McCormick & Company and IBM announce collaboration on AI and flavour development

Press Release

McCormick & Company inc., a global leader in flavour, and IBM today publicly announced their ongoing research collaboration to pioneer the application of artificial intelligence (AI) for flavour and food product development.

Using IBM Research AI for Product Composition, McCormick is ushering in a new era of flavour innovation and changing the course of the industry. Product developers across McCormick’s global workforce will be able to explore flavour territories more quickly and efficiently using AI to learn and predict new flavour combinations from hundreds of millions of data points across the areas of sensory science, consumer preference and flavour palettes. This proprietary, cutting-edge technology sets McCormick apart in its ability to develop more creative, better tasting products and new flavour experiences across both its Consumer and Flavor Solutions business units.

McCormick expects to launch its first AI-enabled product platform, “ONE,” by mid-2019, with a set of initial one-dish recipe mix flavours including Tuscan Chicken, Bourbon Pork Tenderloin and New Orleans Sausage. The company’s flavour developers created this product platform by combining IBM’s expertise in AI and machine learning with McCormick’s 40+ years of proprietary sensory science and taste data, which includes decades of past product formulas and millions of data points related to consumer taste preferences and palettes. AI has enabled McCormick’s product developers access to an expanded portfolio of flavour profiles that enhances their creativity. The new ONE platform was specifically developed to deliver family-favourite flavours with the ability to season both the protein and vegetable. The new seasoning blends expect to be on U.S. retail shelves by late spring.

“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 flavours 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.”

As a world leader in artificial intelligence software, services and technology for business, IBM is focused on working with clients and enterprises across many industry sectors to help advance data-driven technologies that push markets forward.

“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 flavour development process.”

Pairing McCormick’s global expertise, particularly that of its research and product development teams, with leading AI research helped McCormick accelerate the speed of flavour innovation by up to three times and deliver highly effective, consumer-preferred formulas. Through the ONE platform as well as several other projects in the pipeline, McCormick’s product developers are now using AI to unlock creativity, access new insights and share data with their peers around the world. The company plans to scale this technology globally by 2021.

About McCormick & Company

McCormick & Company, Incorporated is a global leader in flavour. With $5.4 billion in annual sales, the company manufactures, markets and distributes spices, seasoning mixes, condiments and other flavourful products to the entire food industry — retail outlets, food manufacturers and foodservice businesses. Every day, no matter where or what you eat, you can enjoy food flavoured by McCormick. McCormick Brings the joy of flavour to life.

For more information, visit www.mccormickcorporation.com.

About IBM Research

For more than seven decades, IBM Research has defined the future of information technology with more than 3,000 researchers in 12 labs located across six continents. Scientists from IBM Research have produced six Nobel Laureates, 10 U.S. National Medals of Technology, five U.S. National Medals of Science, six Turing Awards, 19 inductees in the National Academy of Sciences and 20 inductees into the U.S. National Inventors Hall of Fame. For more information about IBM Research, visit www.ibm.com/research.

SOURCE McCormick & Company, Incorporated

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