A new food service based on 3D printing is about to launch: Sweet Your Words.
The Las Vegas-based startup is leveraging 3D technology to produce custom-made edible chocolate objects that can be used by the professional baking industry or for corporate use.
Behind the venture is Erica Diamond, a hospitality management expert with a strong background in supplying food products to industry and the public. She observed that the baking industry is largely focused on custom work, with many clients asking for something “they saw on TV”. But there was not really a practical way to fulfill these requests.
Her exposure to 3D technology through her husband enabled her to connect the dots to create what she hopes will be a highly successful new capability for clients.
Having had considerable spare time as a result of a family relocation, Diamond spent about a year developing the concept, both technically and commercially. The idea here is to create a service that could be of value to a number of professions within the food industry.
For example, bakers may need unusual custom-designed toppers, or corporations may require custom chocolate gifts for a big event, or a wedding requires personalized edibles for guests, or perhaps a real estate agent wants to promote a new property by handing out chocolates with the address.
All these ideas are now possible with Sweet Your Words’ new rapid chocolate manufacturing system. We don’t know the specifics of how their system works, as the company is quite secretive about the process, but we can say that it involves 3D printing a mold from which the chocolate objects are cast.
This process enables very quick production, as the mold is produced more rapidly than traditional chocolate molds, yet production of chocolate objects is quite rapid since it simply involves using the mold in more-or-less the traditional manner.
The work to develop this project is not only technical, but commercial. Diamond has spent time examining the industry to determine what type of chocolate items are actually required by industry, at what price and what delivery timescales. It’s from this knowledge that they’ve put together their manufacturing system, which should meet client needs.
They see initially two types of clients: those who require a completely packaged item, suitable for use as a gift, for example; and a second type in which the client simply requires a bulk supply of custom items that they’ll package themselves.
Sweet Your Words operates in a consultative manner: they do not (yet) accept direct-to-print submissions, but instead will consult with clients to ensure their concept is practical for production. Once that’s done they’ll provide a single price for production and packaging.
Currently the company is about to move into a new facility from which they will be able to not only produce chocolate items en masse, but also to expand. It seems that Diamond’s initial suspicions are true, as they appear to be gathering up substantial interest in bulk orders prior to their official launch on March 1st.
I’m told they are still finalizing their packaging and shipping strategy, which could be important – they are shipping melty chocolate items from blistering Las Vegas, after all. But this should be well in hand before launch, as they are designing thermal packaging for shipping products based on the long experience of traditional manufacturers.
Beyond chocolate, I suspect the company might take the successful concept forward into other materials to broaden their market. When you think about it, there are quite a few items that could fall into this process.
I very much like this venture, as it does properly leverage 3D printing in a very practical manner to deliver useful products to industry and the public. This is most definitely not another one of those “make a machine and they will come” companies.
And we’re looking forward to having a bite of this.