A fourth-year Ivey business student’s startup company, Kappa Foods Inc., has developed the world’s first instant steak that heats up in 45 seconds.
Founder Bill Zhou felt as though he did not have the time to cook great meals as a busy university student. He wanted an alternative to the unhealthy instant meals many university students resort to.
A class feasibility project presented Zhou with an opportunity to develop a proposal for a healthy high-end alternative to instant meals. Realizing the potential of the product, Zhou took the initiative to make his vision a reality.
“I got a lot of help from a lot of people," Zhou said.
He teamed up with Nicholo Plaza, a research chef, and the two set out to develop a solution for good food without the hassle. Thanks to different advisers, professors and corporate partners, founders Zhou and Plaza were able to launch their company.
Kappa spent a year researching and developing a cooking technique before testing their instant steaks at TechToronto and Autostrada Forum, two events attended by over 1,000 guests where product received positive feedback.
“I could not believe this came out of a microwave,” said TechToronto organizer Jason Goldlist.
Despite the convenience food industry being highly criticized for the use of artificial preservatives, the AAA striploin instant steak is made with all-natural ingredients.
“It contains beef, water, salt and vinegar…. That’s it, there’s nothing [unnatural] in there," Zhou said.
The product is now available to pre-order on Kickstarter and the steaks stay fresh for up to three weeks in the fridge upon arrival without freezing. They can be shipped to 48 states in the United States and to major cities in Canada.
“Here in Canada we can cover approximately from Quebec City to Windsor, as well as Edmonton, Vancouver and Calgary," Zhou added.
Zhou says a lot of Western students are supporting his startup on Kickstarter. Students can find more information about the product and order it on the Kickstarter page.