Evan Weinstein, the founder of the Philadelphia-based startup, Cocoa Press, which makes a 3D printer for chocolate, doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth. But the young founder was mesmerized by 3D publishing engineerings and was looking for a way to move the technology forward.” I stumbled on chocolate ,” Weinstein said. And the research results, was Cocoa Press.
The chocolate printer takes advantage of the fact that there’s something about menu that people connect to, Weinstein has said, and that’s especially true of chocolate.
Worldwide, chocolate was a $130.5 billion industry in 2019, according to a report by GrandView Research, and Weinstein thinks that his printers can help amateur hobbyists and chocolate enthusiasts bite into that market.
The University of Pennsylvania graduate started developing the technology that would become his first business as a high school student at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, a private school in Northwest Philadelphia.
After documenting his progress on his personal blog, Weinstein hung up his chocolate nibs at Penn while he haunted his undergraduate degree. But he had been able to never amply rid himself of the chocolate craving, so he picked the project back up as a elderly and returned to the chocolate shop. A 2018 video from Weinstein shows the printer at work.
With a few awards from the University and a bit of funding from its Pennovation Accelerator, Weinstein began building in earnest and the company is now ready to make pre-orders for his $5,500 printer.
As he moves toward commercialization of his confectionary creation, Weinstein is following in some prestigious cocoa-dusted footprints. Five decades ago , none other than Pennsylvania’s most famous chocolatier, Hersheys, tried its hand at a chocolate 3D printer . The company took its story technology on the road and showcased its technical feat at a number of demonstrations, but development projects softened for the purposes of the draconian glare of unfeasible financial realities.
Weinstein has actually talked to the Hersheys kinfolks and believe that that his product can be a stickier proposition for consumers and businesses.
” They never objective up creating a sellable printer ,” Weinstein said.” I’ve been able to connect with Hershey because they’re the main sponsors of the Pennovation Center …[ they said] the limitations at the time were technological drawbacks, but the customer feedback that they went was genuinely positive .”
That implies, as far as Weinstein is aware, his is the only chocolate publishing fellowship in the U.S.
Sweet business sit
The first chocolate rail was created by the British chocolatier J.S. Fry and Lads in 1847, molded from a glue made of sugar, cocoa butter, and chocolate liquor. But it wasn’t until Daniel Pieter and Henri Nestle fetched milk chocolate to the mass market in 1876 and Rudolf Lindt devised the conch machine to mingle and aerate chocolate in 1879 that the bars genuinely took off.
Form points haven’t changed much since then, but Cocoa Press promises to change that, according to Weinstein.
The company sources its chocolate from the biggest white label chocolate providers on world markets, The Guittard Chocolate Company and Callebaut Chocolate and will resell chocolate refills to its customers to create a recurring revenue pattern. Firms can make their own chocolate and use that as well, Weinstein said.
” We don’t want to be contesting with the thousands of chocolate browses previously out there ,” he said.” We really want to get the chocolate printer out into the world. The business framework is the machines plus the consumables for people who don’t have a background in chocolate .”
Weinstein envisages the Cocoa Press becoming an all-in-one chocolate shop, where customers can buy the printer and the chocolate from the company and then make their own. There are even plans to work with a couple of bean-to-bar chocolate manufacturers to distribute some of their own single start chocolates.
Chocolate supermarkets can expend approximately $57,000 to buy the equipment they need, according to Weinstein, and at $5,500 the Cocoa Press begins to look like a bargain.
Weinstein expects to be shipping the printers by the middle of next year and will be launching pre-orders on October 10.
The young financier estimates that the market for 3D-printed confections would be half-a-billion dollar industry worldwide, but that doesn’t to be taken into consideration chocolates, which have been too difficult for makes to manufacture an saving machine to produce.
And while Weinstein may not have started out with a sweet tooth, he’s certainly developed a preference for the industry now. And is looking forward to bringing the chocolates from small-time makes to a wider audience of connoisseurs who could potentially become inventors exercising his machine.
” I’m very excited about working with these small patronizes because they move some interesting nonsense ,” Weinstein said.” There’s a cinnamon cumin flavor … it’s just wonderful .”
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