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After speaking in my previous blogs about the use of AI and how it is affecting society today, I came across another article that piqued my interest.

This well-known supermarket has now turned to AI to create recipes for its successful food products. This technology has doubled in the food industry since 2017, according to McKinsey’s 2022 Global Survey on AI. Waitrose have a new Japanese range in their supermarkets and what has been their secret ingredient? AI.

Using the AI platform, Tastewise, which analyses menus, social media, and online recipes, helps understand the food trends shoppers are most likely to buy into.  Influencing the direction of Waitrose’s new range, Tastewise data spotted a 15% growth in social discussions about Japanese cuisines and identified the popularity of flavours which stood out as Yuzu and Ponzu. More data that followed, showed that there has been a 5% increase in restaurants adding Japanese cuisine to their menu.

This is what led to the launch of Waitrose’s 25-dish Japan Menyu range.

Why is this going to benefit supermarkets for years to come?

Traditionally, days would be spent studying restaurant menus and combining social media to identify different trends and there would be a heavy use of spreadsheets to track the rise of an ingredient or dish. In the current climate, we are in today, it’s important for CPG brands to keep up with the use of AI and how it can affect them for the better and keep them ahead of the game. Brands that don’t adapt to this risk falling behind, especially as consumers are moving quicker than retailers on trend prediction due to the likes of Instagram and TikTok.

Social media is the ‘go-to’ for everyone to post pictures of food they are eating and where they are eating. No one is going to post an image of a meal that is not enjoyable. There is the use of hashtags, and the explosions of these platforms can only benefit them for the good, right?

However social media and platforms like Tastewise are not always going to get it right and this could lead to potential consequences for supermarkets and restaurants. Misguided business decisions can lead to poor product development, customer dissatisfaction and potential financial losses. Also relying on AI-generated insights can lead to the lack of variety and creativity we see today on different menus. Also relying on this technology, if the recommendations don’t align with customer preferences, this could lead to customers going to their competitors.

The world of AI, yet again, has its benefits but also has its drawbacks. It will be interesting to see in the future what happens with the many other supermarkets, their use of AI and how it is going to affect their reputation.

About the Author

Natalia Kurasinski

Talent Partner

Natalia is a highly skilled talent partner. With a passion for identifying top talent and a strong commitment to customer service, she has established herself as a valuable resource to both clients and candidates in the data & analytics industry. Read more.

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