Spate brings the speed of machine intelligence to trendspotting in food, beverage

By Elizabeth Crawford

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Product development

Two former Google researchers, who helped write the algorithm for trendspotting using queries from the search engine, are using their knowhow to empower product developers to create the must-have meals and breakout beverages of the future with the expansion of their machine intelligence platform Spate into the food and beverage industry.

The platform​, which proved its bonafides by helping the fashion industry stay ahead of trends since the company launched in 2018, uses AI and big data pulled from Google searches and TikTok to predict the next big consumer trend with an easy-to-use dashboard that shows which consumer interests are up or down and which have the promise to be long-term trends vs short-term fads.

“What we are doing at Spate is we are reverse engineering this whole database of all the searches that are happening on the Internet in the US, and by looking at those search queries, we can get this raw, unfiltered, unbiased view on the consumer perspective,” Spate Co-Founder Olivier Zimmer told FoodNavigator-USA.

“What we are looking also is essentially the lifecycle of a trend. As trends are emerging on social media, such as TikTok, for example, we will be able to capture those early signals where we have the emergence of these trends and then as they mature and they become bigger and more massive, they will typically switch to Google,” he added.

Together, this allows users to “predict the future,” which means brands can more accurately innovate to meet consumer needs and market products using the same language as the consumer, he said.

Spate simplifies discovery, offers drill-down capabilities

Spate’s platform allows users to search social media data by exploring food categories and drilling down to specific trends, which include three years of historical data and one year into the future using the platform’s predictive model.

Users who are unfamiliar with a trend can click on it and read a brief definition and see the search terms consumers are using as they explore the trend.

Users can also filter trends by stage — early or mature — which will offer insight into the staying power a trend might have.

TikTok data is well suited for developing marketing strategy

Spate organizes the TikTok data by hashtag — which Zimmer says the company is constantly adding upwards of 750 a week. This allows users to explore microtrends, which may be better suited for marketing, social media posts and working with influencers, rather than product development. 

The data is also divided into discovery mode and by category — allowing companies to dig deep on a topic they are already interested in, such as tea, or scroll through emerging trends.

Recognizing that not everyone wants to do their own research, Spate also regularly publishes trend reports created by it staff who use the platform.

“These reports are based on the same data ... but will bring expertise and bring [human] touch,” Zimmer said.

Brands interested in using Spate can learn more or subscribe for a monthly service at

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