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McCormick and IBM Are Giving You a Taste of AI

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McCormick & Company, Incorporated (McCormick) and IBM have announced a research collaboration to apply artificial intelligence (AI) to flavor and food product development.

Product developers across McCormick’s global workforce will use IBM Research for AI Product Composition to explore flavor territories faster and more efficiently. They will use AI to learn and predict new flavor combinations from hundreds of millions of data points across sensory science, consumer preference and flavor palettes. The technology will be applied in both the consumer and flavor solutions business units.

McCormick anticipates launching its first AI-enabled product platform, “One,” by mid-2019; it will initially feature one-dish Recipe Mix flavors including Tuscan chicken, Bourbon pork tenderloin and New Orleans sausage. The company’s flavor developers created the platform by combining IBM’s AI and machine learning expertise with McCormick’s more than 40 years of proprietary sensory science and taste data, including past product formulas and millions of data points related to consumer preference. “One” was designed specifically to deliver family-favorite flavors with the ability to season both the protein and vegetable. The blends are slated to hit U.S. retail shelves by late spring 2019.

Related: McCormick Spices It Up With Global Headquarters Opening

Several other platforms are currently in the product platform; McCormick plans on scaling the technology globally by 2021.

“McCormick’s use of artificial intelligence highlights our commitment to insight-driven innovation and the application of the most forward-looking technologies to continually enhance our products and bring new flavors to market,” said McCormick chairman, president and CEO Lawrence Kurzius. “This is one of several projects in our pipeline where we’ve embraced new and emerging technologies.”

“IBM Research’s collaboration with McCormick illustrates our commitment to helping our clients and partners drive innovation across industries,” said Kathryn Guarini, VP, industry research, IBM. “By combining McCormick’s deep data and expertise in science and taste, with IBM’s AI capabilities, we are working together to unlock the bounds of creativity and transform the food and flavor development process.”