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Sugar Lab 3D Prints Candy
Kroger slows Ocado deployments, Eatch makes 5,000 meals per day
Kick the week off with some big news from Ocado and Kroger, Boxbot, and even a 3d-printed candy lab!
Kroger Slows Ocado Automated Fulfillment Rollout
Grocery giant Kroger is putting a temporary halt on the development of new Ocado-powered automated grocery fulfillment centers to ensure the optimal performance of existing ones. While the collaboration has led to the inauguration of several customer fulfillment centers (CFCs) since 2018, including a recent build-out in Frederick, Maryland, the focus has now shifted to refining these current operations. While Kroger recently reported a 12% YoY rise in digital sales, online grocery sales growth has slowed down from its torrid pace during the pandemic.
Sugar Lab 3D Prints Desserts
Los Angeles-based Sugar Lab has invented a specialized 3D printer for candies and desserts. Bloomberg’s Ashlee Vance puts the machine to the through the paces, including the ultimate challenge: a taste test.
Eatch Kitchen Robot Produces 5,000 Meals Per Day
Dutch startup Eatch has unveiled a fully automated robotic kitchen that can produce up to 5,000 meals daily. Already in use in Amsterdam for ISS, a food service and catering titan, for four months, this robotic kitchen autonomously manages the entire cooking process, from oiling pans to plating and cleaning. Eatch's system mirrors the pot-based designs found in several other robotic kitchens, but stands out for its impressive capacity; it claims potential throughput of up to 15,000 meals a day. This is a notable leap from most robotized kitchens, which typically handle lower volumes and may not be fully automated end-to-end. Eatch has already attracted €4.5 million in funding and has a workforce of around 10. The firm's CEO, Jelle Sijm, shared that Eatch is keen on partnerships for daily operations while they supply the tech, software, and recipes. Expansion to the U.S. market is in the cards, with ongoing discussions with various grocery chains and contract caterers.
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In Other News
Flytrex launches autonomous pickup. Boxbot pivots from AV trucking to robotic package storage. Kitchen United names new CEO, plans international expansion. DoorDash launches grocery delivery for eight additional markets brands.