USA/UK: Diageo invests in AI based flavor technology

Today, Diageo announces it has acquired Vivanda, the company behind FlavorPrint. FlavorPrint is an artificial intelligence (AI) based technology that determines consumers’ flavour preferences against a large proprietary sensory database of foods and aromas through a series of simple questions, analyses and maps. The technology is already used in Diageo’s digital ‘What’s Your Whisky’ platform and the Journey of Flavour experience at Johnnie Walker Princes Street.

Launched in 2019, ‘What’s Your Whisky’ has been rolled out across 21 markets and is available in 16 languages. It has been integrated into the physical stores and e-commerce platforms of a number of our key customers in Europe and North America, as well as across our direct-to-consumer channels such as to enable purchase recommendations.

The technology also underpins the immersive Journey of Flavour experience at Johnnie Walker Princes Street in Edinburgh, tailoring the drinks that visitors enjoy during their 90-minute tour to their palates. There are more than 800 flavour combinations available in our innovative dispense systems, meaning a consumer could visit every day for more than two years and not have the same experience twice.

This acquisition will enable Diageo to expand FlavorPrint technology to other categories. And it will support the continued development of its analytics and digital marketing capabilities, providing a deeper understanding of consumer taste preferences and helping to unlock further opportunities in innovation and personalized consumer experiences.

Vivanda’s team will join Diageo and its founders, CEO, Oli Fuchs, and CTO, Matt Corish, will provide ongoing consultancy services to continue building on the success of the FlavorPrint technology.

Cristina Diezhandino, Chief Marketing Officer at Diageo, commented: “We know consumers are looking for more personalised, interactive experiences and that they are increasingly engaging with our brands digitally as well as in person. We’re delighted to welcome Vivanda to Diageo and we are looking forward to working together to connect with consumers in more innovative ways that help shape the future of how we socialise in person and virtually.”

Oli Fuchs, Co-founder and CEO, Vivanda, said: “We are very excited to join Diageo. Vivanda set out to create innovative technology which connects consumers with products through sensory insight. We are proud of the excellent engagement we have received from consumers and are looking forward to connecting millions more people with their new favourite beverage and creating the digital standard for taste.”

Vivanda, not to be confused with the Peruvian supermarket chain of the same name, is a pioneer in sensory-based digitization and personalization solutions for the taste of food and beverages. It was founded in 2014 in Baltimore, Maryland, by a group of employees ofMcCormick an American food company that manufactures, markets, and distributes spices, seasoning mixes, condiments, and other flavoring products to retail outlets, food manufacturers, and foodservice businesses.

Based on 30 years of culinary research and food sensory science, Vivanda has created a classification to standardise and qualify the anatomy of a given food item as it relates to an individual’s “Taste”. Using proprietary algorithms, Vivanda matches the taste and texture preferences of an individual with any recipe, beverage or food product and delivers recommendations through a platform powered by artificial intelligence.

The acquisition has been funded through existing cash resources.

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