Authors: Andrea Derrez
Artificial intelligence or AI is already being used to help food and beverage brands make better decisions, increase revenues, higher customer satisfaction rates and improve operational efficiency.
For example, Nestlé and Nuritas use AI to identify proteins that enable production of healthy foods. Kraft Heinz is using AI to optimise and enhance its relationships with stores, sales reps, and consumers. Coca-Cola uses AI to determine which soft drinks to stock at various retailers worldwide.
AI-led Food Product Launch
Yes, AI-generated insights on customer behaviour and inventory can improve your business performance and revenue. But can you use AI to better approach a food product launch?
In our example are using basic tool like Chat GPT and we will be getting ready to launch a new artisanal spice blend. We'll explore both how AI can be a catalyst for a successful launch and also its limitations.
Here are the areas that AI is a great tool for your launch:
- Assessing market demand
- Designing perfect products
- Prioritising product features
- Speeding up the product development process
- Getting the food product compliant
- Finding manufacturers and suppliers
- Reducing costs and time spent on branding and marketing campaigns
- Predicting the success of the launch
Prompt: Analyze market trends and customer preferences in spice blends in Switzerland. Provide sources and links where I can find the data on market demand for spice blends in Switzerland.
Results: you will get a long list of consumer preferences to think of when developing your new product (most likely not only relevant for Switzerland). You will also get pretty accurate sources where you can look for relevant data on market demand in the given region.
Limitations: GPT-4 can’t provide you the exact data as the tool can’t access the databases and real-time data directly. Also as of today, all responses in Chat GPT are based on the internet from September 2021. Any new content is not included in the results.
What you can do with it: It’s a great starting point for conducting research and accelerates your decision making. For example, if a trend is going on low sodium blends, you can quickly decide whether you join this trend or rather concentrate on crafting distinctive flavours enriched with salts.
Prompt: Which demographics show the most interest in artisanal spice blends in Switzerland?
Result: You get a list of demographic who are interested in artisanal products. Not specifically spices or in Switzerland.
Limitations: Again, data is not provided.
What you can do with it: Here you gain overview where you can conduct consumer tests, research retailers and communities where the given demographics is and reach ou with prototypes in a later stage.
Prompt: Generate creative ideas for a unique artisanal spice blend.
Result: One of the best ways to use GPT-4 is product ideation. With this prompt you will get limitless ideas for your spice blend and based on the prior research and consumer preferences you can pick the most relevant ideas.
What you can do wit it: You can dive deeper into exploring specific flavor profiles and even narrow it down to individual ingredients, just by adding more specific prompts.
Prompt: “What price range would consumers be willing to pay for an artisanal spice blend in Switzerland? Recommend a competitive pricing strategy for our beverage."
Result: You will get a first glimpse of how your regional market looks in terms of pricing that you can use together with an empirical research to calculate your break even point.
Limitations: There are several factors to consider when deciding on pricing—like production costs, market competition and your brand image.
What can you do with it: Pricing is one of the most complex aspects of launching a new product or service. Having an extra hand to support or challenge your assumptions could be helpful. Once you determine a range you can test your pricing strategy with individual consumers to detect how much they are actually willing to pay for your product.
Prompt: “Suggest 20 product names that would fit a “coffee spice rub” artisanal spice blend that goes well with spare ribs and can appeal to Swiss upper-class consumers."
Result: You get 20 solid suggestions. You can tweak your prompt if you are not fully happy with the result by adding or removing certain product information.
Limitations: No limitations!
What can you do with it: Insert your product name into further prompts, because it can drive creatives like branding, packaging and marketing content.
Prompt: "Create a recipe for a new artisanal spice blend "coffee spice rub" that goes well with spare ribs, has shelf life of 6 months and appeals to upper class consumers."
Result: You will get an exact recipe and how you can apply it to a dish(es).
Limitations: Your new recipe is to get an inpiration and brainstorm ideas. The recipe you get is a kitchen recipe rather than scalable recipe that is needed for production.
Our team loves combining innovative solutions combined with our industry knowledge and experience when developing a recipe.
What you can do with it: Experiment with ingredients, cooking techniques, and flavor combinations and put them to an empirical tests. Make sure that your recipe is compliant with local industry regulations.
Yes, it’s "just" a spice blend, but it still has to go through a rigorous compliance check to ensure the product is ready for consumption. Here is a list of prompts to use in the specific compliance areas. Read the limitations below.
Reasearch regulations:""Can you provide information on the specific regulations and standards that apply to my food product?"
Food Safety Standards: "How can I ensure my food product is produced in compliance with food safety system like HACCP?"
Ingredient Compliance: "What are the key considerations to ensure that all ingredients used in my product comply with safety regulations?"
Labeling: 3 prompts linked to labeling Reg. UE 1169/2011
- Nutrition Labelling: "What are the essential components of a nutrition label, and how can I create one that complies with regulations?"
- Allergen Labelling: "How should I clearly label allergens in my food product to meet regulatory requirements?"
- Packaging and Labelling Compliance: "What are the regulations regarding packaging and labelling size, readability, and content for my product?"
Country-Specific Regulations: "How can I ensure that my product complies with country-specific regulations if I plan to export it?" Is there any specific packaging waste disposal regulation for product producer in "Switzerland"?
Shelf Life and Storage Conditions: "What factors should I consider in determining the shelf life and providing storage instructions for my product?"
Quality Assurance: "What should be included in a quality assurance program to monitor and maintain compliance throughout the production process?"
Record-Keeping"What types of records should I maintain to ensure compliance with food safety and labeling regulations?"
Results: The answers speed up the work towards a compliant product. It’s advisable to tackle these early on so that you don’t have to tweak your final recipe or packaging.
Limitations: Never fully rely on legal information from Chat GPT.
What can you do with it: If you are a food/beverage industry newcomer, use the information as topics that you can discuss with an experienced compliance professional. If you are from the industry, you can critically assess the information and only use the relevant bits.
Prompt: "Provide a list of suppliers/manufacturers/packaging companies for an artisanal spice blend in Switzerland, including links to their website."
Results: You will indeed get a list of companies to contact with a short description about each.
Limitations: The result mainly shows big manufacturers that most likely won’t accept small volumes of a starting brand. Chat GPT has not the freshest sources (only until September 2021).
If you need to do a first production, we at Agilery build a network of small producers like bakeries, restaurant kitches etc. that are happy to take on such projects.
What can you do with it: You can always try to access the big players, especially regarding suppliers.
Prompt: "Write an email to a manufacturer that has a high chance of reply. I would like to produce 1000 bags of 50g spice blends using organic ingredients."
Result: You will get a template email ready.
Limitations: There is no guarantee that this email will get replies. It is a must to tweak the email content, if you use it as it is you will achieve exactly the opposite - reach the spam folder.
What you can do with it: Use the structure and tweak it to the particular recipient as needed.
Prompt: I would like to create a brand for my artisanal spice blend that resonates with consumers in Switzerland. What information would you need to give me a recommendation for my branding strategy? Result: As easy as it sounds, you can create a foundation for your brand by using Chat GPT.
Limitation: Once you prep the requested information into the final prompt, you can still end up with a rather generic branding strategy.
What can you do with it: The factors that determine branding is a great starting point for internal discussion and consumer tests. Plug all the information into a promt to get the tailored recommendations for branding strategy, brand name, tag lines, social content, ads.
Prompt: “Suggest 5 packaging designs for an artisanal spice blend with flavor profile of “coffee spice rub” that appeals to sustainable ethical Swiss consumers."
Result: It is important to condense all our prior decisions into the prompt so that our AI is fed as much specific instruction as possible to better curate the result. You will receive very interesting design concepts that would save you tons of time to come up with.
Limitation: The interpretation of AI results is subjective and doesn’t guarantee success. What can you do with it: Plunge the winning ideas into visual AI tools like Midjourney and let the magic happen.
Prompt: "Create a marketing campaign strategy for a launch of an artisanal spice blend “coffee spice rub” in Switzerland. The spice is great with spare ribs and we will sell it both for restaurants and consumers. We would like to launch in autumn. Suggest which channels online and offline we should use and how. Where can we reach middle-upper class consumers? What can be the main message? What content formats make the most sense for us with limited resources?"
Results: Break down the prompt into parts with a single goal so that you get well-targeted information. The strategy is useful as a checklist, especially if you don’t have much experience with marketing and go-to-market. The content output is a foundation that you will need to activelly work with to reach the quality you aim for.
Limitation: Chat GPT has a non-human tone of voice, so you will definitelly need to make tweaks in suggested content.
What you can do with it: Describe your tone of voice as precise as you can (even referring to a well-known person) and re-render AI responce as many times as you want. Then comes the manual tweaking.
Prompt: "I want to launch an artisanal spice blend in Switzerland. What information do you need to predict the success of the launch?"
Result: As expected, you will get a long checklist of all variables that play a role in launching a product successfully.
What to use it for: Insert answers to all questions provided by AI and continues with the next prompt.
Prompt: "Determine the success of a product launch considering these factors. [Insert the AI questions plus your answers from the prompt above]."
Results: Chat GPT will give you an evaluation of all your replies weather they w
Limitations: This prompt is the most detailed, but the answer is the most vague. There is no accountability to your success.
What you can do with it: You will get a quick feedback about which stage of your product launch preparations can affect the success of your launch.
Limitations of Using Chat GPT For Product Launch
As magical as it sounds you can get quite far with just Chat GPT, but don’t forget to process each and every word with extra cautiousness and/or food industry professionals.
In a now-infamous case, Chat GPT was tasked with the ambitious challenge of launching a profit-maximising business on a shoestring budget of just $100. The entrepreneur, Jackson Greathouse, acted as the human liaison, diligently executing any recommendations from Chat GPT. Despite their collective efforts, the endeavour fell short of expectations and ended in bankruptcy.
Here is a quick summary of limitations that you should be aware of:
Real-Time data limitation
It can't provide real-time data or access external databases, and my knowledge goes up to September 2021. However, I can guide you on how to conduct market research for spice blends.
It’s not good at math. It uses language and pattern recognition, not mathematical calculations. Sam Altman, the founder of OpenAI, discussed this limitation in an interview with Lex Fridman.
It can make mistakes, including grammatical, mathematical, factual, and reasoning errors, especially in specialized topics like medicine or law. It may provide inaccurate information or fabricate plausible-sounding answers.
It can produce biased responses due to biases in training data. Biased inputs can lead to biased outputs, perpetuating cultural, racial, and gender biases.
Human Insight is lacking
It lacks human-like understanding, emotional intelligence, and the ability to recognize sarcasm, humor, or idioms. I provide responses based on patterns and may miss context.
It tends to provide lengthy and sometimes overly formal answers. While this can be helpful for complex topics, it may not be suitable for concise question AI
Using AI After Food Product Launch
Launching your product is just the beginning of using the benefits of AI. Here are more exciting applications that can boost your long-term growth:
- Automated online order fulfillment
- Supply chain optimisation
- Shelf life predictions
- Inventory management
- Chatbot for customer service
- Product shelf-life algorithms
- Nutritional analysis
Would you like to get into more details in the above? Share your thoughts and questions on firstname.lastname@example.org