A data-driven recipe: How will artificial intelligence cook up the future of food?

Aroma, flavour and taste are very personal to each individual. But with the advancement of technology like artificial intelligence (AI), these preferences can be translated into useful data to forecast future food and beverage trends. Food & Beverage Asia find out more from Coralie Garcia-Perrin, global senior strategic marketing manager, sweet and modulation taste, Kerry Taste & Nutrition; and Parth Patel, vice-president, marketing and strategic planning, APMEA, Kerry Taste & Nutrition.

Knowing what the future holds is arguably an ability every business would yearn for in order to take a leap among its competitors and secure its next success. Unfortunately, the future does hold a degree of uncertainty as no one is able to control the future.

That said, the level of uncertainty can, perhaps, be narrowed through the use of technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), which analyses data based on consumers past behaviours and preferences. This set of insightful data will then be key in empowering businesses to better understand market trends, make more accurate decisions, and even forecast what is next on the horizon.

In an attempt to forecast future trends in foods and beverages and guide the development of winning, consumer-preferred products, Kerry worked with IBM to launch a predictive AI tool, Kerry Trendspotter. Powered by IBM Watson, Kerry Trendspotter is designed to reduce the risk of failures and increase the probability of success, enabling food and beverage companies to use large-scale, unstructured data to understand consumer behaviour and anticipate future consumer needs.

Parth Patel, vice-president, marketing and strategic planning, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA), outlined two objectives of Kerry Trendspotter – first, it is to increase probability of success by launching food and beverage products in line with or ahead of trends, and second, to reduce the overall lead time for innovation.

He further cited a Nielsen study, which revealed that the rapid shift consumer preferences contribute to the failure of 8% of new food and beverage products within two years of launching. He added that failures tend to create inefficiencies in cost, time, and effort for food and beverage companies.

“This AI-enabled tool predicts, with a high degree of probability, soon-to-be popular flavours and ingredients across 60 countries,” Patel explained. “Kerry Trendspotter not only looks at content from social media but also other digital content. Digital media and connectivity are making it easier for influencers to post and share their experiences, and for people to know about each other’s world and desire to experience it.”

The full article is featured on our Food & Beverage Asia Jun/Jul 2020 issue. To continue reading the article, click here.