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Moving On Upwards With KIN's Vertical Food Hall

You are what you eat. KIN shakes up the F&B sector by revolutionising food delivery with the use of AI technologies and sustainable strategies. Coming to Tai Koo this May.

By Amber Lai
April 19, 2022

With over seven million inhabitants living sky-high it makes sense to offer food delivery services with Hong Kong’s vertical landscape in mind. But why has this taken so long and how is it going to change? 

That’s a question that Matt Reid, CEO of KIN, examined as he delved into the rising crises within the food industry to figure out how to “create technologies to change the way we eat”. The result? KIN; an omnichannel platform that uses artificial intelligence, AI, to connect humans through food by utilising smart technology, and that stays within one compact delivery zone. Opening with its first 300 seat food hall at Tai Koo Place's Devon's House in May, the team has created a highly scalable, integrated food solution that can expand into Hong Kong’s urban jungle, vertically. By choosing a highly situated population, the food hall can reduce its delivery footprint by moving upwards—focusing on the Grade A mixed-use building zone that houses over 50,000 residents and office workers—rather than outwards. 

Along with today’s technological advancements are a range of AI functions that provide the ability for companies to streamline their services. By forecasting data, the concept behind KIN is to better predict what its users are likely to want to order, therefore improving its service whilst also reducing carbon footprint, wastage, time and delivery fees. But the team members behind KIN knew they had to offer something different, something unique that you might only find when travelling around the world—and that is exactly what they have done. 

Photo: KIN

Pioneering its individual recipe franchise model, the food hall has sourced talents from far and wide to offer their signature dishes without needing to open their own restaurant. Within its recipe cloud, going live this April, are 220 dishes from over 40 established creators including exclusives made especially for KIN. 

Looking beyond the traditional scope of a food hall, the team identified its gap in the market for deepening the connection between food and people. Not only does the omnichannel app bring recognised chefs and their perfected dishes to one platform but it advocates that every dish has a story. A range of video content behind each chef and dish gives each user, whether at home, at work or sitting in the venue, the chance to experience food from an entirely new perspective. Individuals can browse what’s on offer, learn more about the chef and even see how dishes are cooked without leaving the app. 

Photo: KIN

Familiar names within the Hong Kong scene that are joining the ranks of the radical system are Richard Ekkebus from Amber, Yardbird’s Matt Abergel and Peggy Chan behind Grassroots Initiatives. Representing the craft of cooking from around the world is Taiwanese noodle shop C.E.O. Beef Noodle and Easy!Buddy, famous for its phat kaphrao in Bangkok, among many others. By finding undiscovered talents from around the world the new dining concept hopes to create a more personal experience similar to getting a travel tip from a friend or finding a hidden gem where least expected. 

Playing along with the idea of curating lists of celebrated food is KIN’s integrated food solution that has been designed to learn what a building wants to eat. Through its algorithm, the app will be able to strategically track each user to recommend dishes specifically from their past orders and trends, similar to other online media subscriptions like Netflix or Spotify. This data will not only benefit the user but also each merchant's supply chain as ordering inventory can become more systematic to reduce waste.

With efforts in sustainability being paramount to its ethos, there is a huge emphasis on the sourcing and traceability behind all the ingredients of each recipe. Only sourcing from local or regenerative farms, or planting a tree when using speciality ingredients that aren’t available in Hong Kong, is key to supporting the local environment and ecosystem. 

Photo: KIN

Leading by example is KIN Sushi, an exclusive shop to the new food hall, that will debut a sushi menu of two responsibly farmed fish that is served in a reusable bamboo box. This is just one step forward towards a fully circular takeaway packaging system as the platform hopes to continue growing sustainably to be completely circular by 2025, made possible by implementing its vertical community radius strategy. Tai Koo may be the first community to be built, but KIN is looking to create other communities throughout Hong Kong, each with their own on-site kitchen, to facilitate food demands without compromising quality or convenience.

You can pre-register for the KIN app here