The year 2023 has been pivotal for Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) companies as they increasingly integrate Generative AI (GenAI) into their operations. Here’s a look at the top CPG firms making significant strides with GenAI this year:
Traeger Grills is revolutionizing customer service by implementing GenAI capabilities into their Amazon Connect platform. This integration has enabled the company to provide agents with easier access to information and personalized recommendations, significantly enhancing their efficiency. As an early adopter of Q in Connect and Connect Contact Lens, Traeger Grills expects a 20% improvement in agent productivity. Corey Savory, VP of customer experience and service at Traeger, emphasizes that the key to their growth has been the ability to furnish agents and supervisors with accurate information promptly, ensuring heightened customer satisfaction.
UK-based fitness apparel brand Gymshark is embracing generative AI to personalize consumer interactions and optimize data management during its expansion into physical retail spaces. By employing Google Cloud’s Vertex AI, Gymshark is enhancing its consumer experiences, especially for events like Black Friday. The company is exploring AI-driven assistants to aid consumers in the product selection process and is using AI in its training app for providing real-time fitness insights. Ben Francis, Gymshark’s CEO, underlines that data is central to their strategic evolution, signaling the company’s readiness to innovate and grow through AI integration.
HanesBrands is leveraging generative AI technology to optimize its supply chain, addressing complex questions and making this information accessible to all associates. The company’s use of the Gen AI assistant, powered by OpsVeda, is a transformative step in their supply planning. It integrates with messaging tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack, or Whatsapp, enabling users to gather information through natural language interactions. Hemant Ramaswami, VP of global supply chain planning at HanesBrands, acknowledges the pivotal role of this solution in enhancing customer service, signifying a major shift in their operational efficiency.
Adidas and Traeger Grills are exploring new frontiers with generative AI through their partnership with AWS’ Amazon Bedrock service. This collaboration is focusing on content creation, data visualization, and complex calculations. Adidas, in particular, is using the platform as an educational tool for its engineers, assisting them in accessing information and solutions from its extensive knowledge base. Daniel Eichten, VP of enterprise architecture at Adidas, appreciates how Amazon Bedrock has become a valuable part of their AI toolkit, managing infrastructure while they concentrate on core aspects of their LLM projects.
Coca-Cola is pioneering in the generative AI space with its immersive AI-powered consumer experience, Y3000. Utilizing AI to design art for this new limited-edition product, the company is allowing users to generate futuristic images and videos through the Coca-Cola Y3000 AI Cam. This innovative approach, powered by Stable Fusion’s generative AI technology, is a testament to Coca-Cola’s commitment to staying ahead in the beverage industry. Oana Vlad, senior director of Global Strategy at Coca‑Cola, emphasizes the blend of human intelligence and AI, as the company seeks to maintain its relevance and refreshing appeal well into the future.
The Estée Lauder Companies is expanding its cloud presence and increasing its use of generative AI to build out digital experiences across its brand portfolio. This move represents a significant step in the company’s digital transformation journey, leveraging Google Cloud’s gen AI capabilities for real-time customer feedback monitoring and developing new-gen AI business applications. Gibu Thomas, EVP online with The Estée Lauder Companies Inc., highlights the creation of high-touch, personalized online experiences, showing their dedication to meeting consumer expectations in an evolving digital landscape.
Colgate-Palmolive is piloting a generative AI-enabled chatbot, combining digital shelf data curation with content creation. The company is extending its relationship with Profitero, developing an AI assistant that aggregates comprehensive market data across global retailers. Todd Hassenfelt, global digital commerce director at Colgate-Palmolive, shares that employees can interact with the bot to ask conversational questions and retrieve critical business insights. This initiative represents a significant move towards harnessing the power of AI to generate impactful marketing content and influence product development decisions.
Mars, a leader in manufacturing and pet care, is actively exploring the use of generative AI in various facets of its business. The company is using AI to predict chronic kidney disease in pets and accelerate pet genome sequencing. Additionally, Mars is unlocking efficiencies in manufacturing through digital twin technology. However, the company is also cognizant of the legal, ethical, and business risks associated with AI, particularly generative AI. They have established an enterprise working team to create a robust framework for responsible AI use, collaborating with technology partners and NGOs like Microsoft and the Responsible AI Institute.
Nestlé is at the forefront of product innovation in the CPG sector, using generative AI to validate new product ideas and generate market research reports. The company is reportedly utilizing a generative AI platform called Tastewise, which provides insights into restaurant items, home cooking trends, and real-life consumption moments. Stefan Palzer, CTO of Nestlé, discusses using AI to analyze social media, online publications, and other web sources for trend analysis, leading to rapid product innovation. This strategic use of AI is helping Nestlé stay ahead in a competitive market, continually finding new ways to appeal to consumer tastes and preferences.
Ralph Lauren is experimenting with generative AI across various business functions, already leveraging AI and machine learning for inventory optimization and consumer engagement. The company plans to test GenAI for tasks like copy editing, graphics, and computer programming, aligning with industry efforts to explore the fast-evolving technology. Jane Nielsen, CFO and COO, mentions that these experimental applications are part of Ralph Lauren’s broader strategy to pivot further into direct-to-consumer operations and embrace digital transformation.
Energy supplement and drink company Eboost is using generative AI tools to improve marketing and product innovation. The company has collaborated with Native, a market intelligence provider, to research and create digital twins of target consumers. This approach allows Eboost to understand consumer preferences and purchase habits more intimately. Thomas Ortis, Eboost chief marketing officer, acknowledges the significant competitive advantage offered by generative AI in creating personalized experiences, driving customer loyalty, and shaping future product offerings.
Tapestry and Marks & Spencer
Tapestry, the parent company of brands like Kate Spade and Coach, is using generative AI tech to automate online personalization. Marks & Spencer is also planning to implement similar technology. Tapestry’s strategy involves generating personalized words and phrases for each online consumer, using AI to push consumers further down the sales funnel. Kathleen Jiang from Tapestry shares that this approach has led to impressive lifts in conversion rates. Alex Williams from Marks & Spencer highlights that leveraging AI is part of a significant transformation to ensure the company’s sustainability and success in the digital era.
General Mills is proactively using artificial intelligence to combat misinformation within its marketing campaigns. The company’s use of AI tools like DALL-E and ChatGPT poses unique challenges, requiring careful management to prevent the spread of false information. General Mills’ media director, Lisa Roebuck, discusses piloting a pre-bid exclusion approach with Zefr to block problematic content on campaigns, emphasizing the importance of ensuring ad adjacency on platforms like Meta and TikTok. This initiative is part of General Mills’ broader strategy to stay ahead of generative AI trends and utilize these technologies responsibly.
Nestlé & General Mills’ Cereal Partners Worldwide (CPW)
Nestlé and General Mills, through their joint venture CPW, are integrating an AI assistant using OpenAI’s GPT-4 language model for business intelligence discovery. CPW’s global applied analytics representative, Chris Potter, discusses how this technology will enable a broader range of employees to access insights from data, improving decision-making processes. AB InBev is also implementing this technology to help its team become more comfortable interacting with data. The adoption of generative AI tools like ChatGPT reflects a growing trend among CPG companies to explore innovative ways to enhance operations and marketing strategies using AI technologies.
In summary, 2023 has seen a remarkable adoption of Generative AI technologies across the CPG sector, with companies leveraging these tools for a wide range of applications, from customer service enhancement to supply chain optimization, personalized marketing, and combating misinformation. The strategic use of GenAI is not only improving operational efficiencies but also shaping the future of consumer engagement and product development in the CPG industry.