A major transformation is happening in the food world. And it’s happening on multiple fronts. We are in a unique time when BOTH consumer demand and market supply are shifting.
On the demand side of the equation, delivery, hyper-local sourcing, and artisanal production are rapidly growing in response to changes in consumer preference. Millennials are driving a new definition of convenience by adopting delivery of everything. Demand for farm-to-table is so prevalent that even national mega-chain grocer Kroger advertises the number of products in each store that are “locally sourced.” Millennial desire for artisanal production is so trendy that products which are plainly not artisanal have co-opted the word. These demand changes are undeniable, and will only grow as Millennials become the dominant disposable income spending force in the US economy.
On the supply side of the equation, the gig economy, the desire to control one’s own destiny though creative expression and self-employment, and pressures to reallocate capital and real estate mean that food producers and restaurants are changing, too. Intuit estimates that 34 percent of the US workforce is made up of gig workers, creating a flexible workforce that can dial-up or dial-down their contributions on demand. Two-thirds of gig workers report choosing this lifestyle over traditional 9-5, W-2 generating corporate jobs. Why? The desire to control one’s own destiny. This is particularly true in food, where the creative dream that caused an individual to go to culinary school is sharply divided from the work experience of replicating someone else’s dish over and over. Finally, restaurants and food production are expensive. You want to build out your own new restaurant? A million dollars. Even a food truck can cost you $100,000. Have an idea for an awesome packaged food? You’ll need to meet a co-packer’s minimum order quantity or navigate a labyrinth of local, regional and national regulation.
With this much change coming from this many places this quickly, it’s hard to see where all of this is headed. At Kitchen United, we believe these trends will converge in a single place: our kitchens. We provide food-safe, low-cost, easy-to-operate solutions to starting your own restaurant or food business, expanding your concept, or getting closer to your consumer without the high fixed cost a standard brand footprint carries.
We envision a future where local artisans produce food choices as procurable as today’s online entertainment. We are a platform that enables anyone with a great idea to start a food business, or anyone with a big food business to get smaller and closer to their consumer.
Meredith | COO | @meresandland