The majority of us are now on a diet…

64% of the world’s population are now on some form of exclusion diet. People choose to avoid specific foods for a number of reasons; these may be ethical, medical, health, lifestyle, religion, etc. Yet as soon as you change your food habits, finding suitable food becomes an enormous struggle. Our research shows that when people decide to go on a diet, they run into immediate challenges. Available choices are drastically reduced. Finding food is immediately more expensive. It’s time consuming and confusing. And often there is a social impact too: some of us don’t get invited to dinner parties anymore or no longer wish to go, as it is so tricky or awkward to explain your food requirements.

So clearly, when it comes to finding foods for people’s individual needs, there is obvious demand for more accuracy, relevance and choice from a large segment of the population. Paradoxically, we also know that there is a huge range of suitable products out there. You just have to walk the floor of an exhibition like Food Matters Live to grasp the spectacular scope of food choices available today. So why is finding foods and recipes for our needs so difficult?

Current food search is inadequate

The real issue is that people can’t find the right foods for their needs, despite a wealth of available products. A scan of the landscape reveals that pretty much all supermarkets fail to return adequate search results for common search terms like gluten free, vegan or low sugar. Heaven forbid if you have more complex needs, or if you manage a household with multiple food preferences and requirements.

Most supermarkets around the world struggle to find products for specific dietary needs when you search online – but how does the biggest search engine on the planet compare? Using Google’s shopping search to find vegan sausages, an analysis of the first page shows that 19 out of the 40 search results found are not vegan – two even contain pork. In other words, a staggering 48% of the first page search results on Google for vegan sausages are wrong.

Consumer Search Optimisation (CSO) is the future of retail

Unstructured metadata and unconnected databases are the main reasons why people can’t find foods for their specific requirements. But here is the good news:

The next generation of food search is here!

Spoon Guru’s food search technology – available in our free app in the UK and the US, and licensed by large corporations like Tesco – demonstrates the power of optimised search capabilities.

Our smart food engine finds 87,000 gluten free products in the UK market and 80,000 in the US alone, when most supermarkets barely find a thousand. And that is just one example. Our food classification platform supports 180+ common food preferences such as low sugar, vegetarian, nut free, halal, kosher, etc.

“A coeliac, a vegetarian and somebody who doesn’t like mushrooms are coming round for dinner… “

No, this is not the start of a bad joke. It’s a typical scenario, which our food search technology supports. Just punch in your requirements into our search engine and we interrogate a huge database of recipes to find a suitable selection that perfectly fits all of these specific needs. The dinner party is guaranteed to be a resounding success!

Catering for individual needs

Simply put, our technology optimises food products and recipes for online search so that they can be found and matched to individual consumer profiles. Our capabilities are based on a combination of nutritional expertise and data science. We have some very sophisticated AI based algorithms running in the background, which crunch literally billions of data points every night. While it’s a complex process, at the same time we are focusing on the task in hand, which is to simplify food search and discovery, and to leverage smart technology to cater for the modern multi-preference consumer.

Every body is unique

These days nearly everybody has some kind of dietary requirement or preference. For example, a typical user of our app selects 3.3 food preferences on average ( one individual has configured no less than 28!).

We know that people have specific requirements and we understand that everybody has individual tastes. We acknowledge that every body is unique – in fact we celebrate it! Thankfully, CSO technology can now deliver a superior search & discovery experience for food choices tailored to every individual.

Food businesses now have the opportunity to enable personalisation and tailored choice

The industry needs to respond to increasing complex dietary needs by providing much more accuracy, relevance and choice.

The frustration, confusion and lack of choice consumers have had to endure for so long is no longer necessary. Struggling is no longer acceptable, and food search and discovery must be simplified. The good news is that innovative technology like CSO is now available to provide highly personalised shopping experiences and tailored choice for every body.

Finally – finding the right food just got easier!