How artificial intelligence is revolutionising the beverage industry

June 17, 2024

How artificial intelligence is revolutionising the beverage industry

‘Alexa, tell me about how artificial intelligence is revolutionising the beverage industry?’

AI already plays a big part in our everyday lives – telling us the weather forecast for the day then plotting us the quickest route to work, for example.

Now artificial intelligence is being used across the beverage industry too – helping to analyse consumer trends, personalising customer experiences, automating regulatory processes, and helping with product marketing. And all this is freeing up time for creativity from drinks brands or supporting greater efficiency across processes, to improve price points and margins alike.

Let’s look at all the ways AI is streamlining, improving and changing the drinks industry:

Understanding AI

Artificial intelligence is the evolving technology that sees machines or computers perform human functions like learning, processing, reasoning, perceiving and interacting.

Streamlining strategy & planning

Artificial intelligence can help drinks brands to forecast and plan. AI’s ability to process vast amounts of data and identify patterns and anomalies is being used to analyse market trends – from the most searched for products online, to the most frequented locations – along with competitor activity.

AI-analysis

For example, a chain of quick serve restaurants might use AI to analyse locations for a new store and identify the most popular formats or flavours.

This ability to handle otherwise lengthy and repetitive tasks can instead free up time for drinks industry professionals to think creatively.

Supporting beverage development

AI can also analyse data to determine and forecast consumer trends, using this to identify or even recommend new formulations and ingredient combinations. Data sets could include nutritional profiles, consumer preference, or flavour combinations.

Drinks brands’ New Product Development (NPD) teams can then refine and experiment with suggestions, as Coca Cola’s team have.

AI-developed drinks

Coca-Cola Y3000

Coca Cola combined artificial intelligence with human intelligence to develop its Y3000 Coke flavour. AI first analysed consumer and market data to suggest new ingredient formulations or combinations, before humans applied these findings to develop a zero sugar, berry-cherry-like flavoured drink.

Hell Energy Drink - Powered by AI

Hell Energy Drinks says its functional Hell A.I. drink is “entirely powered by AI”. Artificial intelligence determined two “perfect” flavours – tutti-frutti and berry-blast – and a formulation of vitamins, amino acids and herbs along with packaging design for the Hungarian brand.

Jojo Shochu Soda

And in Japan, drinks brand Kirin asked AI to pair traditional Japanese food and drink flavours to create its Jojo Shochu Soda, which blends shochu spirit with soda water.

Automating regulatory or manufacturing processes

AI can be used during the manufacture of drinks too. Elements of artificial intelligence like machine learning, robotics and automation can all be applied for the manufacture of drinks, performing repetitive tasks precisely and speedily, such as packaging or sorting produce, to reduce labour costs and increase efficiencies.

AI drink manufacturing

AI can then be used to automate and speed up the completion of regulatory checks and compliance documentation, ensuring drinks manufacturers fulfil essential beverage industry standards.

And once drinks are ready to for sale, artificial intelligence can support with the logistics of transporting, distributing and managing stock, by optimising delivery routes or sending alerts on stock levels. By analysing historic data sets, AI can also identify or predict seasonal trends, helping producers to meet demand and retailers to manage stock, which can help to prevent waste across the supply chain.

Improving customer experience

AI can also serve personalised product recommendations to drinkers, both in-person and online. Online, AI can tailor product recommendations based on browsers’ buying habits and purchases made by others like them. This includes recommending drinks to pair with particular dishes or cuisines, for example. This can be tailored by consumers themselves too, to include favourite flavour profiles, nutritional requirements or allergy information.

AI-led drinks experiences

Deep Liquid T(AI)ste Bar

Australian and American consumers have already been treated to personalised drinks thanks to AI. Deep Liquid’s T(AI)ste Bars asked drinkers to key in their preferences on an app for its special mixing system to develop a new beer suited to their exact specifications. Better Blends in the US took a similar approach to create custom-made smoothies, using keywords like ‘keto’ and ‘detox’ to select ingredients. Drinkers can even compare human-made and AI-made cocktails in US bars. Axelrad bar in Texas created the cocktail challenge for drinkers to taste test formulations made using traditional or technological methods.

Drinkers anywhere worldwide can tap into this drinks trend too using the BarGPT website. This will create a cocktail recipe, complete with instructions, name and a computer-generated image.

Developing marketing campaigns

Artificial intelligence is an additional tool for marketeers too, supporting with the creation of illustrative images, animations or videos or producing descriptions, slogans or website copy. The technology can also be used to analyse the effectiveness of marketing campaigns, or identify new target markets or opportunities.

AI-made marketing campaigns

Label 5 AI Scotch Whisky

In the UK, Label 5 Scotch Whisky used AI to create unique and personalised products. Its limited edition Classic Black blend’s label design was created using artificial intelligence so that no two labels are the same. And Becks also used AI for the full spectrum of developing, creating and marketing Becks Autonomous, a limited edition beer.

Artificial intelligence is revolutionising the beverage industry in a myriad of ways, helping drinks brands to meet customer demand, exceed consumer expectations, manage costs and stay ahead of competition.

Image source: Trendhub The Food People 2024

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