Food, Beverage & Tobacco


Earth Fare Leverages AI to Optimize Promos

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Earth Fare has reported solid improvements in year-on-year top-line sales, a year after adopting artificial-intelligence (AI) technology to help optimize promotions, determining which items to promote and how often to do so. The Asheville, N.C.-based natural and organic grocer, which partnered with Toronto-based AI software company Daisy Intelligence, operates 41 stores and is currently working to grow store units by more than 25 percent annually. Before deploying the solution, Earth Fare's merchandising and marketing teams had to earmark numerous hours each week for determining which products to promote, and the demands for time to drive innovation for new store activations were challenged as the company began to activate its robust pipeline. Since the deployment, Earth Fare's category managers have been using Daisy's weekly promotional recommendations to improve associated sales growth and guide decision-making.


How Artificial Intelligence Is Helping Retailers Bridge The Gap Between Online And Offline Data

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To that end, retailers are increasingly turning to technologies such as artificial intelligence algorithms, messenger bots, and even robots, to gather data and improve the in-store experience for shoppers. First, there's the fact that different technologies measure different things: a beacon can track a customer's movement, but a sensor placed on a shelf might be able to see which item a customer picks up and measure how long they hold it for. Amazon's new grocery stores and bookstores show how technology can be seamlessly integrated into a retail space, improving the customer experience and also facilitating the collection of data on consumers. By requiring each shopper to set up an account with Amazon and equipping each store with technology that is expressly designed to track their movements, Amazon has the ability to collect mountains of data on each individual's shopping habits and behavior outside of online settings.


This craft brewery is using a chatbot to make better beer

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For Great Lakes Brewing Company, meeting growing demand means running its processes all day and all night. While Great Lakes had been moving some processes toward automation since Blystone started four years ago, the systems were not connected in a single interface -- and that meant multi-tasking, overworked engineers had to flit from sensor to sensor to check each one, often in the middle of the night. A hackathon with Microsoft and Rockwell came up with the idea to layer analytics and natural language processing on top of the automation process, and in less than two years, Shelby was born. Mike Pantaleano, Rockwell Automation's global business manager, said the firms also have an integration with Microsoft's voice-activated assistant, Cortana, on tap.


DoorDash was built using AI to speed up food deliveries

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AI for DoorDash means using machine learning to smooth the process out. DoorDash began experimenting with AI to introduce personal recommendations, which gave the company a 25 percent increase in orders over users who saw the most popular listings. The company currently offers delivery to 39 North American markets and, starting tomorrow, will begin introducing its service into three more -- Orlando, Florida; Long Island, New York; and New Jersey -- bringing the total to 42 markets. Tackling the challenges of a logistics system capable of delivering food opens DoorDash up to the opportunity of delivering goods from other stores and merchants.


Text analytics: not just for customer sentiment

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"Rather than waiting for each adverse event to occur, CFSAN wanted to be aware of the precursors and try to prevent the incident." CFSAN subsequently started a centerwide Chemical Signal Detection program, led by the Signals Management Branch in the Office of Analytics and Outreach, leveraging expertise from all the program offices in the center. Since CFSAN did not have the human resources to review the vast volume of information this task entailed, it began looking into text analytics solutions. After a careful evaluation, CFSAN selected a suite of SAS technologies (SAS Enterprise Miner, SAS Text Miner, SAS Contextual Analysis and SAS Visual Analytics) and began piloting the research to build an "Emerging Chemical Hazard Intelligence Platform" (ECHIP).


McDonald's (And You) Strike Gold With New AI

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You've likely heard this phrase uttered as a punch line, typically directed at the job prospects of liberal arts majors. "Our analysis suggests efforts should bear fruit in 2018," Cowen analyst Andrew Charles told CNBC. MCD stock hit an all-time high on the news, and while the shares are likely to consolidate those gains as investors digest McDonald's plans, investment prospects remain impressive as the company moves further along the path toward automation. According to billionaire entrepreneur Mark Cuban, a liberal arts degree teaches this skill set and will be in increasing demand in the new autonomous economy.


Agricultural Internet of Things technology applications

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Product quality, higher crop productivity, resource conservation and cost control – these are just a few of the ways the Agricultural Internet of Things promises to transform farming and food production in the future. It also smartly analyzes crop water requirements and uses water supply resources available to reduce waste. The higher the level of accuracy, the lower the chances of crops being damaged; thus, more accurate weather forecasts can lead to higher profitability and productivity levels. Along with attaining optimum, quality food production, the Agricultural IoT aims to ensure food safety at different levels, like storage, transportation, etc.


AI/BOT: Is AI The Key To Retail's Survival? PYMNTS.com

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In combination with its recent $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods, it may be safe to assume that merchants in the retail space will follow Amazon's integration of more technology into the in-store experience. It seems like Amazon is at the forefront of innovative retail experiences with its various physical retail space expansions. Boston Retail Partners' research found top customer experience priorities for retailers to include: The future of retail will likely involve a mixture of real-world experiences and technology. If these are any indicators, Gartner's prediction that 85 percent of consumers' future business interactions will involve zero human interaction may come true.


Shift to Artificial Intelligence Could Lead To World Conflicts

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Artificial intelligence is slowly changing the world, and not everyone is happy about it. As for China and the United States, Lee believes these countries will be the primary beneficiaries in the AI shift. With China's economy growing without an end in sight, and the United States economy in an uncertain situation, there's always the chance for the Asian giant to surpass its western rival in the next 10 or more years. Several fast food companies in the United States and other countries around the world are planning to replace their primary workforce with robots.


Using AI, Predictive Analytics, and Recommendations - DZone Big Data

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Here's what retailers can get from using recommendation systems: Increased customer loyalty by sending offers based on specific customer needs. The idea is simple: we define a market basket for every customer and calculate the distance between the specific customer and others having similar items in the market basket. Then, we recommend customers buy the goods purchased earlier by those customers with similar market baskets. If a customer feature set coincides with an item feature set, then this customer gets a recommendation for this specific item.