All Posts By

Daniel

Food Innovation

December 21, 2017

Dear All,

We hope this email finds you well and that you’re preparing for a great Holiday Season!

We wanted to write a brief update and share some of the progress and developments we’ve had at FlavorWiki in the past months.  And to thank all of those people that supported us since our launch in June of this past year.

Funding and Recognition

FlavorWiki had a great Q4 for 2017!  On November 17, we completed an eleven week startup accelerator program in Zurich, Switzerland. Kickstart Accelerator is a global program sponsored by industry leaders in Switzerland.  The cohort is 70% non-Swiss startups from all over the world.  This year they had over 1,500 applications and chose only 30 start ups to participate. The final jury awards best start up in each industry vertical. FlavorWiki was named the “Best Food Startup” and granted CHF 25,000 in non-equity funding. This brings our total funding to date to CHF 40,000, all non-equity.

During the accelerator we also initiated a series of pilot projects with both Migros and Coop, the two largest private label food manufacturers and retailers in Switzerland.  Please see the press release here:  Zurich Kickstart Accelerator Press Release.

Product Developments

We are excited to have launched a new product around our taste profiling technology, focused on E-Commerce and food retailers.  Using taste perception and preference data we are helping these partners to more effectively target product promotions, boost sales and increase brand engagement.  We feel this is a natural complement to our consumer insights and new product development tools.

Let’s Stay in Touch

In 2018 we intend to spend more time getting the word out about FlavorWiki and would really appreciate your help in doing so.  Please take the time to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to stay current on future developments.  And share our posts with your networks.  You can also follow our Blog.

Best wishes and happy holidays from FlavorWiki!

 

Daniel Protz, Paul Price and Wolfram Willhun

Food Innovation

The future of food (technology)

November 22, 2017

The world’s growing population and environmental concerns surrounding meat consumption are causing a shift in the food industry. Innovative solutions such as laboratory meat, indoor farms, nanopackaging and smart kitchen apps (Popsop) are helping to address these issues, and in the process are transforming the food industry into something more sustainable and more personal. The key to all of these solutions is technology.

New technologies are pushing the food industry forward, forcing consumers to start thinking differently, too. Samsung, for example, has come out with the Family Hub 2.0, a smart refrigerator that tells you when items need to be restocked, enables you to order groceries and manage shopping, helps you connect with family and friends, and provides access to online recipes and entertainment.

For FlavorWiki, this is all just the beginning. We want to take those technologies a step further. How about a refrigerator that provides you with a shopping list for a recipe that it knows you will like? Do you have a picky eater at home? No problem. The smart fridge will recommend meals and recipes based on each family member’s tastes (or distastes). Oh no, are you out of your favorite gluten-free 3-egg pasta? Don’t worry, just print it with your 3-D food printer!

 

Further reading

3 Ways Technology is Changing the Food Industry (Inc.)

6 food tech innovations from CES 2017 (FoodDIVE)

From pixels to plate, food has become 3D printing’s delicious new frontier (Digital Trends)

Food Innovation

FlavorWhat?

June 16, 2017

Hey, I’m Daniel, founder of FlavorWiki. Since we’ve probably never met I thought I’d share my story of how I went from the technology industry to the food industry, and how FlavorWiki was born.

Like so many of us, I recall that my mother really knew her way around the kitchen. Her recipe for apple pie will always be — to me — the only way to make an evening snack. I say snack because she still reminds me how, along with two friends and much to my father’s disappointment, we once ate an entire pie in one sitting. Even now, years later, I look forward to going home for her meals. She was a healthy cook (minus the pies, I suppose) and managed to balance the tastes our family loved with the use of natural ingredients while maintaining enough variety that no one complained.

But I didn’t truly recognize or appreciate this skill of hers until I went away to college. Suddenly the task of selecting foods that were healthy, convenient and great tasting became a bigger challenge than my schoolwork. And as a university athlete (I was a rower), keeping up a healthy diet was essential.  

In fact, it proved nearly impossible to find the right foods for me in my college cafeteria or at the local grocery store. And looking back, this makes a lot of sense. After all, the food industry is built for mass production, meaning taste profiles are built for the mass market. Gone were the days of finding healthy, natural foods that suited my tastes.  

But things started changing when I met my wife six years ago. A PhD food scientist and also a great cook (like Mom), she introduced me to the complex world of food research. I found it fascinating. According to Nielsen, a staggering 85 percent of new consumer packaged goods fail. 85 percent! And the traditional food innovation process is a gamble — new products are often tested with nonstandardized methods and are not necessarily developed because that’s what consumers want, but rather because that’s what CPG (consumer packaged goods) and FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) companies think consumers want.

My business experience in technology companies was always in the back of my mind as I thought about how this could be changed. I thought that if the existing industry knowledge of flavor science and nutrition could be combined with emerging capabilities in online data collection and machine learning, FMCGs and CPGs could accurately design and produce healthy foods fit for individual tastes. In essence, the foods available in our local stores could be “just like Mom’s” and they would have a better chance of staying on supermarket shelves.

FlavorWiki is the realization of that vision. Consumers — that is, you — are the heart of our business. And it’s consumers’ flavor preferences and ideas for new foods that we combine with food product innovation to create healthy, successful new products. Our innovative technology is the key to making your voices heard by the FMCG and CPG industries. We’ll go more into the “how” in a future post.

At FlavorWiki, we believe in a future for the food industry where bespoke product creation, production and delivery is a reality. One where nutritional requirements, dietary needs and taste preference come together in a varied, exciting and sophisticated eating experience for every consumer. And we want to be part of creating that reality.

We’ll keep you informed every week or so about what’s happening in the FlavorWiki world and we’ll also explore topics like how an idea for a new ice cream flavor or chocolate bar actually makes it to grocery store shelves, what makes us like or dislike certain foods, and how food producers “profile” the flavors in their foods before the new products hit the market.

In the meantime, you can try my Mom’s Apple Pie.