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An Interview with Lynette Kucsma, CMO and Co-founder, Natural Machines
April 23, 2014
3-D printing just keeps getting more and more interesting and diverse it seems. We recently discovered another very interesting innovation in 3-D food printing, a growing genre, if you will, in the industry, the Foodini printer. It also intersects with another growing trend in the food community towards less processed, more natural foods. The Foodini was invented and developed by Natural Machines, it adds a new layer of creativity to the kitchen, without adding too much complexity. More information about where they are with the Foodini can be found via their Kickstarter Campaign. We were able to reach out to the company, and connect with Lynette Kucsma, CMO and co-founder of Natural Machines. The transcript of our email interview is below:
1) Can you provide a brief history and overview of Natural Machines(how/when they were formed, etc.)? Who are the people involved in the company and what are their backgrounds?
Emilio Sepulveda: CEO & Co-Founder at Natural Machines
Lynette Kucsma: CMO (Chief Marketing Officer) & Co-Founder at Natural Machines
2)Is the Foodini the first 3D printer the company has brought to market? Who is the intended audience for a product like this? What prompted you to bring something revolutionary like the Foodini to market?
The product is targeted to kitchen users, both home kitchen users and professional kitchen users. Home kitchen users are particularly interested in Foodini to make fresh versions of pre-processed foods they have become accustom to, while chefs and restaurants are specifically interested in the designer food presentation elements.
Foodini is a new generation kitchen appliance promoting cooking with fresh ingredients. Whether it's in a home kitchen or a restaurant. It's getting people to eat less pre-processed food.
Foodini's main purpose is to take on the difficult and/or time-consuming parts of food preparation that often discourage people from creating homemade food. Whether its simple handmade meals or snacks, or intricately presented crafted food.
We hope that Foodini will encourage more people to eat healthier, fresher foods...whether it's in their homes, or in a restaurant. There are too many processed and “convenience” foods in the market, many with ingredients that are unidentifiable to the common consumer. Foodini can help replicate these convenience foods that people have become accustom to, but making them with fresh ingredients. And taking it a step further, Foodini can help craft/present food into shapes that would be difficult by hand.
3)What prior knowledge, if any, would be required to use a product like the Foodini?
4)What can you tell us about the printing process with this machine? What ingredients can be used to make meals with it? How long does it take? Is "cooking" part of the process too?
We are using an open capsule model, meaning the consumer prepares and places ingredients in Foodini. Consumers are not forced to buy pre-packaged food capsules specifically for Foodini. That means the user can print a wide variety of ingredients.
As an added ease of use for consumers, we are looking into working with retailers that can prepare pre-packaged food capsules made freshly in-store as an alternative option for consumers. Imagine going to a store, picking up a 5 capsule pack of ravioli ingredients pre-made in the store using fresh ingredients, going home and popping them into Foodini to print.
How long does it take? It depends on the ingredients, the recipe, and quantity you are printing.Some things print very fast in a matter of minutes (e.g., flatter type foods like crackers, simple plate decorations), while other things take longer times (e.g., intricate chocolate sculptures can take 20 minutes to print). Quantities also have to be taken into consideration. For example, a small, single serving of ravioli will print faster than quantity to feed a family of 4.
Foodini does not cook the food. We are, however, researching and developing a model that does cook food.
5)Without revealing too much (if possible) what is the short range (3-5 year) plan for your company? What do you see happening in the industry during this time as well?
Since Foodini is a connected device—meaning it's connected to the Internet—we will provide software updates so our customers have the latest technology on their machines.
2014 is our product launch year, and Foodini will start appearing in kitchens in homes, restaurants and elsewhere. People can print with fresh foods using published recipes, or make and share their own food creations.
We look forward to introducing a fun way to help people create fresh foods.