The Almond Board of California (ABC) is tapping into artificial intelligence to fuel inspiration for the future of almond innovation. ABC will use Tastewise, an AI-powered food trends prediction and intelligence startup, to help the food and beverage industry anticipate fast-changing culinary trends and preferences, lending actionable insights for new product development.
ABC will incorporate the newly uncovered insights within the trade marketing program in both the U.S. and Europe to reach product developers and encourage more usage of almonds as an ingredient. Tactics include developing inspirational recipe concepts and resources from culinary consultants, showcasing trend reports through panel discussions at tradeshows, and ongoing communications to the snack manufacturing audience on the “Nuts About Almond Inspiration” LinkedIn page. In the U.S., ABC is hosting their “Tastemaker Trials” -- a student competition, where a national cohort of food science and culinary education students will be invited to submit almond product concepts informed by AI data and trends through Tastewise. While in Europe, ABC will partner with influential chefs to provide inspiration for trends-led recipes.
Almonds have been recognized globally as the number one nut for new product development since 2006.1 Their taste, texture, nutrient package and sustainability credentials are among the many benefits that make them indispensable to innovation. “California almonds are a key ingredient helping brands and product innovators be ready for the future,” says Harbinder Maan, associate director of trade marketing and stewardship at ABC. “With real-time data from Tastewise, we will be able to bring meaningful insights to food manufacturers with an increased accuracy and speed.”
Tastewise has already proven to be instrumental in helping the Almond Board identify new trends. According to 2023 data from Tastewise, the following keywords are trending in functional health consumer needs for almonds: fitness, energy, weight management, wellness, athlete recovery, heart health, and muscle function. These are among the top-15 functional claims. Other trends found were in terms of ethical associations with almonds and snacks. Food waste is on the rise: it saw 90% year over year change but is coming from a relatively small share. The most popular ethical associations still include organic and natural.
In today’s ever-changing world, consumer data moves fast. Tastewise helps companies up their game by informing brands of fast-moving consumer data. Tastewise has the ability to collect data from consumers’ social media, restaurant menus, and home cooking to provide both qualitative and quantitative data to companies. Tastewise’s CEO Alon Chen says, “AI is the only way in today's landscape to accurately understand what consumers want -- and why. Forward-thinking brands and businesses, like Almond Board of California, are adapting to this reality to ultimately create the products, marketing campaigns, and business strategies to meet consumer needs at speed and scale.”