Dole is the largest fruit and vegetable producer in the world. The company sells fresh fruits and vegetables and has a packaged foods business in many markets. The multinational firm has a reach that extends to more than 90 countries across the globe with over 170 fresh and packaged food products.
Being in the CPG space where consumer trends ebb and flow constantly, brands are continually looking for ways they can understand their customers’ needs better, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, when people were locked in their homes and were looking for products that would aid them to cope with the pandemic and boost their health. To stay on top of these trends, Dole wanted to explore a technology solution to identify opportunities in the beverage and snacking space.
MONITORING CONSUMER NEEDS
“I find technology is a vital tool in monitoring whether or not the products in your current portfolio are relevant, whether they are in people’s minds and whether they are constantly being spoken about by your target market,” said Nicole Rodriguez, the then Category Lead for Snacks at Dole Philippines.
Dole partnered with Ai Palette and used its proprietary trendspotting tool, ‘Foresight Engine’, to derive insights into their consumers’ preferences, especially in the Philippines health and wellness space, a significant growth area.
“I would say that through the Foresight Engine, we were able to… deep dive on specifics such as trending ingredients, consumption occasions, flavour pairings, benefits and other similar factors. We were able to pick apart our products and create this ideal product for our consumers,” Nicole said.
She added that AI-powered technology had helped her and her company get into organic conversations. The technology gave them a micro-level view to identifying what their customers were talking about in terms of preferences.
NAVIGATING THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
Technology helped the team at Dole navigate the pandemic, keeping them engaged with their consumers even when they could not physically step outside of their homes. The team could look at things consumers shared online. The team could understand what people were looking for and their questions, which helped them better serve their customers.
Nicole and her team, armed with insights from Ai Palette, were able to see an opportunity in a growing space in a critical market for their company and ultimately launch the right products that their customers were seeking.
“I see that it is worth exploring AI technology because things are so fast-changing nowadays, Nicole explained and added that you get diverse data sources from various sources that help you get more accurate insights.
This article contains excerpts from the webinar on ‘How CPG Brands Can Use AI To Spot Trends And Create Their Next Bestseller’. To watch the full webinar and download the 2022 Philippines Food and Beverage Trends report, click on this link.