The food industry is consumer-driven. With consumer demands expanding and developing, innovation is necessary to maintain brand credibility and competitive advantage. AI in the F&B market is expected to reach US$29.94 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of over 45.77%.
Additionally, leveraging AI allows various food and beverage startups to bring unique insights with applications ranging from hygiene to optimal crop cultivation. In light of the pandemic, food safety and hygiene is a top priority. Japanese company Fujitsu has developed an AI-based model to monitor hand washing in kitchens with six-step hand washing regulations set by the Japanese health ministry.
Robotics in the food and beverage industry has grown over the last decade. For instance, Cecilia is the world’s first AI-based interactive bartender; capable of serving mixed drinks in less than 30 seconds while offering guidance about the menu using AI and speech recognition. The robot is a great addition as an extra bartender in hotels, casinos, and cruise ships.
The pandemic has led to a meteoric rise in cloud kitchens. Implementing robotics in the food and beverage industry is offering unprecedented scope for faster preparation. Kitchen Robotics, an Israeli company, developed Beastro, a robot built for cloud kitchens. Beastro is capable of automatically preparing about 45 dishes an hour and collecting analytics. The robot is integrated with the online restaurant and cloud kitchen management software.
Another incredible application for robotics in the food and beverage industry is working towards reducing wastage and catering to evolving trends while using fresh ingredients. For instance, Solato, is a countertop robot for making fresh gelato, sorbets, and frozen yogurt. With fresh ingredients and zero preservatives, Solato is leading the way with gelato crafted seconds before consumption. Using biodegradable capsules, which double as the serving bowl, Solato is ideal to cater to the food industry trend for fresh ice cream.
Bringing together plant-specific insights by capturing previously unobserved and invisible features, Vivid Machines, helps fruit and vegetable farmers optimize quality and yield using vision sensors and ML.
7 Successful Food and Beverage Startups in the F&B Industry Showing the Importance of AI
1. Agrima Infotech
Founded in 2011, Agrima Infotech uses Food Vision API. Their RecipeBook app allows users to scan any food item based on which it suggests recipes that can be made using those ingredients. In light of the pandemic, being able to use pantry ingredients is an up-and-coming food and beverage trend of 2021. RecipeBook was a huge hit and led to heaps of downloads.
A major F&B industry trend of 2021 has been leveraging AI to understand the nuances of customer preference. Formerly Dishq, Spoonshot founded in 2015, offers recommendations, personalization, menu and product development, insights and other trends, etc,
As a food and beverage startup, it allows users to discover great food easily. Founded by people with extensive experience from FoodTech companies their proprietary recommendation technology.
Leveraging Natural Language Processing [NLP] and Computer Vision [CV], Spoonshot establishes relationships between seemingly disconnected data points. builds organized information from unstructured data.
3. Euphotic Labs
With more people working long hours, Euphotic Labs (NOSH) built an automated cooking machine. Emerging technology within AI is allowing them to create a fully automated kitchen at the ease of home.
The company is looking to position NOSH as a cooking companion who works on recreating authentic, nutritious, and tasty recipes in your own kitchen. Capable of cooking over 200 recipes, it gives you the freedom to eat based on preference without compromising on taste.
Gulpie is a personal food assistant leveraging AI to choose restaurants based on individual diet, taste, and health preferences. It is powered by a recommendation engine that understands likes, dislikes, and restrictions to suggest restaurants.
This is of great help to people with common allergens such as nuts, gluten, or even those following dietary restrictions such as halal meat, kosher, vegan, etc.
The app is capable of going over all these criteria and choosing a restaurant. The HungerChat feature enables users to add friends to a chat and discover restaurants from their recommendations.
Amidst several other restaurant apps, Gulpie focuses on the user’s preference, friends, and time. The company’s long-term vision is to build collective intelligence based on multiple user-facing products that solve for contextual personalization.
5. Mechanical Chef
With a cooking robot for Indian cuisines, Mechanical chef was founded in 2017. While there were plenty of robots out there capable of flipping burgers, cooking Indian food with its layers of flavor was a challenge.
The founders came up with the concept of building robots that can cook Indian dishes with ease. The repertoire of the mechanical chef includes matar paneer, bisi bele bath, rice, dal tadka, chhole, rasam, sambhar, upma, poha, capsicum sabji, etc.
The goal at Nymble Labs is to eat healthy. They have made it simpler to achieve this by enlisting a smart cooking assistant in cooking fresh, healthy food every day. The company is currently working on Julia, a compact table-top sous chef that cooks food for you automatically.
Founded in 2016, the company is a graduate of the Bosch DNA Start-Up Accelerator Program. The idea here is to build a robot capable of cooking food tailored to taste. It is simple to use. Choose the recipe, cut the fresh ingredients and feed it into the machine. The result is a freshly prepared bowl of food based on the user’s preference.
Their hardware ecosystem is highly versatile, while their AI and ML-backed software have a steep learning curve.
A robot-themed restaurant in Chennai called the ‘Robot’ has robot waiters placing your order on your table. The orders are placed through the iPhones located on every table and sent to the kitchen directly. Once ready, the order is delivered to the tables by designated robot waiters.
The concept and restaurant were born out of the idea that the F&B industry is no longer about just the food. It is an experience. Well, you can’t go wrong with robots. AI in food industry is focused on understanding and meeting customer expectations. Leveraging AI and ML offers various food and beverage startups a nuanced understanding of customers’ preferences, purchasing patterns, and requirements helping them to cater to evolving market trends, and customer demands to build long-lasting relationships.