Food Tech: A New Frontier

Thirty years ago, what did you imagine 2020 would be like? Did you picture hovercars? Teleportation? Time travel? Well, here we are. We may not have all of that, but we sure have made plenty of advancements – especially in the food & beverage industry. Food tech has been a huge topic of discussion in the past few years. Whether that be due to changing consumer interests, sustainability concerns, or just the availability of new technology, the industry has been more tech-focused than ever before.

Logistically, investing in better technology is a no brainer. Utilizing modernized systems and resources, companies can drastically improve their efficiency. But food tech doesn’t just stop there. Many companies are shifting their focus to technology that can also help with research and development, as well as creating sustainable practices.

Artificial (Intelligence) Flavors

When food & beverage brands launch new products, one of the most important aspects to consider is who the desired consumer is and what flavor profile they would want. But what if an AI program could calculate that for you? Recently, on our podcast, we spoke with Jason Cohen of Analytical Flavor Systems about their new Gastrograph AI system. This platform is able to model human sensory perception of flavor, aroma, and texture to predict consumer preference of food and beverage products.

Utilizing syndicated data gathered through consumer panels and surveys, as well as information provided by individual brands, Gastrograph can help determine what flavors specific demographics would be interested in. For example, if you wanted to create a chip product that is targeted at Black females in the Pacific Northwest, Gastrograph would analyze all the data that fits that criteria and provide you with attributes that consumers would be interested in.

By using systems such as this, brands are able to create dynamic flavor profiles while keeping their consumers in mind. This can ultimately lead to more diversity in products.

A Packaged Deal

Consumers no longer view sustainability as a trend, it’s a necessity. And they expect the brands they purchase from to know that as well. [Read our blog, The Rise of the Sustainable Consumers to learn more] Single-use plastics are on their way out, and reusable/recyclable packaging is in. But are brands ready to make this switch? Well, with new technology companies have more options than ever to reduce waste. Whether that be switching to completely eco-friendly packaging, or simply cutting back on traditional non-recyclable materials – there’s plenty that can be done, with the help of technology.

As stated in a recent article posted on Food Dive, “The right kind of packaging material prolongs shelf life and keeps food safer and fresher, meaning it’s more likely to be consumed before it spoils. It also provides convenience by requiring fewer trips to the store.” When brands consider the effect that their packaging has on the supply chain, everyone wins. By investing in tech-driven companies that are innovating traditional food packaging, brands can give consumers what they are looking for while benefiting the greater good.

To learn more about food tech, please listen to our podcast Just a Taste with Jason Cohen of Analytical Flavor Systems.