The partnership will involve a pilot, initially conducted at higher education institutions in the U.S. The pilot should pave the way for the commercialization of the robot chef and SavorEat products in the U.S. market. CEO of Service Operations and Food Transformation, Sodexo North America: “The partnership with SavorEat will improve our ability to provide quality meat alternatives, which face constantly increasing demand.”
The food tech company SavorEat is taking major steps toward commercialization of the solution it has developed in the U.S. market: the company, which developed a dedicated robot chef to produce meat alternatives according to diners’ preferences, has signed a collaboration agreement with Sodexo, a leader in food services and facilities management. As such, the two companies will conduct a pilot in which 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.
Sodexo is ranked as the 19th largest employer in the world and serves clients including those in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government, and other environments daily across 64 countries.
As part of this partnership, during the coming year and following a comprehensive preliminary planning process, including the establishment of joint teams, professional feedback from the Sodexo team, and more, the two are expected to embark on the pilot in 2022 to be conducted throughout higher education institutions in the U.S., where several SavorEat robot chef systems will operate. The two companies have also declared that they wish to examine together additional pilots and long-term cooperation. This specific partnership and the agreement signed is a critical step forward for SavorEat toward the commercialization stage within the U.S. market, and its main advantage lies in the high-level exposure the company will gain among its target audience, the 20–30-year-old market segment in the U.S., 47% of whom declare themselves to be flexitarians (people seeking to cut down their meat intake by adhering to a mainly vegetarian eating regime).
Husein Kitabwalla, CEO of Services Operations and Food Transformation, Sodexo North America: “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. In 2020, U.S. retail sales of plant-based foods grew 11.4% 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 out ability to offer consumers choice.”
Racheli Vizman, SavorEat co-founder and CEO, stated: “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. 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.”
SavorEat was established in 2018 by Racheli Vizman who serves as its CEO, Prof. Oded Shoseyov, the company’s CSO, and Prof. Ido Braslavsky. The company has some 20 employees and is aided by a staff of senior consultants and leading partners.
SavorEat has developed a unique technology for the manufacture of meat alternatives, combining plant-based ingredients in an innovative formulation, a robot incorporating digital manufacture including sophisticated cooking techniques of several products simultaneously. SavorEat’s unique selling proposition is based on the ability to produce and grill products that aim to reproduce the unique taste and texture of animal-based meat, with the future manufacture of additional food products clearly on the agenda. The company’s first product to complete development is a meatless burger.
Each portion is produced within the robot chef system, which incorporates digital production that includes grilling. The robot enables the personalization of the portion on different aspects, without any human touch at all. The company has completed the development stage of the robot chef and has begun to manufacture it to conduct the first pilot of its kind in Israel at the BBB hamburger chain.
SavorEat, the first portfolio company of the Millennium Food-Tech R&D partnership, completed its IPO on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange (TASE) last November from which it raised NIS 42.6 million.
About Sodexo North America
Sodexo North America is part of a global, Fortune 500 company with a presence in 64 countries. Sodexo is a leading provider of integrated food, facilities management and other services that enhance organizational performance, contribute to local communities and improve quality of life for millions of customers in corporate, education, healthcare, senior living, sports and leisure, government and other environments daily. Sodexo is committed to supporting diversity and inclusion and safety, while upholding the highest standards of corporate responsibility and ethical business conduct. In support of local communities across the U.S., in 2020, the Sodexo Stop Hunger Foundation mobilized 10,000 Sodexo volunteers to distribute 4.1 million meals to help 5.9 million children and adults meet their immediate food needs. Since 1996, the Stop Hunger Foundation has contributed $36.7 million to help feed children in America impacted by hunger. To learn more about Sodexo, visit us.sodexo.com, and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube.