Here is another company that hopes to change our ancestral eating habit: this time it is SquarEat. The US startup has gone viral a promotional video that tries to persuade viewers to eat 50-gram cubes of "modular food". Each cube is more like a protein bar than "real" food.
SquarEat is trying to enter the ready-to-eat sector, trying to convince us that there is no need to cook food: there are already billions of dollars invested in this space and SquarEat hopes to establish itself.
According to a Press release issued by the company last week, SquarEat raised $ 100.000 on the Wefunder crowdinvesting platform and hopes to raise $ 700.000. Cubed meal plans are currently only available in the city of Miami, Florida.
A disruptive approach to food
SquarEat is similar to those startups (like Mana, or Soylent) that take a disruptive approach to food. However, the startup claims it's a different approach, because a SquarEat food cube is not a meal replacement, like a protein "shake". It is real food, but in the shape of a cube. The promotional video shows the cubes sliced elegantly with a knife and fork.
SquarEat is not an alternative to food. Each of our cube is made with 100% natural ingredients. Our chicken cube is simply chicken with the addition of natural spices. Only difference? The preparation and the appearance. We keep all the best characteristics of normal food and add new ones thanks to our process: more nutrient shelf life and greater convenience.Maria Laura Vacaflores, SquarEat marketing director.
How a SquarEat meal plan works
SquarEat offers “gourmet” food cubes that provide “all nutrients without additives”. To start, you choose a meal plan (5 to 20 meals per week). Then you choose a meal size: small (4 cubes per meal) or normal (6 cubes per meal). At that point, three categories are chosen to divide the courses in terms of flavors: meat, fish, desserts.
Does it convince me? No. Why should I eat a cube?
In the proposal submission for fundraising on the Wefunder platform, SquarEat says it is ready to “revolutionize” meal planning with “a new concept of food”. The advantages, he summarizes, are: no shopping, no cooking, no cleaning, no stress, no junk food.
Other meal plans, the presentation says, have a lot of problems. Often in cooking, nutrients or storage. With its cube, SquarEat thinks it can solve all these problems with “modern” cooking techniques. Because? Well, because they allow storage and mass production, recipes with “perfect” combinations (they say this), lack of additives, “standardized square modular food” and delivery times of only one week.
Yes, but I have to eat a cube. Where's the fun part?
I see good possibilities of use in the context of gyms, for example. A food, sorry: a ready-made cube with natural ingredients can be a good choice for a balanced meal in an exercise regime, and a subscription package could turn gyms into small "lounges" where you can work out, take a shower and eat something. before going out to enjoy free time.
Even in the office, the cube could have a reason. I don't know if it will, however. It's hard to imagine a real reason to replace the joy of eating real food, not cubes, with this one. It will take another generation or two to get used to it. If we do.