F&B Insights With Taxonomies: How to See What Your Customers Want

May 17, 20245 minutes
Kelia Losa Reinoso photo
Kelia Losa Reinoso

F&B insights are essential for food and beverage businesses to understand their customers’ needs and wants. With the rise of data analytics and technology, there has been an increase in the collection and analysis of customer data. However, having a large amount of unorganized data can make it challenging to extract meaningful insights. This is where taxonomies come into play.

This piece will explain what F&B insights and taxonomies are, how they work together, and their benefits for businesses.

Understanding F&B Insights

F&B insights refer to the information gathered from various sources that provide businesses with a deeper understanding of their customers’ preferences, behaviors, and needs. This includes data from sales transactions, customer feedback, social media interactions, and more. Analyzing this data helps businesses with their F&B marketing efforts, menu planning, and overall F&B business strategy.

What are Taxonomies?

Taxonomies are a hierarchical system used to organize and classify data into different categories based on shared characteristics. In simpler terms, it is a way of organizing large amounts of data into smaller groups for easier analysis. In the F&B industry, taxonomies can be used to categorize customer data into groups such as demographics, preferences, or purchase history.

Why Taxonomies Matter in F&B


Imagine putting all social media posts, online reviews, and recipe blogs are all jumbled together in one giant text file. Analyzing such a huge amount of unstructured data would be almost impossible, and it stops your ability to get valuable insights into consumer behavior. This is precisely the challenge faced by many CPG and F&B companies today.

The Challenges of Unstructured Data

  • Difficulty in analysis: Traditional data analysis tools struggle to make sense of unstructured data, leading to inaccurate or incomplete insights.
  • Hidden trends: Valuable information can get buried within the vast amount of data, making it difficult to identify emerging trends and consumer preferences.
  • Wasted resources: Time and resources spent trying to analyze unstructured data can be better allocated to developing and executing data-driven strategies.

Utilizing Taxonomies to Organize and Unlock F&B Insights

Taxonomies are like the filing system for your data. They provide a structured classification system, allowing you to categorize information based on predefined criteria. This enables researchers to:

  • Identify patterns and trends: By organizing data into relevant categories, taxonomies make identifying patterns and trends in consumer behavior easier.
  • Gain deeper understanding: Taxonomies allow you to delve deeper into specific topics, such as consumer needs or trending ingredients.
  • Make informed decisions: With clear and organized data, CPG and F&B companies can make data-driven decisions about product development, food marketing strategies, and more.

Tastewise’s Two-pronged Taxonomy Approach

Tastewise takes a unique two-pronged approach to taxonomies, offering both a Consumer Needs Taxonomy and an Ingredient Taxonomy. This comprehensive system allows for a holistic understanding of F&B insights, providing answers to the critical “why,” “what,” “who,” “where,” “when,” and “how” questions that drive consumer behavior.

Consumer needs taxonomy

The Tastewise Consumer Needs Taxonomy is a powerful tool that delves into the “why” behind consumer choices. This taxonomy, encompassing over 1,000 values across 15 categories, helps CPG and F&B companies understand the motivations and desires driving consumer purchases.

  • Health & Wellness: This category covers weight management, gut health, and allergy restrictions.
  • Experience: Busy lifestyles often lead to a need for convenient and time-saving meal solutions.
  • Taste: This category captures consumer taste preferences, from sweet and savory to spicy and adventurous.

By understanding these needs, companies can develop products that cater to specific consumer segments and address their underlying motivations.

Ingredient taxonomy

The Tastewise Ingredient Taxonomy focuses on the “what” of consumer preferences. This comprehensive taxonomy, with over 6,500 ingredients and dishes categorized into a hierarchical structure, provides deep insights into the trending flavors and ingredients consumers are seeking.

  • Identify emerging trends: Stay ahead of the curve by spotting new and exciting ingredient trends before they hit the mainstream.
  • Optimize product formulations: Leverage insights into trending flavors to optimize existing products or develop innovative new offerings.
  • Understand consumer preferences: Gain a deeper understanding of the specific ingredients and flavors consumers are drawn to within different product categories.

Ultimately, these insights can lead to innovative new menu trends and products that resonate with your consumers, and if you need inspiration, you can access the recipe creator. Discover untapped ingredients, and themes, like this Rainbow Pride Cheesecake, which encompasses various categories of ingredients and themes. 

From Data to Decisions

Tastewise’s robust taxonomies empower CPG and F&B companies to make data-driven decisions across every stage of the product development cycle. Here are some real-world examples:

  • A leading yogurt brand identified a growing consumer need for on-the-go, protein-rich snacks through the Consumer Needs Taxonomy. This insight led to the development of a new line of single-serve yogurt parfaits with high protein content.
  • A beverage company leveraged the Ingredient Taxonomy to identify a surge in demand for sparkling water infused with botanical flavors. This trend helped them develop a new line of sparkling water beverages with unique and refreshing flavor combinations.
  • A CPG company used the Consumer Needs Taxonomy to understand the growing demand for convenient and healthy meal solutions among a particular demographic. 

Gathering and classifying consumer preferences can be as easy as using our Survey Agency. Discover Consumer’s Taste with Tastewise like what factors are most important to your customer when considering a new product, what your audience’s favorite flavor profile is, or even what people are cooking at home. Understanding the data behind consumer’s needs can guide the way to innovative menus, recipes, and products, and in turn, how to market them. 

Demystifying Taxonomy Terminology

Taxonomies may seem complex, but understanding the key terms is crucial to unlocking their full potential. Here’s a breakdown of essential concepts:

CategoryA broad grouping within a taxonomy that encompasses related concepts. (e.g., “Functional Health” in the Consumer Needs Taxonomy)
ValueA specific element within a category that defines a more granular concept. (e.g., “Weight Management” within the “Functional Health” category)
Synonym Cluster A group of terms are synonymous or closely related to a specific value. (e.g., “lose weight,” “Slimming,” and “Obesity” might cluster under the “Weight Management” value)


Aren’t there existing industry standards for classifying data? Can’t we just use those?

While general industry standards exist, Tastewise’s taxonomies are specifically designed for the F&B market. This allows for a more granular and relevant classification system, capturing the nuances of consumer needs and ingredient trends within the ever-evolving F&B landscape. Our taxonomies are constantly updated to reflect these changes, ensuring you have access to the most up-to-date consumer insights.

How much ongoing maintenance do taxonomies require? Won’t they become outdated quickly?

Tastewise understands the dynamic nature of consumer preferences and ingredient trends. Our taxonomies undergo continuous monitoring and updates to reflect these changes. We leverage a combination of automated analysis and expert review to ensure our taxonomies remain accurate and relevant. This ensures you have access to the most up-to-date consumer insights to inform your business decisions.

Can Tastewise’s taxonomies be integrated with my existing data analytics tools?

Tastewise’s taxonomies are designed for seamless integration with various data analytics platforms. This allows you to easily leverage the power of our taxonomies within your existing workflow, unlocking deeper insights from the data you already have. By integrating Tastewise with your existing tools, you can gain a more comprehensive understanding of your target audience and make data-driven decisions with greater confidence.

By transforming unstructured data into organized information, taxonomies empower businesses to extract valuable insights, identify trends, and make informed decisions. With a well-designed taxonomy, CPGs and F&B stakeholders can unlock the hidden potential of your data and gain a deeper understanding of their target audience.

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