One may not give much thought to a food science startup company with just two products on the market; however, you’d be foolish to ignore what Hampton Creek is accomplishing.
With a funding raise of $90 million late last year, Hampton Creek gained some powerful backers including Bill Gates and Marc Benioff and Uni-President Enterprises, the largest food conglomerate in Asia. They also have a powerhouse of data scientists lured from Google, biochemists from Stanford and a line-up of chefs that would make anyone’s mouth water. Their goal? To catalog and analyze naturally-occurring plant proteins to create healthier, more sustainable, and environmentally conscious foods.
And with just two products on the market, they’ve proven customer demand, even catching a lawsuit from Hellman’s parent company of the use of the word “mayo.” So what’s the big deal? It’s just mayonnaise, right?
The enormous undertaking by Hampton Creek includes cataloging as many plant proteins and their properties as necessary to make affordable food alternatives. For example, eggs are often used in baking to provide structure or to thicken foods. Hampton Creek is working towards using plant properties to provide an egg alternative that could provide the same properties to form a cake or thicken a sauce. It’s not genetic modification, but rather finding naturally occurring plant substances to replace traditional ingredients that are often seen as wasteful.
In this process, Hampton Creek is quickly becoming the authority in machine learning food science, and their work could have huge potential for other industries such as industrial materials and medicines.
At Structure Data, Dan Zigmond, former Chief Data Scientist of YouTube and Google Maps, will be talking about the data science behind their mission and what’s in store for the company with their recent funding raise. It’s time to rethink food.
Join us March 18-19 in New York City for two packed days of big data discussions.
–Clare Ryan, VP of Events, Gigaom