It's Been A Short Time Coming, and Now It's Here

After Patriot QB Tom Brady won the play-off game that will send his team to the Super Bowl one more time, a list of things that didn't exist when he made his first appearance at the big game started popping up on social media sites. Included on that list were iPhones, hashtags and Facebook.
But think about how quickly the world has changed for restaurants. Just 10 years ago the vast majority of restaurants didn't have websites or the ability to take online reservations. Delivery was the prerogative of pizza and Chinese restaurants, and takeout was picked up by the same person who was going to eat it. Grocery stores were the refuges of ingredients for meals, not fresh ready-to-eat meals and if someone mentioned Blue Apron, they were talking about a garment that kept clothes from getting splattered, not a meal kit service.
If we talk about one year ago, the list of first is just as robust. Which is why the Food On Demand team has been digging into the various branches of this phenom on a regular basis. In addition to reading this edition of our e-newsletter, scroll down to the end to find out how to join a gathering of some of the innovators and movers and shakers in this space at the second annual Food On Demand Conference, in Chicago. You'll want to be there!  
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FOD Top Stories

Misfits Market Takes on Food Waste with Ugly Produce
By Nick Upton
Your next food delivery could be packed with ugly fruits and vegetables, and that's a good thing. Every year, Americans waste a staggering amount of food. The best guess is between one-third and one-half of all food goes to waste. The USDA estimates between 30 and 40 percent and a 2010 study of waste put the economic value at $161 billion in wasted food. And a more recent report from the Guardian estimates as much as 50 percent of produce is wasted each year.
Postmates Introduces 'Serve,' Its Robotic Delivery Rover
By Laura Micheals
Noting it's the "first autonomous vehicle created from the ground up by an on-demand delivery company," Postmates unveiled a robot dubbed "Serve," which it calls a rover and plans to debut on the sidewalks of Los Angeles. That launch, the company points out, will happen after Postmates works with local governments "to thoughtfully develop a framework that can enable on-demand commerce while respecting public-right-of-way."
In other words, the actual rollout of the rovers is several months away, at least, and in light of a recent event at the University of California-Berkeley, perhaps even further.  Read More
Blue Apron Listed as Possible Bankruptcy Candidate
By Tom Kaiser
"Don't Be Fooled: Blue Apron Is Still in Trouble" was only one of several dark headlines about the meal-delivery standard bearer that has struggled since going public in 2017. Back then, when meal kits seemed like the beginning of a major shift in the way Americans eat, its shares were priced at $10.  A year and a half later, APRN is trading at approximately $1.40, with several financial outlets questioning the impact of the company's turnaround plans. 
Read More
Lunch Subscription Plan Treats Office Workers to $6 Lunches
I was sitting in the first Itsu location outside the U.K.-on 7th Avenue and 39th Street in New York City-when I noticed another food on demand concept inside a food on demand concept. Itsu, a grab-and-go healthy Asian eatery is one of a large group of restaurants that have signed up with Mealpal, a subscription lunch service that promises subscribers lunch for under $6. Read More

Drones and Robots Flock to CES
Delivery and personal robots and underwater and aerial drones were on display at the 51st annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the latest and most tangible evidence that autonomous vehicles are continuing to advance thanks to significant investments in research and development.  Read More
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