The Dutch brewer is among the first companies to utilize Stravito’s new AI chatbot, which helps enhance its market research capabilities.

How Heineken is using AI to gain a competitive advantage

Justin Sullivan via Getty Images

Dive Brief:

  • Swedish tech platform Stravito launched generative AI platform Assistant last week, which helps food and beverage companies gain better access to consumer insights and stay competitive with other food brands. Stravito’s platform is a chatbot that allows companies to input large datasets and ask it to drill down specific insights.
  • Heineken, one of the first business customers to use the AI producer’s assistant functionality, said the platform will help it boost productivity and reduce the time-to-market for its products.
  • Platforms like Stravito’s are utilizing large language models in a bid to advance the food industry’s manufacturing and consumer insight capabilities.

Dive Insight:

Heineken’s new AI platform partner will bring it closer to consumers’ demands with the help of a system that can sift through thousands of data points and provide intelligent analysis, the company says.

Lalo Luna, Heineken’s global head of strategy and insights, said in an interview the company’s ability to access its own data was previously “unstructured.” It tried working with other partner companies but had issues with user experience. By comparison, the brewer’s experience with Stravito’s AI platform has been seamless, he said. He pointed to the ease in uploading documents and using the platform’s search function to access data, along with being able to have a conversation with the AI regarding business questions.

“We granted access to these consumer insights and information to every person at Heineken, no matter the role,” Luna said. “Using artificial intelligence, people can really take advantage and leverage all the information and knowledge that we have as a company.”

In the last four months, Heineken has almost doubled the amount of internal data accessed within in its operations, going from using less than 30 percent to now using close to 60 percent with the help of the platform. According to Luna, the beer maker can now find answers to specific questions that they might have previously conducted in a time-consuming research project, such as what percent of young adults are interested in purchasing nonalcoholic beer. Now, teams use the tech to close a gap in the AI-generated research or to delve deeper into insights that the platform has helped assemble.

Stravito first launched an AI platform last year that allowed businesses to interact with a chatbot about their internal data inputs. In an interview, Stravito founder and CEO Thor Olof Philogène said that launch helped the company understand what types of questions people were using it to ask and the limitations it felt. The newly launched platform, he said, gives answers that drill down engagingly by sparking related follow-up answers to questions the user has not yet asked.

Philogène said Heineken is just one of several Fortune 500 food and beverage companies using its platform. The company’s Assistant platform draws information from client-owned data, he said, and it is prioritizing reliability, privacy and security as key elements when pitching the platform to potential new clients.

“I’ve been part of a lot of rollout and demos, and what people really value is the referencing of sources, the fact that the system only prioritizes fresh data,” Philogène said. “We nudge the user to actually interface with the data, highlighting opportunities when there are conflicts with the data.”

Companies across the food and beverage industry are leaning on recently launched AI platforms to better access consumer insights, both for operational efficiency purposes and to help develop and market new products.

Last year, AB InBev-owned brewer Beck’s debuted a beer created using artificial intelligence, which the German brand said was selected by AI as its favorite among millions of different flavor combinations. And Coca-Cola launched Y3000 last fall, a soda the company said was co-created by artificial intelligence as part of its Coca-Cola Creations platform.

  • How AI is driving supply chain advancements for food manufacturers By Chris Casey • July 19, 2023
  • AB InBev’s Beck’s makes ‘futuristic’ beer using artificial intelligence By Christopher Doering • April 13, 2023
  • Coca-Cola launches beverage created with the help of artificial intelligence By Christopher Doering • Sept. 12, 2023

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