SINGAPORE, Sept. 7, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Innovation driven by artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionising the food ingredient space like never before. Faster adoption of AI in this space leads to a deep understanding of consumer trends and quicker launching of best-selling products. Olam Food Ingredients (ofi), a subsidiary of Olam International (SGX: O32), was among the first to revolutionise its market research. They took advantage of Singapore-based technology startup Ai Palette's trendspotting platform 'Foresight Engine' to derive real-time consumer insights that helped them predict consumer trends for 2023 and beyond.
Ofi was initially heavily reliant on traditional market research but knew that food manufacturers needed to address fast-evolving consumer preferences in themes such as health and wellness, sustainability and farm-to-table to create more value-added solutions suitable to their customer base.
Before they partnered with Ai Palette, ofi used traditional market research, which took a lot of time and provided data on trends already on the decline. This partnership helped ofi predict future trends to serve their customers better, who was already well into planning for the major consumer trends for 2023 and beyond.
ofi's Cocoa Powder Division in APAC, which sells cocoa ingredients – cocoa powders, cocoa butter, cocoa liquor – to chocolate makers, confectioneries, bakeries, beverage makers and frozen dessert producers across China, Australia, Japan, Southeast Asia and India, was one of the teams that adopted Foresight Engine in their market research.
Charissa Leong, VP of Sales, Cocoa Powders for APAC, said: "We used to use research companies and ask for reports on past trends. But all of those reports were on last year's trends and last year's database. So we worked very closely with Ai Palette to actually understand how they used AI as a technology, and how they picked up consumer data and transformed it into studying future trends. Ai Palette also were able to break down these trends into what were emerging trends, dormant trends, and also mature trends, which helped us to see which flavor is picking up, or actually is mature in that market in real time."
As a commodity trader and ingredients company, ofi had previously focussed on their primary customers, i.e. food and beverage brands, rather than the people who consume these products. They realized that there was a definite need to create more value-added solutions in the food ingredient space so that their products could become more suitable and applicable to consumers.
Using Ai Palette's Foresight Engine, ofi added capabilities, especially in product development, and started sharing consumer insights with their customers to inspire new product concepts. Their mission: "making it real from plant to palate." ofi used the Foresight Engine to find trending ingredients, flavour pairings and trending themes in the F&B space such as sustainability, health and wellness traceability, and built product concepts, all in real-time.
Renee Tay, Marketing Manager - Cocoa APAC at ofi said: "Ai palette is one of the insight and data tools we heavily rely on, especially when we are looking to provide a value-adding report or value edit sort of services for our customers. We are able to get real-time data on what the consumers are looking out for, what the emerging trends in the market are and what the emerging ingredients are. All these are really useful information that we can offer to our customers. We are able to actually deep dive into a huge amount of data to derive meaningful insights about consumers."
"A classic e.g would be of one of the categories that we work with our customers is chocolate and in a country like India. In the case of chocolate among Indian consumers, we are able to come up with ingredients that the Indian consumers are more likely to resonate with that will help to ultimately drive the final purchase of the product for our customers. This is how we help our customers grow the business together with us, and ultimately really help them to identify the key insights of the consumers that can help to drive purchase for their products."
"We are excited to see our clients derive impactful insights from our products. We are also excited to see AI-based solutions being increasingly adopted by the CPG industry and we are certain that this is the way forward for innovation in the CPG space." says Somsubhra GanChoudhuri, Co-founder and CEO of Ai Palette.
Rama Krishna Prasad, Sr Vice President and Country Head - Indonesia for ofi said: "Advanced consumer insights and analytics are going to be the key differentiator for any company wanting to be successful in the future. During these changing times, the lifecycle of a trend is extremely short, and it is important for you to be leading this curve. It all depends on your ability to capture a sense of the market as quickly as you can and be ready to act on a trend. Only then can you go back to your customers and get them to be a part of a trend."
Ram adds "The biggest advantage by far is showing a potential customer that we understand their consumers. To see the faces in a boardroom when you make a presentation to explain to them what their consumer is actually looking for, versus what they're actually providing to their consumers, is pretty priceless, because you can't really argue with the numbers and the facts."
For more about Ai Palette's Collaboration with ofi, watch this video.
About Olam Food Ingredients
ofi (Olam Food Ingredients) is a new operating group born out of Olam. ofi offers sustainable, natural, value-added food products and ingredients so that consumers can enjoy the healthy and indulgent products they love. It consists of industry-leading businesses in cocoa, coffee, dairy, nuts, and spices. ofi has built a unique global value chain presence, including farming operations, farm-gate origination, and manufacturing facilities. ofi partners with customers, leveraging its complementary and differentiated portfolio of 'on-trend' food products to co-create solutions that anticipate and meet changing consumer preferences as demand increases for healthier food that's traceable and sustainable.
About Ai Palette
Ai Palette is a predictive analytics technology company that helps CPG brands worldwide create best-selling products by discovering trends as they emerge. Ai Palette's customers include Kellogg's, Hershey's, Diageo, Nestle, Cargill and Olam, who use the platform in the Asia Pacific, Europe, the US and Latin America. Ai Palette's proprietary technology tracks trends in 21 countries and 16 languages across 50+ platforms.
PHOTO: Ai Palette Foresight Engine
PHOTO: Ai Palette leadership team
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SOURCE Ai Palette