Kerry Trendspotter Enables Food & Beverage Brands To Develop Faster Consumer-Preferred Products To Market With IBM

Thursday, February 27th, 2020


Kerry Group and IBM have launched a predictive artificial intelligence (AI) tool, Kerry Trendspotter, hosted on IBM public cloud, to forecast future trends in food and beverage and guide the development of winning consumer-preferred products.

According to Nielsen, rapidly shifting consumer preferences contribute to the failure of 85 percent of new food and beverage products within two years of launching. Designed to reduce the risk of costly failures and increase the probability of success, Kerry Trendspotter enables organisations to use large scale unstructured data to understand consumer behaviour and anticipate future consumer needs.

Built on the IBM public cloud, the solution enables the real-time analysis of food-related social media content by digesting vast amounts of textual data quickly and securely through a number of Watson portfolio services such as Watson Natural Language Understanding as well as Watson Studio models. IBM Cloud infrastructure powers the processing, automatically reading and processing millions of consumer generated posts on social media – extracting food items and cataloguing food-related combinations then used to predict the trending food, ingredient and flavour candidates likely to go mainstream in the near future.

By identifying and detecting food trends at their genesis, Kerry’s chefs, food scientists and flavour experts can collaborate with key customers to craft differentiated yet relevant solutions as well as launch first-to-market products with less lead time, capitalising on trends before their competitors via Kerry’s integrated sourcing and development capabilities.

“Through the Kerry Trendspotter tool, our objective is to support our APMEA customers with a platform designed to read / analyse millions of data points in order to extract and surface F&B items that resonate with consumers and are likely to become breakout trends. The tool uses custom A.I and Natural Language Processing in combination with predictive algorithms to generate results which more accurate and remove subjectivity from decision making. All this in a fraction of the time it would take to do primary research, thus reducing Customers product development time”, says Avinash Lal, Market Research & Insights Director.

With AI-tools such as Kerry Trendspotter, our aim is to help our strategic customers to focus on those emerging Food & Beverage trends which have a greater chance of success in the markets that they operate, “added Parth Patel, VP Marketing and Strategic Planning from Kerry APMEA.

“Delay in innovation or speed to market can be the difference between winning big and losing market share. IBM Watson’s ability to analyse 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,” said Guna Chellappan, General Manager, Cloud and Cognitive Software, IBM Singapore. He added, “Running on the IBM public cloud offers significant technical advantages and will enable enterprises to modernise and build big data business applications on the cloud without jeopardising security and control.”

As a global leader in taste and nutrition for almost half a century, Kerry is uniquely positioned to take the next leap both as an industry insider and leader, bringing AI technology along with unique insights enhanced by the collective sensory science expertise of Kerry’s dedicated team of researchers in tandem with Kerry’s other industry leading primary research capabilities to make targeted and on-trend recommendations to its key customers.


Case Study

OBJECTIVE: A key customer wanted to launch a flavour extension of an existing popular snack brand in Southeast Asia. They wanted to maximise their chances of success with a flavour which would be relevant and distinctive.


We leveraged insights from Trendspotter to identify emerging flavours. In consultation with the customer’s R&D and Marketing teams, we shortlisted six flavours for further exploration.

A typical process such as this one might take four to six weeks, but with the help of Trendspotter, we were able to revert to the customer within five days, with product concepts.

After a discussion—which was based on objective data and insights from Trendspotter—the customer narrowed down two possible ideas for flavour extension, which were tested with their core group of customers. The winning flavour was then selected.

The entire process from ideation to commercialisation took less than 2 months. In comparison, the typical time for such projects could be as long as six to nine months.

This engagement with Kerry Trendspotter 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 a third, from ideation to launch. In a dynamic region such as Asia Pacific, being the fastest and first to market brings huge advantages.


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