Artificial Intelligence & The Competitive Edge in Food and Beverage

The Food and Beverage Industry has been at the forefront of the technology adoption curve for many years, from more advanced robotics on the manufacturing line to 3D printed alternatives to meat, innovation is embedded in the industry. With the growth of consumer interest around nutrition, environmental, social and corporate governance and overall food safety has growing significantly in the past 15 years, companies have been focused on delivering products to increasingly demanding consumers with transparency into their products as well as their operations.

The answer for corporations has often resulted in increased in implementation of technology but with new technology comes new food and beverage options, changes in how products are manufactured and produced, increased competition and even more questions…

Innova Identifies Top 10 Food and Beverage Trends to Accelerate Innovation in 2021

While the food and beverage industry’s top concern has been and continues to be pleasing the consumer and their ever-changing needs, the questions remain:

‘how can they remain competitive in this saturated fast paced industry?’

‘will consumers be willing to try products that are produced with the assistance of technology?’

‘how can we achieve the high industry standards and remain profitable?’

‘how can we make high quality food and beverages accessible to all communities?’


As illustrated by the graphic below, implementation and application of digital infrastructure is “extremely important” to food and beverage executives. Over 40% of respondents reported that Artificial Intelligence and IOT are extremely important, a bit less than ERP or mobile technologies but this could be due to perceived complications in AI adoption. The executives also shared that their top concerns were inventory management, food safety and manufacturing process/ assembly, each of which can be addressed through the application of Artificial Intelligence.

TOP tech with food and beverage 
Type and process 
According to the RSM Digital Transfcymation Survey for the food and beverage industry. 
middle market executives indicated a focus on digital has become an even higher priority 
than cuer befcye. What's hnpcvtant to them in terms Of digital type and how do these 
technologies help their business processes? 
The top five digital applications or technologies 
ranked "extremely important" include: 
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Artificial intelligence (43%) 
Mobile technologies (48%) 
5 
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Supply chain tracking and monitoring (40%) 
Executives also ranked "to a great extent" the ways 
digital addressed these business processes: 
40% 
Inventory management 
40% 
Food safety 
Manufacturing process/assembly 
Customer service center 
33% 
32% 
Supply chain/production control 
Warehouse management 
Harnessing the power of deitalcan be cornplex and requies cyganizatimal change mulagernent and 
expertise to create a vision and process custcm to the needs Of the enterprise. An outskie perspective 
may be need ed to help evaluate and consideratims. Engage cmsultants who have deep 
industry experience to ensure you're getting the best digital strategy gudance. 
Conta us to the the nvaCt Of dist* truwfcxrnatk:n Learn 
map with st growth effcrts 
THE POWER OF BEING UNDERSTOOD 
AUDIT TAX CONSULTING 
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Source: RSM

“Complications of AI adoption aside, one fact is clear: F&B companies must invest in new innovations to cut costs, grow revenue, and stay current with consumer trends.

CIO Pride

The mainstream media has focused its coverage on the most innovative science and technology in the industry but the real benefit is derived from the operational application of Artificial Intelligence. Maestro Artificial Intelligence allows corporations to focus on internal innovation while optimizing the value chain and providing significant benefit with unmatched speed to value. In one example, Maestro AI allows plants the opportunity to reduce waste, thus furthering Net-Zero goals, while also increasing production uptime and yield to get products on the shelves.

This level of digital technology has never been more important to F&B as they are constantly tackling razor thin margins and cost as leading decision makers. Many manufacturers and producers have to question, should we build or should we buy? Many times it may seem more practical to build, especially without centralized control centers and disparate systems, but the team at Elutions has found time and again, from clients who have learned the hard way, that partnering with an industry expert is the more cost effective way forward. The way forward lies in gaining a competitive advantage by partnering with a provider like Elutions, with years of experience working with and connecting to existing systems in order to provide speed to value for clients and a true Artificial Intelligence Platform in Maestro, rather than the big tech players, who merely offer tools.

Maestro AI is proven to optimize the value chain and allow clients more flexibility to innovate while maintaining operational excellence and a competitive edge. To learn more about Maestro AI and Elutions, contact us.

Click subscribe below to be kept up to date and notified of our upcoming articles, including the next piece in the February Series- Food, Beverage and Artificial Intelligence.


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Enterprise Artificial Intelligence – Academic Theory or Ready for Primetime?

Solvetheunsolvable has already explored various aspects of consumer AI and products purporting to leverage AI technologies, but is AI for Enterprise ready for primetime?

Investors aren’t the only ones betting big on Artificial Intelligence, it turns out Higher Education is also investing heavily into the space. With heavy investment in research and development, enterprise level AI seems to be having a rocky start.  Earlier this month Northeastern University allocated $50 million to an Institute for Experiential Artificial Intelligence. This institute will be dedicated to uniting leading experts to solve the world’s unsolvable problems.

“This new institute, the first of its kind, will focus on enabling artificial intelligence and humans to collaborate interactively around solving problems in health, security, and sustainability. We believe that the true promise of AI lies not in its ability to replace humans, but to optimize what humans do best.”


Northeastern President Joseph E. Aoun

This isn’t Northeastern’s first step into the world of Artificial Intelligence and Automation. They already have an Institute for Experiential Robotics that is bringing together engineers, sociologists and other experts, including economists, to design and build robots with abilities to learn and execute human behaviors.  Northeastern isn’t just building Institutes for experts to conduct research, they are making it a priority to prepare their students for success in the age of artificial intelligence. They have an entire curriculum dedicated to what they call, humanics which is a key part of their strategic plan, Northeastern 2025.

Northeastern 2025 Promo Video

“We are building on substantial strengths across all colleges in the university,” said Carla Brodley, dean of the Khoury College of Computer Sciences. “Experiential AI is highly relevant to our mission.”

Though Northeastern is an example of one university betting heavily on AI, they are not alone in their quest to equip students with proper education for the AI-enabled future. In fact, government agencies are getting involved in funding AI in Education. The UK has pledged to invest £400 million in math, digital and technical education through the government’s AI sector deal to protect Britain’s technology sector amid Brexit and an additional £13 million for postgraduate education on AI. In the US, just a few days ago, the National Science Foundation announced a joint federal program to fund research focused on artificial intelligence at colleges, universities and nonprofit or nonacademic organizations focused on educational or research activities. 

The National Science Foundation is awarding $120 million to fund planning grants and support up to six institutes, but there’s a catch. Each institute must have a principal focus on at least one of six themes:

  • Trustworthy AI
  • Foundations of Machine Learning
  • AI-Driven Innovation in Agriculture and the Food System
  • AI-Augmented Learning
  • AI for Accelerating Molecular Synthesis and Manufacturing
  • AI for Discovery in Physics

As universities and governments bet big on the future of AI and education, it underscores the importance of AI on a global scale in the future, but does it call into question the current existence of AI solutions ready to take business to the next level? Utilizing AI and automation will be imperative for corporations to remain competitive and for the advancement of business, but when will the floodgates be swept open, and by who, remains a mystery.

Will you leap into the future and embrace AI now? How do you see the futuristic vision of enterprise AI transform your business? Challenge Solvetheunsolvable with your business conundrum or leave your thoughts in the comments below and let’s explore what AI can do for you. 


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Robotics: Automation or Artificial Intelligence?

The rise of robotics – a long touted seismic shift in human existence, the day an inanimate creature is brought to life.  A scary reality in the minds of many conspiracy theorists, and a reality many tech leaders would have us believe is already upon us.  But how close are we to engineering a robotic race?

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

George Orwell, 1984

It’s difficult to not think about physical robots tackling common human tasks when we see the word robotics, but now robotics refers to a much larger application of technology and rising industry. Robotics refers to a focus on creating efficiency and replicating mundane tasks, a world that exists beyond purely physical robots, giving rise to automation bots.

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is an example of an automation bot operating in a digital world. You may be thinking, obviously it’s automation, it’s even in the name, but what is RPA? Used to perform simple, repetitive tasks, such as data entry, RPA is a programmable “bot” that automates a process in order to free up more time for humans that would otherwise be doing these mundane tasks. RPA cannot be considered Artificial Intelligence as it does not have the ability to understand the implications of the tasks it is performing, or predict future scenarios arising from the performance of these tasks.

Amazon Scout

In contrast, Amazon’s Scout is out on the streets in California, a physical robot, making package deliveries.  This Scout robot may be physical and operate in the real world but similarly to RPA it is another example of automation, lacking human intuition. Just like RPA this Scout robot is programmed to deliver a package straight to your door, removing this repetitive task, lessening the burden on man and machine, but the bot is not capable of modifying the delivery location to the back door under the overhang when rain is predicted, unless the delivery instructions are explicitly programmed to do so.  Far from artificial intelligence, the Scout is simply a machine programmed to automate a repetitive human function.

While individuals commonly mistake robotics as artificial intelligence, it’s important to understand why RPA and delivery robots are not examples of true artificial intelligence. Are they intelligent bots? Maybe. They certainly process and execute complicated instructions and factor many variables, but they lack inherent cognitive function.  Humans are constantly concerned about the demise of humanity as robots are brought to life, but because artificial intelligence still lacks the ability to replicate common sense, the rise of the robotic race will still remain in the halls of science fiction.



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