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'Technofoodology,' and artificial intelligence in particular, are some of the best things to ever happen to a grocery store. Our smartphones and our home-based assistants are ushering in a new way to buy our foods. Sure, we can replenish our foods by asking Alexa to order from Amazon, and just last week one of my favorite c-stores, Sheetz, announced that their made-to-order foods from all their 564 stores can be ordered on Alexa.
By 2020, there will be 55 million smart devices in our homes—making that the biggest supermarket chain on the planet. What this clearly shows is that the relationship between the “internet of things” and food is here.
It's in our homes, in our smart refrigerators and cupboards that will take over the automatic replenishment of those branded products that we can’t live without. The Bounty paper towels, the Heinz ketchups—those branded staples we love—will leave the supermarket with the “exciting” foods such as the fresh foods, the artisan foods and the prepared foods to focus on and to become exceptional.
And for retailers, the internet of food means finding out everything they need to know, and reducing waste and food safety issues. There's the UC Davis IC-Foods Project, blockchain technologies and even biodegradable microsensors that offer us the information we need to make our food supply even better, and to offer consumers the total transparency they seek.