The round was led by Disruptive AI, who joins existing investors PeakBridge and PICO Venture Partners and brings Tastewise’s total funding to $21.5M to date. Tastewise’s customer base spans food and beverage companies from Fortune 500s -- such as Nestle, PepsiCo, Kraft Heinz, and Campbell's -- to industry newcomers like Just Egg.
Tastewise is a provider of food delivery analytics that helps food brands connect with restaurants across multiple geographies. Founded by former Google executive, Alon Chen, and former tech leader at SimilarWeb, Eyan Gaon, the solution predicts changing consumer needs based on over 78,000 restaurants and delivery menus, 20 billion social interactions, and 115,000 home recipes online.
“The way people choose what to eat and drink is transforming in the face of the global pandemic, climate change, new technologies, and increased interest in health -- and everything we eat in the near future will be fundamentally different,” said Chen.
“Today’s consumers require food and beverage that responds to their needs and provides solutions to their problems - from the personal to the planetary. This latest round of investment in Tastewise will enable us to take our cutting-edge technology to more players in the market as we work together to create a healthier, tastier, and more sustainable industry.”
Tastewise claims it enables the food industry to discover new flavours and product ideas, develop content for marketing campaigns, and find sales opportunities with restaurants and retail by fusing billions of data points across social media, recipes, and restaurant menus.
By way of an example, Tastewise revealed how the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a massive revolution in the ways people eat and drink. Today, 25% more people are interested in sustainable food, and 33% more people eat and drink for functional wellness, than in 2021. Today’s eaters and drinkers are more informed, more demanding, and above all, more digital. Based on the current rate of change in both consumer needs and food and beverage innovation, Tastewise data indicates that most of what we eat today will change significantly over the next decade.
Using proprietary AI and the food and beverage industry’s largest available dataset, Tastewise predicted the rise of several trends that have influenced eating and drinking during the COVID years including the rise of health as a driver for the plant-based food and beverage market. Today, health is 2.4x more important than animal welfare for plant-based eating, for example. The company has also charted the rise of functional health: 33% more consumers eat food and beverage for functional benefit since the beginning of 2021, it estimated.
“The old ways of measuring trends and behaviour in the food industry, such as surveys and focus groups, are unable to capture the full picture of today’s changing market -- nor the trends that define it,” Chen said.
“So much of what we eat and drink may change over the next decades, and Tastewise is positioned to help the world's most significant food and beverage brands build the future of this huge market,” added Izhar Shay, former Israeli Minister of Science & Technology and today a Venture Partner at Disruptive AI, the first Israeli venture capital fund that specializes in Artificial Intelligence startups. “Our investment in Tastewise's mission will help create endless opportunities for the entire industry, from major brands to small newcomers, to change the market fundamentally through data-backed innovation."