“A key component of Givaudan’s 2025 strategy is a holistic digital transformation, and AI plays an important role. Customer Foresight is a great example of using AI, together with human intelligence, to get to the best result. With Customer Foresight, the AI can consider endless market aspects – from a country and segment to brand dynamics and product attributes.”
Delivering technical solutions to flavor and food development
Created at Givaudan’s Digital Factory in Paris, France, the Customer Foresight platform blends AI technology and Givaudan’s proprietary data and expertise, Prabhu said.
On the technology side, the Customer Foresight platform analyzes data and predicts potential upcoming trends, she said. And on the personnel side, a team of Customer Foresight experts, dubbed futurescapers, will serve as the “intermediary between our platform and our customers,” running scenarios that’ll lead to the creation of concepts and ultimately products, she added.
“The scope of applications is vast, but the aim is always to anticipate and shape the future by looking much further into the horizon. To illustrate the scope, we could imagine using the tool to answer such questions as, ‘What food and beverage product should we be launching next?, ‘How will climate change agendas evolve by 2030?,' and 'By 2030, how will health and nutritional needs of consumers evolve?'”
This year CPG brands are exploring its application in everything from streamlining marketing and communications to finding synbiotic food and beverage ingredients. For its part, Givaudan is focusing on how it can be used to innovate faster and more precisely, Prabhu said.
“AI technology is a hot topic, and we have been using it for some time to help us offer even more progressive food and beverage experiences for our customers: delivered in less time, more innovatively and with more precision. That said we see the human intervention piece continuing to augment smart technology and we don't see this going away.”
While the Customer Foresight platform is Givaudan’s latest AI-based tool for food and beverage innovation, the company has a long history of using digital capabilities to inform food and flavor creation and trend prediction, Prabhu noted.
The Virtual Aroma Synthesizer was created to speed up flavor creation by finding commonalities with flavors and their aromas based on geographical regions, according to Givaudan. And Givaudan’s Advanced Tools for Modelling tool can identify “positive and negative flavor drivers and explore ingredient synergies, to generate new options and insights aligned with consumer preferences,” she added.
Co-creating with customers on the future of food and flavor
With the Customer Foresight platform, Givaudan also has the chance to shake up the traditional dynamics between flavor houses and CPG companies (i.e., a CPG brand would approach a flavor house with a product brief and not the other way around). When asked about this, Prabhu explained that the company has always focused on co-innovating alongside its customers, and this technology provides "a starting point for [Givaudan] to work with them exploring a route they perhaps hadn’t before considered."
“Co-creation is a core approach for Givaudan and is an established way of working to bring the right experts, knowledge, tools, technologies and processes to our customers’ development work, ultimately leading to a greater likelihood of success. And Customer Foresight, on the right opportunity, can be one of our more exclusive co-creation offerings to add a new dimension never before imagined.”