Amazon is preparing to gain a foothold in the US food industry. The company plans to use the new technology that was initially developed for the US military to beat the dormant competition in the $700 billion industry. The online retail giant will explore the use of MATS (microwave assisted thermal sterilization) which was developed at the Washington State University by researchers.
All about the new food technology
In the bid to improve the quality of food consumed by soldiers, the microwave assisted thermal sterilization (MATS) was developed at the Washington State University and was done at first by Natrick laboratories of the United States Army over a decade ago. It is being injected to the market by 915 Labs (a venture-backed start-up), which is located in Denver, Colorado.
As portrayed by 915 Labs, the MATS involves the use of microwaves to heat (for several minutes) sealed packages of food that are placed in pressurized water.
The world is busy and people have limited time to prepare or get food ready to eat. Convenience is the king and this makes the ready-to-eat market an undoubtedly lucrative one. This technology ultimately means that it won’t be necessary to preserve food by refrigeration, which could be a big source of attraction to people. Delivery would be faster and the time the food can be stored could even be much longer. Such meals would then have a comparably lower cost.
The company said that, as opposed to traditional methods of processing foods, which involved putting the packages in a pressure cooker for about an hour till the nutrients are almost gone, the MATS helps retain the natural flavor and texture of the dishes. It was also said that the dishes can sit on a shelf for as long as a year, which would make them perfect for Amazon’s business model which is basically storage and delivery.
If Amazon is able to implement the cutting-edge food technology on a large scale, it would be a major move in promoting the company as it looks to grab hold of more grocery customers shifting toward quick and easy meal options at home.
Amazon soft just recently launched a meal kit delivery service which supposedly offers about 17 different meals to existing users of AmazonFresh. There is also the claim that Amazon is looking into the possibility of having physical stores which is backed up by the company’s recent purchase of the $13.7 billion Whole foods. Delivery meals would definitely complement the company’s AmazonFresh service, which has been delivering groceries to the homes of customers for a decade. All of these are a clear indication of the company’s intention to delve deeper into becoming a typical food retailer.
Another great concept which the company has trialed is the Amazon Go. It is a brick-and-mortar convenience store where payments would be made in store through mobile devices with an app. The groceries/food industry is a huge market and if the company is able to successfully capitalize in it, it would definitely add up to more savings.
Amazon is continuously expanding into different markets. The MATS technology is one of the many inventions that the company is looking as it hopes to spread it tentacles across many regions.