More than 120 students across BBA and MSc programmes were provided with access to Talkwalker’s consumer intelligence platform as part of their marketing analytics curriculum.
Talkwalker has partnered with alternative protein thinktank Good Food Institute Asia Pacific (GFI APAC) and the National University of Singapore (NUS) Business School to run student research projects on the plant-based consumer category in Singapore. As part of this classroom collaboration launched in Aug 2022, the student groups comprising undergraduates and postgraduates performed surveys, focus group discussions and database research, in addition to leveraging dashboards and consumer insights via the Talkwalker platform, to produce six selected reports and insights that GFI APAC will serve up to regional food start-ups in the alternative proteins sector.
With a reputation as a melting pot of cultures throughout Asia, Singapore has become the top choice for both international food tech startups seeking a regional base of operations, like Perfect Day and Eat Just, as well as multinational legacy companies like Givaudan and Bühler, which joined forces to open the region’s first plant-based protein innovation center in 2021. In the same year, the Asia Pacific region saw a 92% year-on-year growth in investments into alternative protein companies, jumping from $162m in 2020 to $312m in 2021.
Among 2021’s biggest hauls were Singaporean startup Next Gen Foods’ record-breaking $30 million seed funding round (which nearly tripled the previous alt protein record) and Australia-based v2food, which raised $110m in their Series B. (Source: GFI APAC)
The region’s alternative proteins industry, however, currently faces a shortage of skill and consumer insights expertise that would help accelerate its growth.
Speaking on the value of collaboration with universities and industry, Mirte Gosker, managing director of the Good Food Institute APAC said, “Partnerships that bring together key stakeholders from academia and industry — and empower young people to save their own future through food sustainability — can have an impact greater than the sum of their parts. Given the escalating pressures on our global food system and plant-based meat’s immense promise as a climate and food security solution, we need all hands on deck.”
On the value of exposing students to the latest technology and real-world business cases, associate professor Doreen Kum, department of marketing, NUS Business School, said: “Students benefit greatly when practitioners work with us to offer them the opportunity of working on marketing problems that are current and real. They are motivated because they know their work will have significance for the industry. Through this project, students analysed the marketing environment for plant-based meat (PBM). Using consumer insights they obtained from their research, they identified market segments and proposed marketing strategies that brands could undertake to encourage more consumption of PBM.”
“We saw first-hand high-caliber presentations by the students at NUS Business School, and we’d like to thank GFI APAC for joining this journey to create this research opportunity. We look forward to being part of other meaningful initiatives like this, which speak to the value of AI-enabled consumer intelligence, and empowering talent to unlock real-world solutions with the right data and technology,” added Benjamin Soubies, managing director (APAC & Japan), Talkwalker.
Talkwalker has been involved in past collaborations with other reputable universities, including the University of Connecticut, and counts amongst its clients major consumer brands, agencies, and leading consultancies both globally and within the Asia Pacific region.