Food Genius Gets $1.2 Million To Help Spot Trends In Cajun Pasta Jalapeño Poppers

When we wrote about the launch of Food Genius, an iPhone and Android app, a year ago, it was a consumer app designed to help you find favorite dishes on menus, cooked up in a local startup incubator. A year later it just got $1.2 million in VC funding— but it looks like a very different thing now. On your iPhone it may still do the job it originally did, but behind it all that info gleaned from restaurant menus is set to become a key source of trend data for the food industry. In January they’ll launch a product called Food Genius Reports, a “food trends dashboard,” whatever that means exactly. Crain’s interviews Justin Massa, Food Genius’ founder and CEO, who says “Food Genius Reports is designed to help you figure out what to make, how to package it, how to market it, where (it is likely to be popular), how much should you charge for it, all that stuff. It takes you from the beginning point of the creative process, where you’re deciding what to make, to the end, where you’re looking for the right price point and the words you should use to describe it.” This may all seem improbable when you consider the Dada free verse that upscale menus are often written in, but if we assume that most menus are in something like English, you can see where it would have a lot of value for the food industry, knowing what’s new and wanting to bring that authentic T.G.I. Friday’s experience to the home. [Crain’s]

Food Genius Gets $1.2 Million To Help Spot Trends In Cajun Pasta Jalapeño