Ahead of his speaking role at the summit, we spoke to Josh Silverman, CEO at Aromyx about using AI and sensing technologies to improve the route to market for new products
What role does AI and sensing technology play as we develop the next generation of alternative proteins?
Consumer preference is at the top of every consumer survey for adopting new ingredients or processes. While we all want to be more sustainable and environmentally-friendly, the bottom line is that if something doesn’t taste good, consumers are not going to buy it. Figuring out what consumers like is a hard problem that even traditional food companies have struggled with for centuries. This is further complicated when moving into new ingredients that consumers have no experience with that have not had mass market adoption.
While early adopters are willing to make sacrifices, they are not willing to go through as many development cycles as we have previously. Consumers want to get new products to mass market faster, with more accurate development cycles. This is where AI and sensing technologies come in—helping get to market faster with products that consumers like, while supporting design and marketing to be more successful.
How does Aromyx’s technology complement human senses and what new capabilities does this offer?
Aromyx provides quantitative data where previously there has been none. We are removing the subjective nature of the human senses to provide data at a much more granular level—like data on exact target demographics. The human sensory panel is always an exercise in statistics. If you get enough people in a room to taste something you hope that they represent the market, but this is often not the case. If you can find something to target that is reproducible, you can get to a much faster and better R&D process with a higher success rate.
Why is the panel discussion ‘What Does the Protein Aisle Look Like in 2030?’ a timely and important decision to be having?
For the protein aisle to be diverse, it requires lots of products that taste not only as good, but better, than meat. Consumers don’t buy based on sustainability, they buy based on what they like. If alternative proteins are better than beef products, they will take over the market. We are not looking to just mimic the taste of existing products, but to create better tasting products in order to have alternative proteins take over the market. To envision what tastes better than meat is a hard question. We need better tools and data science to get there. Our technology enables this and finding better than naturally occurring alternatives is a win for everyone.
Who are you looking forward to meeting at the Future Food-Tech Alternative Proteins summit?
We generally focus on R&D groups and those with better tools for making better tasting products more efficiently. We are also interested in connecting with folks on the marketing side who are tasked with communicating the taste benefits of products to others. While a lot of companies make claims to have the “best tasting mushroom burger”or “the best artificial cheese,” they are often making these claims devoid of data. We have the data and tools to help them better understand where products will and won’t perform well, who will like these products and how to find them.
What’s next for Aromyx?
In an effort to continue to grow and provide support for our customers, we are working on better data insights and tailored models for alternative proteins, we’re implementing automation to increase the throughput in the lab by 100 fold to increase capacity and implementing software tools to allow communications directly to our customers.
Josh Silverman, CEO, AROMYX, will be speaking on the panel ‘Crystal Ball Session: What Does the Protein Aisle Look Like in 2030?’ at the upcoming Future Food-Tech Alternative Proteins summit on June 22-23 and will be joined by:
Louisa Burwood-Taylor, Head of Media & Research, AGFUNDER
Rene Lammers, EVP and Chief R&D Officer, PEPSICO
Ryan Pandya, Co-Founder and CEO, PERFECT DAY
Takoua Debeche, Chief Research and Innovation Officer, DANONE NORTH AMERICA
Xun Wang, President and CEO, TRITON ALGAE INNOVATIONS