American Indian Foodie Kishan Vasani Created Spoonshot for Insight into Future of Food and Beverage Industry | Business

Entrepreneur Kishan Vasani is a food lover and has a mind for technology. He took both passions and carved out a business that merges the two.

Vasani founded Spoonshot, an AI-powered innovation research platform, to leverage AI, external data and knowledge from the field of food science to provide rich insights into the future of food science. food and beverage industry. Founded in December 2015, the Saint Paul, Minnesota-based company is on a mission to “predict food and beverage innovation opportunities globally with unmatched confidence.”

To date, the company has raised $ 1.9 million in funds, including $ 1 million in seed funding in September 2020 (see India-West article here:

The Native American entrepreneur started working in the food technology / digital food industry in late 2011 when he joined what was then an emerging food delivery market called Just Eat in London.

Earlier that year they had increased their Series B round and were growing really fast. By the time Vasani left three and a half years later, they were a well-known brand in the UK and had had a very successful IPO in 2014.

“It was this experience that opened my eyes to many possibilities in the food and beverage industry which historically had been slow to embrace the technology,” Vasani said recently. India-West.

The Aston University (Birmingham, UK) graduate said the area he feels most connected to is personalization.

“Being a foodie myself, I was surprised that there wasn’t a top-notch company at this point (2015) helping consumers make better food choices,” he recalls. “By that, I don’t even necessarily mean healthier choices, just choices based on their individual preferences.”

There were personalization leaders in most other verticals – like Amazon in e-commerce and Spotify in music – but nobody in food, he told India-West.

Vasani found this strange, seeing how people make very personal choices about food several times a day. He decided to tackle this aspect first.

“We created a mainstream mobile app that would try to predict and recommend what you would like to eat every time you open it called ‘Dishq’,” he said. “It was a lot of fun, but generating income was a challenge. We didn’t just want to be a better mousetrap.

They’ve gone from a business-to-consumer platform to a business-to-business approach. And instead of a mobile app, they sold access to their food recommendations through an API (Application Programming Interface) to food delivery companies and restaurant technology companies.

“We had more success this time on the revenue side, but it quickly became clear that our solution, while good, was more of a vitamin than a pain reliever,” added the CEO of Spoonshot.

Despite two years that have passed and two misplaced locations of their technology, Vasani said there is still a belief in the technology – it just needs to be applied to the right use case.

“That’s when we started investigating food analysis. Initially, we considered building an analytics platform for restaurants to help them design menu dishes based on consumer trends, but we quickly learned that CPG companies face a challenge. similar, but their pain was much greater, ”he told India-West.

From there, Spoonshot was born.

The company’s innovative intelligence is designed for a range of professionals working in the world of food and beverage development. This includes, among others, product developers, research and development leaders, consumer insiders, marketing innovation teams, information researchers, data scientists, and founders.

They currently work with six of the top 20 food and beverage manufacturers in the United States, and overall the company works with hundreds of companies of all shapes and sizes, the founder said.

Vasani recently had the opportunity to speak about Spoonshot and the mental health aspect of food and drink at the Future Food-Tech Summit on March 12.

Vasani’s presentation, “The Growing Role of Adaptogens in Combating Stress,” was a success, he noted.

“We find that the audience for this event is very engaged and our participation in previous events in this series has directly resulted in new business for Spoonshot,” he said.

Vasani and Spoonshot hope to continue to use the data to develop food cognition.

“Simply put, where data can be applied to help people make better decisions in the food industry, this is where Spoonshot will be the solution,” Vasani told India-West. “It could mean that we are fueling business intelligence for robotic chefs, or providing the data that enables consumers to make healthier choices – which almost brings us back to our original business idea,” he said. declared.

For the immediate future, Spoonshot is “laser-focused on the continued evolution of our core technology and research platform, while working with more companies embracing the digital food intelligence revolution.” and drinks ”.

Vasani notes that today, strategic food innovation decisions are too often made without considering or examining key data sets, especially external data. There is too much emphasis on sales data, which is important, but not on the ultimate solution, he said.

“There are many other critical data sets that should not be ignored that will provide a more complete picture of emerging trends and opportunities for innovation,” he added. “One of the main differentiators of Spoonshot is that we process and analyze over 20 types of food and beverage data from over 28,000 sources. Therefore, our intelligence is strongly validated against traditional research methodologies.

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