As per Nielsen, 85 percent of all new Food and Beverage new product launches fail before 24 months of launch.
Startups, which have no legacy costs, are disrupting the industry with innovative launches. They are also quicker to market.
And traditional ways of doing consumer research to understand insights are expensive, long, and outdated. Consumers in such surveys usually answer in an aspirational way which might not be factual.
If all of this sounds familiar, then it’s time to throw the old conventional ways of doing an expensive consumer focus group and researches out of the window. And embrace the new way of thinking, which is to harness digital data by leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology, and convert those data points into actionable insights.
Kerry Group is on a journey to understand this exciting new technology and how it can apply to its business as a leading global manufacturer and marketer of Food Ingredient solutions. In short Kerry group help its customers, who are in the Retail packaged food and QSR segments, to make food tastier and nutritious for their end-consumers.
The two big questions that most of its customers are asking them are:
- How can they reduce the risk of failure and laser-focus on a narrow set of insights and trends to increase the probability of success?
- How can they crash the time to understand better quality of consumer insights by harnessing digital data and convert those into insights and trends?
With AI-tools such as KerryTrendspotter™, our aim is to help our strategic customers to focus on those emerging Food and Beverage trends which have a greater chance of success
To support its customers and answer these two questions, Kerry collaborated with IBM to develop a new Kerry proprietary AI digital tool branded as KerryTrendspotter™. KerryTrendspotter™ is powered by the Gold-plated Watson AI-technology and sources data from various social media sites, Google searches, and online forums. The tool analyses millions of influencer posts, consumer comments, menu insights, and online searches to predict upcoming food & beverage trends across the diverse markets of Asia Pacific and globally.
With the help of KerryTrendspotter™, Kerry is able to identify upcoming trends in Food & Beverages before they actually hit the mainstream. The value of identifying these trends before anyone else does gives Kerry a strong competitive advantage when they work closely with their customers. This is a live and web-enabled tool in which the data is refreshed every 15 days.
In a recent project with a leading snack manufacturer in Asia Pacific , Kerry worked in close partnership with their Research and development and Marketing teams to co-innovate a new flavour based on insights from KerryTrendspotter™. The initial process of exploratory consumer research which would normally take the customer anywhere between 1-3 months was done in a matter of two days. Next, with the help of Kerry’s Research and Development team, it worked with the customer to create concepts based on these insights from KerryTrendspotter™ and those were tested with the targeted group of consumers.. This engagement with KerryTrendspotter™ allowed the customer to be quick and focus on a smaller set of concepts that had a higher chance of success. Kerry was able to cut down the time needed into half from ideation to launch. In a dynamic region such as Asia Pacific , being the fastest and first to market has huge advantages, something which It’s customer appreciated when Kerry worked with them on this exciting project.
For over 45 countries in Asia Pacific and globally, Kerry can identify emerging food and beverages trends which are in the different color zones as shown in the picture. The Neural Network (NN) score is between 0.01 and 1, and a score closer to 1 indicates that a trend might emerge in that country within the next 6-9 months. This score is based on the criteria and algorithm which are coded into the AI-technology powering KerryTrendspotter™. End of the day, it is the customer’s decision to select a trend and make a business case out of it for future launches. I call that decision as a combination of AI + NI (Natural Intelligence).
Any technology or machine is as good as the people who are working on it. Ensuring Kerry has access to the right data sources and analytical capability to understand the outputs is key to building credibility and confidence, both within the organisation and outside. A new way of working is a change, and that is hard to digest for most of us. Digital transformation is not only about overhauling organisational processes, but it can also be about introducing new digital tools such as Kerry TrendSpotter® which move us forward as a team and build value for customers. Key is to understand customer pain points, focus on small wins, and communicate those within the organisation..
For Kerry, its shared goal is to make it easier and more valuable for its customers to do business with Kerry. With AI-tools such as KerryTrendspotter™, Kerry aims is to help its Strategic customers to focus on those emerging trends which have a greater chance of success.
Monica Popescu, Coca-Cola HBC Business Systems Solutions - SC/Quality Solutions Manager, Coca-Cola HBC and Zoltan Syposs, Ph.D., Coca-Cola HBC QSE Director, Honorary Associate Professor University of Szent Istvan / Food Science Department Hungary