Today’s consumer is increasingly aware about the benefits of nutritionally adequate diets. From tracking ingredient sources to focusing on healthy snacks and bites, they aren’t leaving any stone unturned when it comes to their health and well-being. To keep up with changing needs of consumers, Food companies are using analytics to help them understand sentiment and purchase patterns better to make more responsible decisions as manufacturers.
Here are seven ways food companies are leveraging the power of analytics to increase consumer loyalty:
- Demand & Supply Management: To ensure smooth operations of the supply chain, companies are using analytics to determine which ingredients are in short supply, and planning ahead to procure these. If they anticipate sudden spikes in the ingredient prices, they can always opt for alternatives for the short term. Since analytics can also predict changing consumer needs, companies can manufacture new products as per the market demand.
- Improved quality: Companies also track every step of the supply chain process from packaging to shipment to storage, to ensure that quality is maintained throughout the process. This helps companies reduce food-borne illnesses. They can track contaminated products from the source and track them to their warehouses, thus reducing impact of food-borne illnesses thus improving health and security of their consumers.
- Cost savings from predicting shelf life: Different products have different shelf lives from fresh produce to dried produce to fruit to spices and so on. Keeping tracking of shelf life of different products is a very complex process. Data engineers can analyze vast amounts of data and predict shelf life of different products and highlight items which are due for expiration thereby saving costs and minimizing waste.
- Predictive analytics to reduce costs: Refrigeration is the biggest cost for major grocers. Analytics and IoT devices are being used to track ambient temperatures to reduce cooling costs, and to ensure longevity of products. Predictive analytics can also be used to track which refrigerators and equipment are not operating optimally, and Maintenance teams can evaluate them and take corrective actions before failures occur, leading to cost savings and efficiency.
- Sentiment Analysis: With prolific use of social media and fast changing consumer needs, Food processing companies need to be abreast of customer needs. They leverage analytics by tracking trends on various social media platforms and identify consumer preferences and create products to match trending customer needs. They can also identify customers perception about their products and services and reconfigure accordingly.
- Promotions and Campaigns: Analyzing trends helps companies determine which campaigns yield best results, when to run campaigns, and which social media platforms to run campaigns on. Companies are adding custom URLs and parameters to determine which campaigns are yielding best results and which are not. They are also using blogs to determine consumer preferences by having senior decision makers in the company write and post blogs. Based on reviews received, they create product lines and generate new revenue streams.
- Data-driven personalization: Companies are using user personalization and current events to determine which products are most preferred by their customers and offer special deals on these. A lot of restauranteurs are relying on analytics to offer customized menus based on weather, time of the day, current events, etc.
With increased use of analytics in the years to come, managers in Food companies will be able to make decisive choices regarding supply & demand, raw material and consumer preferences, which will benefit their business. It will be exciting to see what creative new ideas will be devised to attract and retain consumers in the years to come.
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