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Foodakai-1: Feasibility Assessment of an Intelligent Consumer App for Early Warning on Food Threats

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Foodakai-1 (Foodakai-1: Feasibility Assessment of an Intelligent Consumer App for Early Warning on Food Threats)

Reporting period: 2015-11-01 to 2016-04-30

The «Foodakai-1: Feasibility Assessment of an Intelligent Consumer App for Early Warning on Food Threats” project performed a feasibility study for an innovative service, namely FOODAKAI, that will deploy an online early warning service for food businesses. FOODAKAI will collect, connect and deliver structured food safety information through a customized dashboard to each food company based on their product and the location of interest. The dashboard will include analytics regarding food safety incidents for each ingredient that is used in a food product. It will produce automatic notifications for the enterprise based on the information of the food products that the company is manufacturing and/or serving. The food enterprise will be able to check suppliers by querying the historical data for food recalls. FOODAKAI will also show existing and new regulations and standards related to food products and for the specific import/export regions that the company is interested in.

The main goal of this project was to verify if a product idea like FOODAKAI is valid for the market and if it is feasible from content, technology, business and legal point of view. The specific objectives of this project were to
/1/ study and map the food safety ecosystem,
/2/ perform a market analysis and define the total and target market size of FOODAKAI
/3/ study existing and competitive solutions and perform a SWOT analysis
/4/ analyse the information sources that can be used by FOODAKAI to deliver food safety analytics to a food business,
/5/ explore the data sharing and licensing requirements of the European Food Safety public sector stakeholders and then propose a data agreement template for assessing and using such data,
/6/ perform a set of interviews with users and data providers in order to identify the problems and the features,
/7/ design a set of mock ups that will give a good idea of the FOODAKAI functionality,
/8/ define an initial version of the Business Model for FOODAKAI,
/9/ identify the potential risks to the successful implementation of the proposed FOODAKAI solution
The main tasks and outcomes of the project may be summarized in the following points
/1/ analysis of all the stakeholders that are involved in the food supply chain and in the food safety sector. The results included list of organisations that are key food safety information generators and providers as well as the type of the information that they are publishing.
/2/ we performed a thorough analysis of the food safety market and we define the total and the target market size. The analysis included statistics about food businesses that are manufacturing, serving and selling (retail) food products. The studied dimensions were the region, the size of the company and the type of the food products. According to the results, the total market includes more than 3 million food companies in Europe and North America. Focusing only on the micro and small food enterprises do not limit significantly this size as the vast majority of the companies are micro and small. In particular, there are 2.85 million companies in Europe and North America that are manufacturing, selling and serving food. Studying the food safety perspective of the food market, we identified those product categories that are more frequently involved in incidents. We will use this information to select the first companies to which we will sell the FOODAKAI solution. Based on the results of the market analysis per region, we decided to start from Greece, as a first region in which FOODAKAI can be validated as a solution and then to move to one of the big markets in Europe in terms of the number of food companies and sell there the FOODAKAI solution.
/3/ we conducted a competition analysis by studying the existing solutions, the companies and by performing a SWOT analysis. The analysis of the competition revealed a number of applications that may be direct competitors of Foodakai. The majority of the competing applications and services seem to be addressed at the consumers, providing consumer-related information with only minimum customization options. In addition, there are commercial applications with limited scope (e.g. the ones focusing only on allergens or legislation and regulations). However, food companies clearly need a solution that will combine such information with additional related one on food recalls and outbreaks of foodborne illnesses. The Foodakai application aims to fill this gap by providing such information and data, enriched with related data of different types.
/4/ we performed a content analysis which showed that there are several open data sources that could be used to provide the critical mass of content that is needed to build an application like FOODAKAI. From the legal point of view, there are data sources that allow commercial exploitation of the data and others that require to establish an agreement with the data provider. In the context of feasibility study we already define an initial version of a data agreement. Details about each data source such as type of content, license, url etc are provided in the final report of the feasibility study.
/5/ we defined the main features of the FOODAKAI solution and we developed a set of mock ups for the proposed solution. These mock ups will be used to validate the solution with a small group of real customers.
/6/ an initial version of the business model was developed and is presented in the feasibility study. FOODAKAI will be launched under a subscription model. Subscription levels may apply, depending on numbers of products and suppliers monitored. We will focus on the micro and small companies in Europe and North America, starting from specific countries like Greece and United Kingdom. Giving the large number of potential customers, our pricing plan will start from 20 euros per month. Considering the market size that was defined, the potential revenue if we penetrate 10% of the market can be 5 million.
/7/ the potential risks to the successful implementation of the proposed FOODAKAI solution and planned actions to address them was defined. The risk analysis is presented in the feasibility study.
FOODAKAI will move beyond the mere collection and analysis of food safety notifications. It will semantically enrich the collected information and it will connect it to other data types like the foodborne diseases reported in specific regions. It will deliver the food safety information in the context of the user by applying technologies such as Natural Language Processing and Machine Translation.

FOODAKAI can generate impact at Economical, Social and Environmental levels. More specifically:
a) Economic: it will a) prevent the financial loss that a company may have from a food recall, b) create new job positions in Agroknow or a new legal entity that will run FOODAKAI c) deploy a FOODAKAI data API that may be the basis for the development of more innovative applications for food safety targeting businesses and customers.
b) Social: Early notification of a food business about a food safety problem for one or more ingredients and/or products used/served may prevent foodborne diseases and thus may improve public health.
c) Environmental: Food recalls are directly connected with an important effort needed to remove the food from the shelves, extra transportation (C02 emissions) and food waste. Preventing only a small percentage of the total food recalls may significantly eliminate this negative impact on the environment.