The Tastewise Blog The latest news, views and insights in food trends

Leveraging AI for affordable adaptation in a volatile food market

August 18, 20232 min
Lauren Daniels photo
Lauren Daniels Tastewise

Numerous factors, from climate changes to geopolitical events, constantly, unexpectedly and sometimes drastically affect the global agricultural market. Instances such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict triggering wheat shortages or water scarcity in Mexico impacting avocado production, India’s rice export ban, and others highlight the necessity for the food and beverage industries to be agile and responsive.

Key takeaways:

  • Global shifts impact food markets, making real-time insights into observed consumer behavior vital for adapting to changing consumer preferences.
  • Rising costs necessitate a data-driven approach to identify affordable ingredients without compromising quality.
  • AI-driven innovation aligns with evolving preferences, offering budget-friendly alternatives to cater to changing market dynamics.

Global events, both foreseen and unexpected, significantly disrupt food supply chains —resulting in fluctuating prices, ingredient scarcity, and shifts in consumer preferences. To maintain product availability and consumer satisfaction, food companies must proactively navigate these changes. Companies need to adapt quickly and provide affordable options to consumers during high-inflation periods. This is where our AI-driven solutions demonstrate their value by revolutionizing the understanding of consumer preferences, identifying market gaps, and enabling the offering of cost-effective alternatives.

Real-time understanding of shifting consumer tastes

The current period of global economic uncertainty means that people are increasingly aware of what they are spending. This is especially relevant to the food and beverage industry. In 2022 Americans spent 16% more than the previous year on food-away-from-home. This accounted for 56% of total food expenditure in 2022 and resulted in driving a heightened interest in value and affordability. Tastewise delivers instant insights into evolving consumer preferences. By analyzing social media conversations, online recipes, and restaurant menus, we empower businesses to promptly detect emerging trends and changing customer desires, facilitating timely adjustments to their offerings.

As global costs escalate due to reduced supplies, consumers exhibit a greater willingness to explore alternatives to their conventional choices. Our AI insights empower businesses to pivot their product lines and swiftly. For instance, during wheat shortages, AI might reveal surging demand for gluten-free or grain-free substitutes. This enables companies to innovate new products catering to shifting dietary preferences while maintaining affordability. If there is an incident on a global scale that affects the production or availability of a key consumer item, brands will automatically be negatively impacted. These food and beverage brands can utilize Tastewise to better understand the consumer drivers behind the need for their products. These products are usually driven by underlying health support or dietary requirements. Food and beverage companies can overcome ingredient shortages or production issues by finding alternatives that support the same health and dietary requirements that their customers have.

Affordable alternatives amidst inflation

Inflation-linked cost hikes along the entire food supply chain can reduce consumer purchasing power. However, our data insights play a key role in identifying ingredients or products that deliver cost savings without compromising quality or taste.

Data-driven insights help food companies in discover lesser-known yet equally nutritious substitutes when prices of conventional ingredients spike. Businesses can use these alternatives to create more budget-friendly products while keeping their nutritional value. Additionally, our platform aids companies in pinpointing budget-conscious customer choices through the analysis of consumer conversations. This promises that affordable adjustments are positively received by the market.

Strategic innovation with affordability as the focus

Tastewise’s predictive capabilities extend beyond trend identification; we foster strategic innovation in the food and beverage sector while prioritizing affordability. With AI and data insights, companies can develop items tailored to budget-conscious consumers without compromising on quality or flavor – a particularly valuable approach in a value-driven market.

Amidst rising prices, trends in homemade recipes reveal a penchant for budget-friendly DIY alternatives. Armed with this knowledge, food businesses can craft ready-to-use, economical versions of these items, aligning with evolving consumer preferences and providing cost-effective options.

Customization and personalization for budget-conscious audiences

Personalization is a potent force in the food and beverage sector. To cater to diverse consumer interests and needs, companies are embracing tailored solutions. By tracking consumer conversations, product development teams can pinpoint specific dietary requirements, allergies, and cultural preferences that influence purchasing decisions.

When faced with rising costs of conventional products, companies can develop offerings that cater to niche requirements, such as gluten-free or dairy-free options. This not only showcases responsiveness to changing consumer expectations but also nurtures brand loyalty among price-conscious customers who feel valued and understood.

Supply chain optimization for cost-efficiency

Supply chain inefficiencies or disruptions often drive up food costs. Through supply chain optimization, businesses can cut costs and mitigate the impact of price hikes on their products, thereby maintaining affordability. Identification of reliable ingredient sources in areas with lower costs can counterbalance price increases elsewhere. This proactive strategy bolsters product affordability even in the face of supply chain challenges.

The capacity of food and beverage companies to adapt to evolving needs and offer budget-friendly alternatives has emerged as an edge in an era characterized by economic uncertainty, supply chain disruptions, and global price surges. The ability to harmonize customer needs with affordability stands poised as a transformative force shaping the future of the food industry in the face of unforeseen challenges.

Speak with our experts to learn more about how your business can become proactive in its product development.

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