Countdown to Groceryshop 2018: Startup Pitch Competition Participant Profile, Part 12—Tastry
The Coresight Research team will be attending and participating in the Groceryshop 2018 conference, which runs October 28–31 in Las Vegas. The team behind the Shoptalk retail and e-commerce conference founded this new event, which will cover the disruption of the grocery, consumer packaged goods (CPG) and related industries.
- The conference is expected to bring together 2,200 attendees and more than 150 speakers. Discussion topics will include the transformation of the retail industry, including convenience stores, supermarkets and e-commerce, and changes in the production and distribution of CPGs across multiple retail verticals. Additionally, the event will cover shifts in consumers’ shopping behavior and how they want to shop in the future in both brick-and-mortar and online formats.
- On October 28, Coresight Research CEO and Founder Deborah Weinswig will emcee a startup pitch competition featuring 12 innovative, early-stage technology companies that provide solutions to solve major problems in e-commerce, grocery retail, and/or the food or CPG sector. The participating startups are Adrich, Forager, IceCream Labs, IntraPosition, Locai Solutions, Nextuple, Observa, Packyge, Shelf.ai, Simplista, Tastry and Touchize.
- In this report, our last in a series of daily Countdown to Groceryshop 2018 reports, we profile Tastry, which offers grocers a simple, user-friendly, touchscreen-based guide to drinks that customers will enjoy, creating a virtual, in-store sommelier.
The Coresight Research team will be attending and participating in the Groceryshop 2018 conference, which runs October 28–31 in Las Vegas. The team behind the Shoptalk retail and e-commerce conference founded this new event, which will cover the disruption of the grocery, CPG and related industries. Coresight Research has previously partnered with Shoptalk to host that conference’s annual startup pitch competition.
Groceryshop is expected to bring together 2,200 attendees and more than 150 speakers. Discussion topics will include the transformation of the retail industry, including convenience stores, supermarkets and e-commerce, and changes in the production and distribution of CPGs across multiple retail verticals. Additionally, the event will cover the rapid shifts in how consumers discover, shop and buy—from the use of new technologies and business models to the latest trends in consumer behaviors, preferences and expectations.
According to Zia Daniell Wigder, Cofounder of Groceryshop and Chief Content Officer of Shoptalk, Groceryshop was created to meet the needs of a sector on the verge of a massive shift. The percentage of grocery sales made online in the US is only 2%–3%, significantly lower than for other categories such as apparel and electronics, where e-commerce accounts for about 20% of sales, Wigder said.
Over the next few years, new omnichannel grocery offerings will likely go mainstream, providing consumers with new experiences as well as more convenient delivery and pickup options. Digital platforms that offer the best mix of price, selection and convenience will see increased transaction volume, while physical stores will experience change and likely play a key role in online order fulfillment.
Startup Pitch Competition
On October 28, Coresight Research CEO and Founder Deborah Weinswig will emcee a startup pitch competition featuring 12 innovative, early-stage technology companies that provide solutions to solve major problems in e-commerce, grocery retail, and/or the food or CPG sector.
Each company will present its business to a panel of judges from the investment community and to the audience. Two winners will be announced, one chosen by the panel of judges and one by audience vote, and each winner will be awarded $10,000.
Groceryshop curated the participating startups based on their solutions to some of the most pressing challenges that grocery, e-commerce, food and CPG companies are facing. All of the participating startups have less than $3 million in funding, provide business-to-business (B2B) solutions and were founded in 2014 or later.
We categorized the 12 companies into four buckets of retail disruption:
- Sourcing, Merchandising and Cataloging: Shoppers are demanding more grocery choices than ever before, and grocery retailers face challenges in keeping their assortments up to date and in sync with consumer demand.
- Enabling Grocery E-Commerce: Providing engaging and personalized online experiences while meeting consumer expectations regarding fulfillment and delivery is crucial for retailers.
- Improved Shopping Experiences: Shoppers are demanding intuitive and more seamless grocery experiences both online and in stores.
- Tracking, Measurement and Insights: Digital technology is creating new metrics and capabilities for gleaning insights for grocery retailers and CPG manufacturers.
Below, we profile Tastry, one of the companies participating in the startup pitch competition at Groceryshop. We categorize Tastry as being in the Improved Shopping Experiences group.
Tastry is a virtual platform that drives retail sales with targeted wine, beer and spirits recommendations and pairings. Tastry’s patented technology combines analytical chemistry, flavor preferences and machine learning to identify individual consumer preferences for sensory-based products, leading to highly personalized in-store and online recommendations that support high conversion. Tastry’s platform further serves manufacturers and retailers with data-driven insights and guidance for product development and demand forecasting.
The wine market is divided into distribution channels that include supermarkets and hypermarkets, specialty stores, convenience stores and e-commerce. According to Zion Market Research, the global wine market was valued at approximately $302.02 billion in 2017 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of around 5.8% to 2023, to reach approximately $423.59 billion.Supermarkets and hypermarkets are expected to dominate the global wine market in the near term.
The global market for artificial intelligence–based recommendation engines is expected to grow at a 40.7% CAGR from 2017 to 2022, from $801.1 million to $4,414.8 million, according to market research firm Markets and Markets.
What Problem Is the Company Solving?
While the typical wine aisle offers hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of choices, the average consumer lacks the necessary experience to choose a bottle of wine that matches his or her palate preference. Retailers have traditionally assisted shoppers by providing expert ratings and descriptions of wines.More modern attempts involve using software-based recommendation engines. However, these sometimes fail to provide accurate matches because they cannot always account for shoppers’ individual taste preferences.
Tastry helps solve this challenge by producing accurate recommendations of in-stock products within seconds. Suggestions are filterable by price, wine type, food pairing and other criteria. Tastry’s solution further enhances the shopper experience through food and recipe pairings and retailer-optional coupons.
San Luis Obispo, California
Tastry offers its Singularized Recommendation System (SRS) recommendation platform via a SaaS model.
Consumers can try a free beta version of Tastry’s recommender service at www.tastry.com. For brands and manufacturers, Tastry offers licensing and engagement projects that apply the company’s intelligence in the development of sensory-based products, based on either market segmentation or flavor preference.
Cofounder and CEO Katerina Axelsson graduated from California Polytechnic State University (Cal Poly) with a BS in Chemistry and conceived Tastry through her work experiences at a local custom-crush facility. Cofounder Eric Thorndike is responsible for core technology and holds a BS in Computer Science from Cal Poly. Cofounder Tim Scott oversees operations and holds an MS in Mechanical Engineering from Cal Poly.
Tastry is set to expand sales in 2019 while investing in product development and a number of in-flight customer and partnership initiatives.The company is also developing additional techniques to leverage the Tastry technology in the flavor-development space.