May 15, 2021

Meals: It’s a 98% match: How expertise can disrupt the meals trade

By Devndra Chawla

You most likely would have seen a small line indicating a “98% Match” when looking for reveals on video streaming platforms. The OTT corporations have coded an enormous set of algorithms, which monitor 1000’s of parameters and tags behind each film or each collection that you simply watch after which use these parameters to create a advice engine which is so highly effective that it makes you stick on these platforms and “binge watch”. However wait! Wasn’t binging all about consuming lots of meals? And the way come whereas our content material is personalised down to every people’ viewing sample, our meals continues to be very generic and all of us eat the identical factor? Nicely, that is about to vary and we at the moment are transferring into an period the place we’re going to “eat content material, actually!” Its time meals strikes again on content material.

Let’s go down the reminiscence lane, to circa 1990s the place a typical meal on the eating desk of Indian households would imply dal, roti and subzi with varieties altering relying on which a part of the nation you reside in. Meals (particularly dinner) in the home, have been thought of as a day by day event for the family to meet up with one another and keep related. Quick ahead to 2019 and the meals panorama in India has gone by means of a revolution, to say the least. There’s beeline of world meals chains which have entered India, retailers are additionally stocking international gourmand meals merchandise and elements, ensuring they don’t miss the possibility to serve the rising listing of aspiring grasp cooks within the nation. Our eating desk at properties have reworked into ‘meals courts’.

Well being issues have considerably impacted the meals trade forcing manufacturers to vary their product choices to adapt to the altering calls for of the Indian shopper. We now have all types of meals be it keto, natural, gluten free, probiotics, dietary bars, lab grown meat, hydroponics, aeroponics, aquaponics and whatnot.

For the reason that universe of meals is far bigger and sophisticated than the content material we eat, it too wants expertise as an enabler in serving to shoppers make the best selections. Meals expertise platforms corresponding to Spoon Guru Of USA, Whisk of UK, Nutrino of Isreal or GoToChef of India, are utilizing synthetic intelligence and machine studying methods to assist shoppers to make sense of the meals that’s out there round, counsel what’s good to eat, all personalised to 1’s style, life-style and dietary preferences. “The Netflix of…” is about to occur to the meals trade.

One other issue resulting in a paradigm shift in meals consumption sample is the attention of meals allergy symptoms. Because it goes, shoppers weren’t all the time astutely aware of the presence of sure allergens to which their our bodies may react without delay. However right this moment this state of affairs is modified. With new cuisines, come new elements with which comes new allergic reactions. Meals is now getting beneath our pores and skin and approx. 25% of Indians have at the very least one meals allergy and this consciousness is main greater than 90% of contemporary shoppers to test the ingredient panel earlier than they make any meals purchases.

Substances, together with style and life-style necessities right this moment, kind the core parameter, foundation which shoppers now make buy selections. It will be proper to say that “Substances are the content material of meals”. Time has come that the kind of elements you select to have specifically merchandise or dishes will assist personalisation and advice engines to be taught and give you meals gadgets which might be “95% to 100% match for you”. Such selections will assist you choose meals which could possibly be both categorised on style preferences corresponding to candy, salty, savoury, spicy, and many others, or on allergy-free meals corresponding to gluten free, nuts free, lactose free, seafood free. Our choices may be primarily based on our sure life-style targets corresponding to vegan, low salt, excessive protein, low ldl cholesterol, low or no fat, fibre wealthy and the listing goes on. In any case not each meals merchandise might be consumed by everybody and if that logic holds true, then we absolutely are transferring in the direction of an period the place personalisation in meals will disrupt the meals trade.

The writer is MD and CEO of Spencer’s Retail. Views expressed are private)