Amazon is a solid player in the grocery delivery service and, with its recent acquisition of Whole Foods, it is slated to become a major player in the brick-and-mortar supermarket scene too. Now the e-commerce giant may also be planning to tackle takeout. Motley Fool reports the company is testing ready-to-eat meals that don't mandate refrigeration.
These ready-to-eat meals, called MREs, are typically used by the military for instances when soldiers don't have the luxury to access a refrigerator. They're not exactly known for their palatable taste, but they're certainly convenient. So convenient that their target demographic includes campers and survivalists.
A Reuters report says Amazon, the world's biggest online retailer, has collaborated with startup 915 Labs to bring to life a new type of MRE created by researchers at Washington State University. The technology is called MATS (Microwave Assisted Thermal Sterilization) and entails placing sealed food packs in pressurized water and then heating them up in a microwave. According to 915 Labs, this technique preserves the dish's original flavor and texture while also offering a shelf life of one year.
If this hits the market, there's an incentive for consumers to consider this alternative, as it's cheaper than takeout. Motley Fool notes that Amazon could "in theory, offer ready-to-eat meals through its existing two-day, one-day, two-hour, and one-hour delivery channels that would be an alternative to other food delivery options." The goods and the transport are no problem for Amazon, but the real obstacle will be getting people to eat these meals over traditional takeout or already available microwavable meals.
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