Tastewise, which uses AI to predict consumer food trends, announced today it has launched its platform in the UK and added more localized data to help restaurants and food producers in that region better anticipate consumer eating habits. According to a press release sent to The Spoon, Tastewise has integrated data from 183,000 restaurants and delivery menus, over 2.8 billion social interactions, and 1.2 million online recipes from the UK into its platform.
The Tastewise platform, which launched in February of 2019, helps CPG companies better predict food trends through artificial intelligence (AI). It analyzes consumer touchpoints (think Instagram photos and online recipes) to find not just what foods consumers are eating right now but also their deeper motivations for choosing those foods. When we spoke about a year ago, Tastewise CEO Alon Chen used the example of sauerkraut to illustrate the point:
“Right now, according to [Chen], it’s a popular food, but the trend is less about raw cabbage and more about the process behind it, which is fermentation . . . Food companies analyzing data via the Tastewise platform can see such data and consider how they might implement fermentation into their offerings.”
Tastewise counts Nestlé, PepsiCo, General Mills, Dole, and other major CPGs among its customers. With today’s launch, UK-based food businesses will also be able to utilize the platform to get more real-time insights into consumer food behavior, which is a must in these pandemic-stricken days, according to Tastewise: “The pandemic has made it clear that it’s imperative to have your finger on today’s pulse each time a decision is made,” Chen said in today’s press release.
Speaking of which: along with the news of its UK launch, Tastewise also released a new report on UK consumer food trends during the pandemic so far. Among them:
- Sustainable foods are rising 52 percent in popularity year over year, though health and fitness are motivating this trend, not environmental concerns.
- UK demand for meal kits is up 200 percent.
- CBD is fading in popularity.
Tastewise is not a sensory platform a la Spoonshot or Climax Foods. However, it is similar in that it leverages AI to help companies bring in-demand products faster by sinking less money into traditional R&D. And given the upheaval the pandemic has caused across the food system, both CPGs and foodservice companies will be leveraging more AI in the future to keep costs down by offering their customers the most relevant items possible.