SAP invests in Vivanda, a food digitization, big data company

SAP and its HANA portfolio are aiming to ride along with a company that digitizes, personalizes, maps and analyzes food preferences for individual consumers.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

SAP said it has invested in Vivanda, a company that is aiming to use big data and analytics to digitize and personalize food.

On the surface, SAP's move looks like another investment to help target the food and consumer goods industry. However, SAP said the undisclosed investment will allow it to collaborate more closely with Vivanda on its FlavorPrint technology, which offers personalized food and beverage recommendations.

For SAP, the Vivanda deal is a way to leverage its HANA technology. Vivanda gets a big partner to reach more consumer product goods companies for its APIs, consulting, and analytics services.

What's interesting is how Vivanda is aiming to revamp the food and consumer packaged goods industry. Vivanda provides predictive food personalization services and systems with algorithms that crunch research, science, and food choices. FlavorPrint maps the food and flavor genome, 16,000 aroma chemicals, 33 flavors, and 17 textures as well as nutrition and ingredients.

Here's a look at a FlavorPrint as well as some of the analytics Vivanda provides.


And here's how Vivanda's FlavorPrint model works:

  • Vivanda identifies food attributes and models them to consumer taste profiles, products, dishes, recipes, and beverages.
  • The company then deploys a process called "printing" to use an algorithm to assign a FlavorPrint to a person or food item. A FlavorPrint is like a UPC code or fingerprint.
  • Machine learning tailors the food for texture and flavor.
  • Customers get analytics to see what flavors are trending and what engagement looks like for various demographics. Companies can then market to food and eating experiences.

IBM has Watson collaborating with chefs, and Vivanda's approach is aiming to take big data more to the masses. See: For chefs and foodies, big data could be the new secret ingredient

Perhaps SAP can leverage Vivanda to better target its core industries with HANA, but even if that outcome doesn't play out, food science and digitizing taste is an interesting venture to ponder.

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