Knowing the right time to bring a food product to market is traditionally handled through surveys and focus groups, but Tastewise thinks this can be done better with technology.
The Israeli-based company developed artificial intelligence-driven data analytics that help food brands make smarter decisions around product development, marketing and retail sales for their next healthy, sustainable and delicious product. It also monitors more than 1 million restaurants across the world and connects food brands with those eager to try their foods.
It’s been able to rack up a customer base of some of the top food and beverage companies and up-and-coming food tech startups over the past five years, like Nestlé, PepsiCo, Kraft Heinz, Campbell’s and JustEgg.
And now it has secured another round of funding, this time $17 million in Series A funding. Disruptive led the round and joined existing investors PeakBridge and PICO Venture Partners. The latest funding round gives Tastewise $21.5 million in total funding to date.
Alon Chen, co-founder and CEO of Tastewise, is a self-taught engineer who started writing code when he was 12 and left a career at Google five years ago after getting the idea for the company from his mother’s Shabbat dinner.
“My mom makes a great Shabbat dinner, but she started asking us for our dietary needs for that week,” he said. “With my co-founder (Eyal Gaon), we realized that consumers are changing dietary needs so much faster than before. It is the 21st century, and we still see 90% of the 30,000 new products that launch each year fail. A one-size-fits-all approach is no longer possible.”
He explained that even the most innovative food tech companies still rely on outdated retail data to come up with their product strategies, and if you don’t come with the right data, you will get the wrong answer.
So Chen and Gaon set out to build a platform dedicated to data so that food and beverage companies can disrupt the $10 trillion industry with healthier foods, new flavors and plant-based varieties, and do it in a way that accelerates sales and acceptance of new products.
Since the company started in 2017, Chen says Tastewise has been operating lean, previously raising capital in both 2020 and 2021. The company tripled revenue between 2020 and 2021 and is now working to expand its data and workforce beyond the United States and United Kingdom to India, Australia, Germany, Canada and France.
It already doubled its employee count in the U.S. and Israel and is working with nearly 15% of the top 100 food and beverage brands and dozens of food tech startups.
“When we first started Tastewise, food tech was not there yet, and when we started talking to investors about doing predictive analytics for food and beverage, we told them this is the future,” Chen said. “We have to help the world get data, improve the food industry and make it more healthy and delicious.”