One of the main challenges facing the population in an over-informed society such as today's is depending on reliable sources for information and advice on how to improve their eating habits and choices. People are increasingly aware of the need to change to healthier and more sustainable habits, but many times the information is not clear or we rely on non-verified sources such as social networks. For this reason, it is essential that the entire food system be involved in the objective of moving towards a better and more transparent food future, something essential to achieve a healthier population and reduce the environmental impact of food.
In this system, supermarket chains can play a relevant role if they are willing to help consumers understand their nutritional needs and habits and identify the products that best meet their needs.
AI-Food intends to be a solution that helps supermarkets to contribute towards a better food system. It is an app that has a recommendation system that provides consumers with personalized information and advice on how to improve their eating habits and choices.
To launch AI-Food, a pilot project has been carried out within the call "2021 Fast Track Innovation Activities", promoted by EIT Food, the European innovation community that aims to transform our food ecosystem, making it more sustainable, healthy and of confidence through technological solutions.
The app integrates with the supermarket's loyalty card program, being available as an additional functionality. Through this feature, the user scans their grocery receipts from other food establishments outside the supermarket, adding them to the information already available that is given by being part of the loyalty program. In this way, the AI system can analyze the global shopping behavior and give precise personalized recommendations, since it is based on the customer's profile and on all the food products in their global shopping basket, not just the products that the consumer buys in the supermarket.
AI-Food allows the improvement of the exchange of information between consumers and brands. By enabling data collection and analysis, the app could also help brands predict patterns of consumer behavior such as purchase frequency, format sizes, etc., avoiding stock shortages and other supply issues. In addition, they could contribute to reducing environmental impact by promoting local products or suggesting products with a short expiration date to avoid food waste. And last but not least, giving their consumers personalized recommendations of their interest, such as healthier offers or suggestions, and helping to focus education campaigns towards healthy options.
The proposal is led by AI Talentum and has Eroski and Art21 as partners. Eroski is one of the 250 most important retail companies in the world in 2019, and is the fifth in sales revenue in Spain in 2020, in relation to revenue from the food sector. It has more than 6 million registered customers in its partner program that could benefit from the above mentioned utilities. ART21 is an innovative Lithuanian company, innovation leader for agriculture, food and related industries in the Baltic States.
While AI Talentum and ART21 have been in charge of the technical development of the project, Eroski has carried out an internal test of the application to assess whether such a tool could fit into its strategy of continuous improvement and value creation for its clients.