09 Oct New Orleans Food Tech Q&A with Ron Emonet, Reily Foods Company

food techNOLABA’s “Tech Can Cook” panel, powered by French Market Cold Brew, was Tuesday, Oct. 10. Reily Foods Company Director of Innovation Ron Emonet was a panelist, and he spoke with NOLABA about food tech in New Orleans – including the launch of new French Market Cold Brew.

NOLABA: From your perspective, what makes New Orleans a good place for innovation in food and beverage technology?

Emonet: New Orleans has such a rich food and beverage history and culture.  The city is synonymous with world class cuisine and culinary uniqueness.  It’s a natural evolution for the Big Easy to be on the forefront of food technology innovations.  You mix that rich food culture with the growing entrepreneur base in the city, and you have the perfect ecosystem for the development of cutting edge technology within the food space.

NOLABA: Tell me about French Market Cold Brew – what’s special about it, and how has the new beverage been received since its launch?

Emonet: French Market Coffee has been a family owned coffee roaster operating right here in New Orleans since 1890.  All of that rich coffee heritage and expertise goes into every bottle of our new Cold Brew Coffee concentrate.  We slow steep our arabica coffee blend in cold water for hours to get a unique smooth, low-acid, but still bold flavor that highlights the natural chocolate and nut flavors.  We just launched the product in September to the New Orleans market and it has been very well received by consumers and the retail community.

NOLABA: As Director of Innovation at Reily Foods, what sorts of innovation in food tech do you think are still untapped that New Orleans entrepreneurs can take advantage of?

Emonet: Successful new business ventures are born from addressing points of frustration for consumers.  It’s finding ways to remove steps for consumers.  For example, one of the developing tech areas we’re seeing in food is with delivery services.  Whether it’s having groceries delivered through Amazon vs. shopping at traditional grocery stores or having a prepared meal delivered by UberEATS vs. traveling to a restaurant for takeout.  Where technology can help remove steps from a process and address frustration points for consumers is where you’ll see innovation opportunities present themselves for our local entrepreneurs.