Back in 2016 we wrote about a Silicon Valley-based startup that was changing the way we eat and wanted to see how the good-people of California were enjoying eating in the future.
What You Need To Know: Zume was known for using for robotic technology to put its pizzas together, as well as its distinctive delivery trucks that operated around Mountain View and parts of San Francisco. Zume raised a $445 million in funding from investors, including $375 million from Japanese investment firm SoftBank to automate pizza-making with robots has shut down.
Going Deeper: Zume had struggled with problems like stopping melted cheese from sliding off its pizzas while they cooked in moving trucks. Its difficulties led to a string of high-profile departures and financial problems.
In January 2020, the company cut over half its employees and switched to compostable packaging, based on the know-how of a southern California company it had acquired, Pivot Packaging.
The Pivot: Zume acquired Pivot Packaging to develop a plant-based, compostable material.
A sustainable textile is used to form a new type of food packaging that offers an alternative to plastic. Called Zume Source Packaging, the technology reuses agricultural waste from sources such as sugarcane fibre, bamboo, wheat and straw to create a mouldable fibre.
By June of 2023 Zume Source Packaging had ceased operations. The firm retained restructuring firm Sherwood Partners to liquidate the assets for the benefit of the creditors, an alternative to bankruptcy.