IRELAND – Kerry Group, in partnership with IBM recently launched a proprietary, predictive artificial intelligence (AI) tool, Kerry Trendspotter, to forecast future trends in food and beverage.

The artificial intelligence tool is designed to improve the probability and success of products launch by guiding manufacturers in the development of winning consumer-preferred products.

According to Nielsen, rapidly shifting consumer preferences contribute to the failure of 85% of new food and beverage products within two years of launching.

While significantly accelerating product innovation and time to market, Kerry said that the Trendspotter also enables organizations to use large scale unstructured data to understand consumer behavior and anticipate future consumer needs.

The Irish dairy processor explained that the Kerry Trendspotter, powered by IBM Watson, enables the real-time analysis of food-related social media content by digesting vast amounts of textual data quickly and securely.

The tool then automatically reads and processes millions of consumer generated posts on social media – extracting food items and cataloguing food-related combinations to predict the trending food, ingredient and flavour candidates likely to go mainstream in the near future.

Insights to accelerate product launch

By identifying and detecting food trends at their genesis, Kerry said that its team of expertise can collaborate with key customers to craft differentiated yet relevant solutions.

The tool also enables manufactures to launch first-to-market products with less significantly less lead time, capitalising on trends before their competitors Kerry’s integrated sourcing and development capabilities.

“Our guiding objective was to bring our customers a platform that combines decades of historical Kerry research and insight with a real-time lens into consumer preferences,” says James Sandora, Global Vice President, Digital, Kerry.

 “The combination of this data creates an AI that makes highly reliable predictions without the need to execute costly and time intensive primary research.”

Andy Royston, Global Chief Marketing Officer, Kerry added, “The insights from Kerry Trendspotter, when combined with our leading taste and nutrition solutions, enable customers to capitalize on developing trends faster and significantly earlier in their evolution.

“This new Kerry Trendspotter technology helps food and beverage brands shift to accelerated insight-backed product innovation, allowing them to better enter the market at the right time with the right food offerings”.

“Delay in innovation or speed to market can be the difference between winning big and losing market share,” said Guna Chellappan, General Manager, Cloud and Cognitive Software, IBM Singapore.

“IBM Watson’s ability to analyze data from Kerry’s various sources and predict the consumer trends to increase profitability while reducing wastage is a huge differentiator for food and beverage brands as well as the whole food industry.

“Through the use of Watson on IBM public cloud, the brands get greater insights into consumer trends and respond to surge in demand with speed,”

Chellappan added that the IBM public cloud offers significant technical advantages which enable enterprises to modernize and build big data business applications on the cloud without jeopardizing security and control.