When you think of innovative food you probably think of unique combinations of ingredients, unique cooking techniques or unique cooking utensils. On Wednesday August 11, 2010 Mass Innovation Nights presented many companies that are doing innovative things with food that have nothing to do with cooking, and a few that did. The featured presenters were Eversave Boston, TopSprouts, 1FastBite and Kango Gift. Also on hand to talk about their food innovations were the Boston Chocolate School, Batch, Lime Tree Cove, Jeff Potter author of Cooking for Geeks, Mystery Meet, NOMx3, the Naughty Nutritionist, and Catnip Cards.
If you are familiar with Groupon or Living Social, then you know the concept behind Eversave Boston. While not strictly a food company, Eversave was there to pitch to restauranteurs. Their presentation talked about what they offer their restaurant partners versus what's provided by their competition. Also not strictly a food company, Kango Gift's concept - Instant Gifts by Cell Phone - enables you to buy someone a gift of ice cream, a cupcake, dinner or an appetizer via their web site. The gift recipient then receives an SMS Text message announcing the gift along with a voucher code. The recipient then goes to the restaurant, shows the message to the cashier and receives their gift. While a lot of their current partners are located in the Greater Boston Area, there are some in other states and more to come in the future. Want to give someone a gift in another city or state but can't be there to give it in person? This may be the next best thing.
Mystery Meet not to be confused with "mystery meat" brings foodies together at an area restaurant for a prix fixe dinner the second Tuesday of every month. The mystery is whether you will be able to get a seat at the table, and what restaurant you'll be eating at. Seats to the dinner go on sale seven days before the scheduled dinner. Diners take a leap of faith in purchasing a seat since the restaurant isn't revealed until 24 hours before the dinner - that's where the real mystey comes in. If you're an adventurous eater and want to meet like minded Bostonians then this may be the thing for you.
Another company providing access to restaurant food is 1FastBite. Like DiningIn and GrubHub, 1FastBite connects restaurants with customers. DiningIn has been connecting customers to restaurants since 1988, when e-commerce was an unknown concept. It serves as a delivery service for restaurants that don't have one of their own and charges a delivery fee on top of the cost of the food. 1FastBite is like GrubHub in that it provides a directory of restaurants that deliver and enables customers to place orders through their website. Currently the 1FastBite directory has a limited restaurant selection, but they are working to expand it.
For information in food product innovators please read: Ice cream, chocolate and catnip
For information on science based food innovators please read: Food science
Photo Source: morgueFile