, printing food has become a real possibility. Yes, that’s right. One can now print out food with the “Foodini.” The Foodini is a 3D printer created by Natural Machines. The innovative printer works by putting ingredients into stainless steel capsules and then placing into the printer. Then with a press of a button, the Foodini begins to print out the food. The ingredients, made of a paste texture, will soon be turned into the meal you are looking for. According to co-founder of Natural Machines, Lynette Kucsma, the Foodini can print out multiple meals ranging from savory to sweet.

As of right now, the Foodini can only print out the food and does not cook it. However, a future model will be able to cook the food as well. The printer is able to create extremely complex meals and food designs. In addition to creating unique food designs, the printer excels in creating delicate food. The Foodini also has a touch screen with Wi-Fi built in that allows people to share their cooking recipes with one another. Along with the touch screen, the printer can be controlled by a smartphone.

Natural Machines compares the new innovative device to the microwave. Years ago people were skeptical of the microwave when it first came out. Today the microwave is in almost every household. Natural Machines wants to market the product towards households who don’t have time to prepare meals. Natural Machines believes in the Foodini’s ability to cut down on the long preparation time it takes to make delicious, healthy food, inclining people who don’t have hours to prepare meals to buy the machine.

The Foodini has potential to play on consumer involvement. People always want to buy the next new, exciting product. The Foodini has that potential to satisfy people’s social, economic, and personal wants. With the Foodini, people can show off their new innovative device to friends and family. The projected retail price of the Foodini is listed at $1,000. Therefore, not everyone is going to be able to afford this item. This gives people the opportunity to demonstrate economic significance, appear to be wealthy, and sophisticated. Along with fulfilling a want, the Foodini can fulfill a personal need. People always need to use their time wisely, especially in today’s environment. The Foodini allows one to use their time wisely by not having to prepare food that could take hours. Instead people can press a button and the Foodini will prepare the food for them.

The market research put into any product is essential. For the Foodini to get its foot in the door market research is a must. Fortunately for Foodini, it has the advantage of being the first of its kind. Foodini has already had people try the printer and it has received good reviews. Allowing people to test the product before it comes out is important for Natural Machines because it allows them to capitalize on the fact that it is the only food printer on the market. This process of market research allows Natural Machines personnel to ask questions to the participants as well. A next big step for Natural Machines, potentially, is having people try the Foodini in high-end food retail stores like Williams-Sonoma. Therefore, Foodini can get its foot in the door with retailers and answer questions from potential consumers.

The Foodini has an opportunity to be the next must have item. However, Foodini might be better off selling to high-end restaurants first. The Foodini has potential to do well in these restaurants because of the printer’s ability to make complex, delicate food. This start in high-end restaurants could eventually lead to many households in America, and across the world, owning the food printer. The Foodini hasn’t met its goals yet, but it has proved to be a new, interesting innovation.

Source: http://www.cnn.com/2014/11/06/tech/innovation/foodini-machine-print-food/

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7 thoughts on “Is Printing Food The Next Big Thing?

  1. Jeff Marcoux February 11, 2015 / 2:55 pm

    Sam- This is a truly unique item- one that I find very interesting. I agree that it’s one of those products that will that time to be “accepted” by the general public, but once it is, it will probably be in every household. It’s also a product that will be exclusive due to its limited availability and high price, but over time will be available and affordable for the masses. The Foodini should be marketed on the Food Network first (show hosts and cooking competitions), and this will naturally progress to restaurants and individual households that can afford it.
    -Jeff Marcoux

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  2. Kyley Murphy February 12, 2015 / 6:03 pm

    What an interesting piece of technology! Reminds me a lot of the Back to the Future movie. In marketing this new product, Natural Machines needs to be sure to target the right market. Consumers who are looking for all natural foods might never go for this, even though the company indicates there are no preservatives in their capsules. It seems more like a product for busy families, like you mentioned. Selling the product to a restaurant is a very good idea. I’ve never worked in that business, but I can only imagine how busy the kitchen is on any particular night. If they sell their product and the restaurant patrons know where their food is coming from, it might be a smart investment. They could also potentially market the product to big wholesale food chains, like Costco or BJ’s, where customers roam the store trying samples from different sections.
    My only concern is the price of the individual food items. If the machine itself is around $1,000, you can only imagine how much the food items would be selling for. If Natural Machines can show that buying their food is not much more expensive then buying ingredients individually, they have a real shot!

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  3. Lindsey Mattos February 14, 2015 / 12:42 pm

    It sounds like the Jetsons are coming to life! As all this “hype” about 3D printers has been spreading across the Country, I can’t help but still feel confused on this one. Should it really be called a printer? Machine makes more sense if you ask me. It sounds like “3D printing” is just being used as a gimmick to draw attention. I also agree that this food machine sounds like it would work best starting out in a restaurants, but then again, do we really want to replace a great chef with a machine?

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  4. Kevin McAtamney February 19, 2015 / 5:03 pm

    I saw this article awhile back and it was almost impossible not to click on and read it. I think this has so much potential to fix a ton of problems in not only the U.S. but also the world. It is crazy to even think that this is a possiblity and it shows how far humans have come. I’m truly interested in seeing where this goes because of the major hunger problems we have as a species. I think there is a very specific market that this company could target if it really wanted to profit of off the product rather use it to fix one of largest problems we have right now.

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  5. Ryan Etter April 27, 2015 / 9:37 pm

    i think that if this new technology is the new method to food it will have drastic changes to society and personal health. With so many health problems with fast food and how everything is made i think this could be the new solution. Printing food just as an idea is insane. I would love to see this make it.

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  6. Briana Lynch April 28, 2015 / 2:57 am

    This sounds so futuristic! it is hard to believe how far our technology has come and I think this is really extraordinary. I actually don’t feel that $1000 is too high of a price for many Americans, considering so many people can afford other technology around the same price, such as televisions and laptops. I imagine this would be worthwhile for people who need to save time and do not want to do so by going to fast food restaurants. I believe there will be hundreds of possibilities and options to come forth in the future of this printer. I’m very interested to see if this will become a more common and well-known item in the upcoming years.

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  7. James Wagner April 28, 2015 / 4:40 am

    Foodini, thats an appropriate name for this creation. This whole concept seems to be a little too futuristic to believe in. 3d printing an object is ok in my book, but 3d printing something that I digest and taste seems weird. Yeah, of course this is such a cool idea, but i would never trust it until it is right in front of me. Its an idea that is going to be hard to convince others to buy into. There is no sense of “Freshness” with eating something that can be 3d printed out of thin air. The idea is interesting, but I don’t think that this idea is going to be around for a while.

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