The soft drinks industry is experiencing a paradigm shift as artificial intelligence (AI) takes center stage. Coca-Cola recently unveiled its limited-edition Coca-Cola 3000 Zero Sugar, a futuristic beverage created with the assistance of AI. Meanwhile, Unilever, the owner of PepsiCo, is harnessing AI to optimize various facets of its operations.
Coca-Cola’s AI-driven journey to 3000
Coca-Cola embarked on a unique quest to envision what the year 3000 might hold for beverages. To achieve this, they engaged with their customers through the Coca-Cola Creations platform, posing a fundamental question: “What would Coca-Cola look like in the year 3000?” The responses from consumers laid the foundation for the development of a truly futuristic product.
AI played a pivotal role in analyzing and interpreting consumer responses. It deciphered the future as perceived by individuals, encapsulating their emotions, ambitions, colors, and flavors. The result? A one-of-a-kind beverage characterized by colorful packaging featuring spherical shapes in vibrant shades of purple, pink, and blue, complemented by a pixelated logo. Most notably, the AI projected the future as being sugar-free.
This sugar-free focus aligns with global trends. Low-calorie carbonates have experienced a substantial 39% growth between 2015 and 2023 worldwide. This growth trajectory will continue over the next five years, driven by consumers’ heightened emphasis on health and wellness. In a recent global survey by GlobalData, 81% of respondents deemed it important for a product to contribute to physical fitness and health.
AI market on the rise
The AI market is on an upward trajectory, poised for significant growth. Forecasts suggest it will surge from $81 billion in 2022 to $90 billion by 2030, with an impressive compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 35% from 2022-2030. This growth is fueled by advancements in machine learning (ML) driven by improved algorithms and increased computing power.
AI is becoming increasingly prevalent in the soft drinks industry. Companies leverage AI applications to streamline operations, enhance product development, and meet evolving consumer demands.
Unilever’s AI-powered initiatives
Unilever, the conglomerate behind PepsiCo, is at the forefront of AI adoption. The company is employing AI tools that tap into neural networks and utilize the GPT API to cater to the evolving needs of its consumers and adapt to market dynamics. These AI-driven applications enable Unilever to optimize various aspects of its operations.
Unilever’s AI initiatives extend beyond consumer-oriented improvements. The company is actively exploring alternative ingredients to bolster the resilience of its supply chains, making products more sustainable and cost-effective while simultaneously simplifying ingredient lists without compromising product quality or effectiveness.
The future of AI in the soft drinks industry
The burgeoning use of AI in the soft drinks industry is still in its nascent stages. The rules and regulations governing AI’s role in this sector are undergoing development and refinement. However, industry experts anticipate that AI’s application in supply chain management, administrative functions, flavor discovery, and packaging innovations will continue to expand.
As AI evolves and matures, soft drink companies will likely benefit from enhanced operational efficiency, more tailored product offerings, and a heightened ability to meet consumer preferences in an ever-changing market landscape. The incorporation of AI in the soft drinks industry underscores the industry’s commitment to innovation and adaptation to meet future demands.
The soft drinks industry is undergoing a transformation driven by artificial intelligence. Companies like Coca-Cola and Unilever are pioneering the use of AI to craft innovative products, optimize operations, and stay competitive in a rapidly evolving market. As AI continues to mature and gain prominence, it is expected to play an increasingly vital role in shaping the future of the soft drinks industry. Soft drink aficionados can anticipate a future where AI-driven creations cater to their tastes, preferences, and the ever-evolving landscape of health and wellness.