Vegan Burger-Cooking Robots Are Coming to US Universities
Israeli food tech company SavorEat is propelling plant-based eating deep into the future. The vegan start-up just announced that it developed a vegan burger-serving robot that it plans to distribute to colleges across the US in 2022. The company’s inventive robot chef combines innovative 3D printing technology and creative cooking techniques to provide a quick-service vending robot that prepares burgers using only plant-based ingredients. The Israeli-based company is partnering with the foodservice giant Sodexo to move forward on US commercialization.
"Sodexo's choice, as a market leader, to partner with us - is a vote of confidence in SavorEat’s solution and in its unique value proposition,” SavorEat co-founder and CEO Racheli Vizman said. “I am convinced that Sodexo's expertise in the international catering market and particularly North America will significantly contribute to the development and acceleration of the penetration rate of our products in the international market, with an emphasis on the U.S. market."
The plant-based burgers will be made completely vegan in any style that you order them. The robot chef aims to present a plant-based protein that’s affordable, accessible, and desirable to the company’s target audience. By partnering with Sodexo, SavorEat will gain direct access to its top client: 20-30 year-olds across the United States.
The robot-operated machine will also take customization to the next level. The customization options allow customers to choose exactly what they want on their burgers, but consumers will also have the chance to alter the nutritional content of the plant-based protein. The order menu will allow consumers to order the plant-based burger with different levels of fat and protein. The robot chef will also change the consistency of the burger depending on the customer’s preference.
“Sodexo's partnership with SavorEat will further extend our ability to deliver the plant-based foods our clients' customers are demanding in increasingly growing numbers,” CEO of Services Operations and Food Transformation at Sodexo North America Husein Kitabwalla said. “In 2020, U.S. retail sales of plant-based foods grew 11.4 percent to a record $5 billion and Sodexo has long been a champion of plant-based alternatives - both from an environment and revenue perspective. This partnership between Sodexo and SavorEat will only further our ability to offer consumers choice.”
Sodexo and SavorEat have yet to announce which university campuses will receive the robot chef first, but the partnership plans to see its plant-based machine debut nationwide. For the pilot launch, Sodexo will completely fund the entry into the US market as well as the expenses for the enhanced operations. According to Calcalist, the two companies will move forward on a final agreement that will advance commercialization and increase the range of the pilot launch.
“Sodexo will examine the robot chef system and the first product developed by SavorEat, a plant-based protein burger, within higher education institutions across the U.S. In parallel, both parties are working on reaching an agreement for the distribution of SavorEat products,” the company told The Spoon.
SavorEat – founded by Vizman, Oded Shoseyov, and Ido Braslavky – launched to create an innovative technology that would promote meat alternatives. The company intends to create a production process that makes plant-based protein far more personalize and accessible for consumers worldwide. Last November, the company completed its IPO on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange, raising NIS 42.6 million.
Sodexo’s plant-based ventures have continued growth over recent years. In June, the food giant began introducing Incogmeato’s vegan burgers to hospitals across the United States. The food distributor teamed up with Incogmeato’s parent company, The Kellogg Company, to bring plant-based options to healthcare facilities nationwide, hoping to enhance the nutritional value of the food offered in healthcare.