The Future of Snacks Is In Platforms

By Matt Klinman

Matt Klinman lives and works in New York City. He is a strong advocate for ensuring bags of chips and jars of salsa in the home are consumed at the same rate.


To The Executive Council Of  ,

The future of snacks is in platforms, not products. This is obvious. If   is to evolve as a company, we need to stop putting our effort into “broadcasting” snacks to the world in single-product increments and begin designvelopment of a platform that will allow our users to generate whatever snacks their unlimited imagination can imaginate. A meme is a powerful, bite-sized form of content and a snack is a powerful, bite-sized form of food. But, be honest with yourself, have you ever seen a corporation make a satisfying meme? Sadly, for all our efforts, no. We need to stop deluding ourselves into thinking corporate-brainstormed snacks are any different. It’s time for us to stop… and time for us to start.

By empowering— and connecting— our snackers, we can ensure that we will always be considered the thought leader in snacking. While consumers may currently consider   the CURRENT LEADER OF SNACKING, it is more valuable for consumers to associate   with the FUTURE OF SNACKING. With the creation of new snacking platform technologies, we will be in an ideal position to influence the behaviors of our snackers, which is much more valuable to sponsors and corporate partners than having our users ingest our snacks and not think of another brand at all.

It goes without saying that we are now investing heavily in technologies than enable such user-generation of snacks. These include 3D snack printers, of course, but hardware will always be just part of the story. Enabling users to “print their favorite chip” is such a Gen 1 version of this idea that we are advising everyone in the company to move past it already. Leave that to the lesser brands. Let them be the “Yahoo Answers” of snack democratization while we are the “Metafilter” or “Quora.”

What we are envisioning is a series of machines we are calling “4D Snack Experiences.” Each 4DSE is filled with proprietary ingredients, each sponsored by a different brand. Adidas Jalapeno, Canada Dry Cheddar, etc. And every user’s preference is monitored, catalogued and stored. This information can not only be used by us but can also be bought and sold in external marketplaces in which we already have financial stakes. Additionally, each 4DSE is equipped with front- and back-facing cameras, microphones and pads that can wirelessly charge peripherals. The 4DSE will become a “hub” for human life and home security.

You buy the machine but after that, every snack is free. This is the greatest deal in the history of mankind. Additionally, associating our brand with the fourth dimension, time, positions us in a unique mind-space within the heads of consumers. When people think of “time” we want them to think of fond snacking memories and, thus, think of  .

4DSEs will also allow snacks to finally be topical. What does snack’s Daily Show look like? Imagine a user-created potato chip that is a reaction to a hilarious gaffe on the campaign trail going viral and being eaten by millions across the country at the same time. We would of course remain balanced towards both parties, but there is no reason a snack can’t take light jabs at both Hilary AND Trump. Not to mention celebrity and influencer involvement. Imagine an onion-powder based corn-loop created by Bryan Cranston targeting a meme that started just the day before. Our already established partnership with AMC would allow us to tag it #BreakingFast and the spike in iTunes rentals revenue from that day will be funneled to us.

We would also want to be sure all snacks are on the right side of history with regards to social issues, at   we want our snack machine to be “automatic” not “problematic.” The vendors creating the 4DSEs assure us that these machines are “tarnish-proof” with regards to our brand because every interaction a user has with the machine will be monitored by a live human at a secure terminal somewhere in the East. There will be no printing of pornographic, racist or violent snacks. Our unique solution is both preventative, by shutting down the machine if a user attempts to make an off-brand snack, but also punitive: The 4DSEs are programmed to punish users by printing disgusting, acidic snacks until it’s algorithm determines the user has learned their lesson. Should they continue with their transgressions, we will be able to use the 4DSE’s substantial social components to target the snacks of the their friends, forcing peer intervention. If my snacks start to taste of fermentation and sting the tongue, I will know a friend of mine is creating off-brand snacks with their 4DSE and take it upon myself to police my social group, leveraging an instinct humans have already evolved over thousands of years.

A similar technique can then be slowly integrated whereby a user’s snacks taste better the more their friends are using the 4DSE, particularly for behaviors outside the traditional snack space. If your best friend films a video with the 4DSE that inspires a snack-meme, your snacks will taste better for a week! And once we prove to our brand partners we are able to drive consumer behavior in this way, suddenly the   snack and app ecosystem becomes an aspirational brand across multiple industries.

This is, of course, just the beginning of a conversation we would like to begin having here at  . and we are excited to hear your thoughts and feedback.

President and CEO of