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  • Sunday, 14 July 2024
Reviving Innovation with AI

Reviving Innovation with AI

Nike's CEO attributes his company's lack of bold innovation to the shift towards remote work post-Covid, a sentiment echoed in the food and drink industry. Mintel's Global New Products Database (GNPD) reveals a decline in genuine innovation, with new products dropping from 21% in 2019 to just 15% in Q1 2024, while renovation increases.

 

Consumer Demand for Innovation

 

Mintel consumer data underscores the importance of innovation, with 38% of adults actively seeking new foods or flavors, rising to nearly half among Gen Z individuals. Despite this demand, the industry faces challenges in delivering exciting new products.

 

AI Revolutionizes Innovation

 

The rapid advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) present a solution to the innovation crisis in the food and drink sector. AI enables companies to create disruptive innovations at a fraction of the cost and time compared to traditional methods, from ingredient development to accelerating the innovation cycle.

 

AI's Impact on Product Development

 

Dublin-based biotech company Nuritas exemplifies AI's transformative potential, identifying a new ingredient called PeptiStrong from fava beans to optimize muscle health. This process, which would have taken 1,000 years using traditional methods, showcases AI's ability to expedite product development.

 

Tech-savvy startups lead the way

 

Startups leverage AI to swiftly bring innovative products to market, such as Chilean startup NotCo, which launched its plant-based NotMilk Chocolate drink in just five months. This rapid pace challenges established brands to integrate AI into their operations to remain competitive.

 

Collaboration Between Established Brands and Startups

 

Established brands like Kraft Heinz are partnering with innovative startups to capitalize on AI-driven innovation. Collaboration allows for faster product development and launch, with NotCo's NotCheese brand hitting the US market in eight months, a process that previously took years.

 

Utilizing Heritage Data for Competitive Advantage

 

Heritage brands possess valuable historical data that, when harnessed with AI, can fuel disruptive product development. Leveraging AI to analyze and utilize this data enables established brands to maintain a competitive edge in the era of innovation driven by AI.

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