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Our methodology

At Spoonshot, we are building a next-generation research tool that can transform food innovation by combining artificial intelligence and fundamental sciences. We have developed technology that processes large volumes of unstructured data, weaving together seemingly disparate information to uncover hidden relationships and opportunities.
How do we predict the next innovation opportunity
Spoonshot’s AI, #foodbrain, mines through billions of data points across 2,900+ diverse long-tail sources and dives into the wealth of food and beverage information spanning consumer, business, institutional data. Based on this data, we separate isolated patterns from underlying cultural movements and analyze the signals. We constantly track these signals and identify how they evolve in real-time. Because these long-tail data sources are all vetted, you can be assured of their authenticity.

We try to answer the ‘why’ behind any innovation opportunity that we find. Any long-lasting trend is usually driven or influenced by a bigger macro or megatrend.


Example
A plant-based snack brand that wanted to create a line extension of their healthy snacks with cassava root. We first looked at emerging ethnic flavors and trends to then derive an innovative solution that would fit their requirements. We found that North African flavors had taken the cuisine world by storm over the past year. The North African condiment, harissa, a zesty red pepper sauce with subtle notes of sweet tomato emerged as a top trending condiment. Since 2018, African flavors, in general, have seen a 19.6% increase in conversations and in usage.

When we combed through ingredients that share high flavor compatibility with harissa and connected the data from 996 recipes and news sites, our #foodbrain came up with a unique and tasty pairing for harissa... lemon.

Our data also suggested that cassava goes well with chili flavors like paprika so it too would combine well with harissa. Harissa is used in a host of products and recipes – from harissa sweet potato wedges to Moroccan harissa grilled chicken legs. Of all the popular African sauces used in recipes (chermoula, harissa, maafe, moambe, and shito), harissa comprises 77%.

Examples of harissa flavored snacks include President’s Choice Harissa Hummus Flavor Rippled Potato Chips and TaDah! Falafel Wrap With Sweet and Spicy Harissa.
TaDaah Product
We were, therefore, able to provide the snacks brand with not just a new trending flavor combination, but insights on the next ethnic condiment that could potentially surpass sriracha in popularity.
How do we predict the future of a trend?
We have built a comprehensive dataset that comprises of more than 10 years of all digital content in food. Also, this dataset exponentially grows with time as new content gets generated. This dynamic dataset serves as training data to build AI models to predict a future trend using historical data.

The example below shows the historical trend line for Kokumi and a forecast on its growth.

Spoonshot's Trend Graph

If you have any further questions about our methodology, please email hello@spoonshot.com .
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