Though data and food can seem like they’re entirely incompatible—at lunchtime most of us are focused on carbs instead of numbers, after all—they get along a lot easier than it may appear. Data analytics can be used to help improve eating habits, dietary health, and the food options that consumers have available to them, and are becoming an essential tool for food and beverage companies to understand what their customers want and need. Here are five key ways that food and beverage companies can use analytics and data to make positive changes to their products and practices:
Analytics in Food and Beverage Industry
1. Streamline profit and revenue management: The use of food and beverage analytics solutions can help companies to understand where the majority of their profits come from, what their pricing strategies should reflect, and how their businesses can perform better. It can also help them to compare their pricing practices to other companies within the same industry, giving them a good idea of where they stand and how they can change to become more competitive.
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2. Improve marketing: Food and beverage companies can use data and analytics about what products people are buying from their stores or brands to more effectively market to them. For example, a company that saw that its blueberry muffins were experiencing extreme popularity could entice customers to buy more of them, and more of other products, through deals, coupons, and personalized offers. This also makes email and digital marketing more effective, allowing companies to target customers who have a history of purchasing a particular product. For example, a beverage company could target customers who frequently purchase coffee to advertise a new variety of cappuccino.
3. Inventory management: Analytics helps food and beverage companies predict future demand, allowing them to manage their stock accordingly. In this way, companies are able to avoid overstocking and wasting of products and ingredients, as well as under stocking and not being able to meet industry demands. With the insights derived from analytics, businesses can know which products to keep in stock on a regular basis and which have low or seasonal demand, saving time, money, and product.
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4. Keep up with changing dietary needs: As more people around the world, and especially in North America, adopt vegan, vegetarian, or just more restricted diets, food and beverage companies have to adapt in order to retain their customers. Companies often use food data analytics to understand what their customers’ dietary habits are and how they can take steps to better meet their needs. Ben and Jerry’s, for example, recently recognized the need for dairy-free ice cream options and are capitalizing on this under-served segment of the market with the release of seven non-dairy flavors, much to the delight of vegan and lactose intolerant ice cream lovers everywhere. Listening to what your customers want will help you to retain them and build customer loyalty, reducing the risk of losing them to specialty brands or other companies.
Applying analytics to food and beverage company practices makes their products safer, their customers happier, and their business practices, marketing, and supply chain more effective. It helps to form data-based strategies, plan for the future, and reduce waste and environmental harm. The benefits that food and beverage companies gain from the use of analytics also trickle down to their customers, helping to build brand loyalty and increase customer satisfaction.