How AI is likely to transform the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) Industry

Top 10 Real World Artificial Intelligence Applications | AI Applications | Edureka

The future is Artificial Intelligence (AI), and various industries are investing heavily in creating self-evolving AI applications. The CPG industry (consumer packaged goods) has till now been somewhat dormant and is looking at opportunities to improve efficiency and reduce expenses. Amazon, Microsoft and Facebook have been among the front runners in this domain. Amazon, for instance, spends more than 10% of its yearly revenues on Tech research, whereas top CPG companies are still at 1-2%. This is changing and changing fast, more and more CPG players recognize the hidden power and are putting in robust efforts in the area.

Expansion of AI Application in the CPG Industry

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Overall, the possibilities of AI application in the CPG industry is infinite. However, presently the state of AI application is still at a stage of infancy, lagging far behind other sectors such as retail and technology. Even though investment in AI from CPG companies has considerably increased, most companies are still working on identifying the critical applications with high business impact. In 2015, CPG firms, on average, spent 0.66% of revenue on AI application. This percentage is expected to keep increasing until a precise evaluation of their AI maturity is established. This article will discuss the areas in which CPG companies can expect to find successful applications of AI.

Consumer Feedback

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Receiving feedback from customers at a massive scale usually involves leveraging natural language processing (NLP) programs for sentiment evaluation. Fundamentally, NLP focuses on teaching a machine to infer the gist of raw text. It is tremendously valuable but more complicated and resource-demanding than processing structured data. Structured data is greatly systematized and easily cognized by machine language. For instance, an AI program will be easily able to compute names, credit card numbers, geo-locations, stock data, etc. Analyzing customer sentiment, on the other hand, requires much more resources. The analysis is only the first step. A comprehensive AI-powered system must also be able to integrate ways to convey this analysis to the company’s customer feedback manager in plain and simple terms so that essential modifications can be made.

For instance, Hitachi devised a way to analyze customer feedback in a bid to reduce food wastage. They conducted a test in a hospital where trolleys mounted with cameras were used to collect trays from patients. The camera clicked images of the leftovers, and machine learning was used to detect the patterns of leftovers. In future servings, these wasted food items were not included in the patients’ meals.

Supply Chain

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Another heavily researched field of AI application in the CPG industry is forecasting consumer demands. The data of wasted and sold food items in the past can help businesses efficiently forecast market demands. At the retail level, supermarkets will be able to stock precise amounts of food, considerably reducing wastage and avoiding stock shortages. CPG companies can easily supervise product locations and stock availability using AI tools that will eliminate the need for manual labor and boost effectiveness in logistics.

For example, when a major apparel company was faced with exceeding supply chain expenses, their products were not being able to reach potential customers, making lost sales a critical problem. Even a 1% recovery could provide a substantial increase in its yearly revenue. The company implemented AI to examine its products and discover how in-demand they were in the eyes of the customer. This application of AI was able to forecast precise classifications by store and by item. The AI program was able to predict which store would sell which item, ranking each item in terms of expected demand. Based on this analysis, the company was able to cut down on excess inventory and provide its customers with improved product-availability.


The New Era of Marketing Strategy

A recent Nielsen survey revealed that over seventy per cent of CPG investment in marketing fail to breakeven. The major problem that CPG companies have when it comes to marketing is that they fail to integrate forecasting and planning in order to find the best promotional solutions. AI has the capability to introduce a data-driven method for CPG industry marketers. Powered by historical data, they can easily detect which marketing avenues are expected to generate maximum returns. An efficient program will be able to forecast and make recommendations on whether an in-store marketing tactic like – ‘buy two, get one free offer’ is the most effective for a specific product or brand, or if television advertisements will give the desired results.

AI programs can evaluate thousands of scenarios, incorporating even the littlest amounts of data before providing the ideal suggestion on which promotional channel will deliver the best results. Providing marketers with vital data like this is the only way for CPG companies to implement operationalized marketing projects on a large-scale yet cost-effective manner.

Pitfalls to avoid

The world's 40 largest fast moving consumer goods companies

CPG companies find themselves in a perfect place to make the most out of the AI boom. The technology is widely accepted as useful, and there are several verified methodologies shaped by other industries. By analyzing companies that are already reaping the benefits of AI application, the key takeaways include –

  • AI as a means, not an end – CPGs can apply AI to various aspects of their business operations and get augmented results. However, this is only possible when AI application is treated as a means to help workers, not eliminate them. For instance, when applying AI in marketing, any substantial discoveries or predictions should be provided to the experts in the marketing team so that they can then make even more informed decisions.
  • Streamlined Approach – CPG companies should avoid incorporating AI into every aspect of the business. Launching ten initiatives at once will more than likely result in those projects being stuck in the development phase for the next ten years. Companies must narrow down on one or two aspects of their business in order to have a better chance of delivering mass-scale results.

CPG company heads must stop viewing AI investment as “research projects” and welcome it as a way of carrying out day to day business tasks. Accepting the use of data-driven models in departments where employee intuition has always led operations can be a challenging and combative change. There is lot that CPG companies can achieve by using AI applications to support business but choosing the right initiative may be the key to its successful implementation.

Microservices: New face to app development

Mobile device users are rapidly becoming the user’s favored instruments of choice for browsing the Internet. With market leaders centering on providing customers with exceptional user experiences, we are now seeing a rapid rise in consumer expectations, which compels, including the innovation of the mobile experiences you offer. Just implementing a mobile-first approach isn’t sufficient anymore. While your users may make-do with a responsive website in the early period, a shift to mobile apps provides you substantial leverage over your contemporaries. The key to successful mobile applications isn’t just limited to excellent design and continuous development. The development teams need to speed up the delivery of benefits that mobile apps offer to users. Implementation of the agile procedure, adopting a DevOps strategy, and making a move to the microservices model of creating a cloud-based application gives you a unique business advantage. Microservices enable the development teams to own the entire project development cycle. It provides much-needed flexibility in mobile app development services. Teams can work upon the data collected from users to incorporate changes within the app components on a real-time basis resulting in the DevOps procedure becoming more dynamic and the development teams more agile.

Flexible integration and code creation suit rapidly changing, customer-facing apps, which pushes businesses to evaluate microservices for mobile applications. Microservices in mobile application development boost modularization — breaking the architecture apart into independent services and groups of services. With services lined up around business function and still secluded from each other, developers can deliver the quick updates and recent feature releases that mobile users expect. Since microservices communicate via APIs, mobile application developers can opt for the most appropriate technology stack and language for each service or business flow, instead of limiting the entire project to one. However, microservices aren’t the only way to business mobile app development. Low-code platforms also tout a simple procedure to build mobile apps.

What are Microservices?

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Microservices architecture is an essential architectural innovation that is a useful alternative for building complicated software applications. It involves the fragmentation of large applications into loosely coupled smaller services. Each microservice focuses on separate business functionality. Every microservice can be independently deployed, tweaked with, and redeployed without compromising the application integrity — the loose combination of microservices lead to the facilitation of rapid deployments. The features build as a result of user feedback, thus quickly reach the users.

How do microservices differ from conventional development practices?

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In the conventional monolithic app architecture, designs all the constituents of the code as a single, cohesive unit in which the constituents are independent and interconnected. Any updates the developers require to make results in alterations made to the whole stack. Adopting a new framework or shifting to a new tech stack needs a substantial overhaul and rewriting of the entire code. In contrast, microservices architecture has the system distributed into individual services that can run as autonomous processes and communicate with each other, utilizing APIs. Containerization enables the encapsulation of the services, and operations run in parallel, thereby making the existing infrastructure easy to maintain. Any changes or updates performed on individual services without affecting the entire system.

Benefits of microservices architecture in app development

Benefits of Microservices Architecture

  • Improved productivity and agility

Microservices are made, deployed, and tested individually of other components in the system, which results in enhanced team agility and rapid iteration cycles. The developers have the elasticity to use the framework or language most appropriate for the functionality developed; this ramps up productivity by radically reducing the amount of code to be written. It also increases the maintainability of the application. Breaking down complex apps into manageable services improves the performance of agile teams.

  • Accelerated velocity and scalability

Scaling of various microservices components at runtime takes place individually; this facilitates more productive resource utilization. We can shift the workload of an element to an infrastructure that is best suited for the task. Microservices offer accelerated development speed combined with on-demand scalability. The flexibility of the cloud-native environments can be effortlessly leveraged by the microservices making scaling cost-effective through optimal use of infrastructural resources. Microservices also ensures that the application is more responsive to market requirements. The agile methodology enables you to roll out robust digital capabilities in response to real-time market requirements.

  • Continuous deployment

In conventional monolithic systems, dedicated teams work on distinct functions. The introduction of microservices leads to cross-functional teams managing the complete application lifecycle in a continuous delivery model. With various team members, including testers, developers, and operations teams working simultaneously on a development testing, single service and debugging takes place in continual iterations. The incremental development results in a constant cycle which writes, tests, and deploys the code consistently while incorporating relevant feedback.

  • The rise in cross-functional teams

Carrying out software development and deployment could be a tedious job when, while working with extended teams. Microservices result in improved independence for the developer. They can work independently, resulting in faster decision making. The cross-functional teams in microservices architecture consist of empowered individuals who can make faster decisions. Working in smaller groups and close-knit teams result in more freedom to the individual team members and quicker technical decision making.

  • Flexibility in utilizing technologies and access to a broader talent pool

Since each developed microservice can be written using different technology, the development team is free to opt for the tech stack that would be most suitable for the specific service. Decoupled services written in various programming languages can easily coexist, add new components continuously, and perform scaling at an individual level. The flexibility that microservices offer also enables you access to a broader talent pool.


While the business profits of shifting to a microservices architecture are huge, the transformation needs to be sensibly monitored and strategically implemented. Implementing a DevOps culture, with robust monitoring is essential for an effective shift to the microservices architecture. The ramp in flexibility and speed has to balance with an associated increase in complexity.

Criterias to Consider When Choosing an Email Hosting Provider

Business Email Hosting Solutions.

For business communications, your first choice of getting in touch is likely to be email. It’s quick, easy and unlike the many messaging apps, everybody has it. You can send it internally and externally, attach documents or add links and use it for all manner of purposes. For a business, an own-domain email address is essential. However, while there are plenty of email services you can use, not all of them are the same. Here, we’ll explain what things you need to look for when finding a business emailhosting provider.

1. Security

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As virtually everyone has an email address, email has become a popular tool for cybercriminals. Aside from the mountain of spam that can clog up your inbox and waste hours of your employees’ time, emails are used to defraud, to phish, to spread malware and to ransom computers. For businesses, not only is there the threat that comes from receiving, opening and acting on these emails, there is also the potential of unknowingly passing on malware to recipients, including your customers, from an infected computer. In addition, some cybercriminals may send fake emails in your company’s name to try and scam your customers.

All of these threats can have damaging consequences for your business and its reputation; that’s why you need solutions that will minimise the security risks. These include email scanning and filtering tools that detect spam, phishing and malware, preventing them from arriving in your inbox and stopping infected emails being unwittingly sent. Also, look for emailsigning certificates that both verify the legitimacy of your outgoing emails to customers and secure its contents, including attachments, by encryption. You should also look for email backup services that ensure your communications are never lost and can be easily restored.

For businesses that need to comply with regulations like GDPR and ISO, you may want to consider enterprise-level email. This detects, alerts and blocks sensitive content from being sent, as well as archiving emails and providing powerful auditing tools.

2. Reliability

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The sending and receiving of timely communications are vital for companies. When your phone call ends with, ‘I’ll emailit now,’ or your website tells customers, ‘Check your inbox’, most people will sit waiting for the delivery. When it doesn’t happen, it leads to disappointment and sometimes to the loss of business. Companies cannot afford their emails to be hosted on unreliable servers that frequently go down. As a minimum, you should look for a guaranteed 99% uptime and, if needed, choose enterprise email that offers 100% uptime.

3. Accessibility

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Whether you are sending or receiving, email should be easy. You should be able to access it in the office or on the go, on computers or mobile devices and via both web portals and email clients such as Outlook. You should also have the option of using both Pop3 and IMAP access. What’s more, your email should be synced so that everything is available on all devices.

Make sure that your hosting provides the level of accessibility your business needs, especially if you have remote employees who need to send and receive away from the office.

4. More than just email

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Email services should do much more than let you send and receive communications. They should also provide you with the ability to manage your contact lists, calendars and tasks, share files securely and fully integrate with clients like Outlook. This valuable suite of features makes it easier for your business to communicate and for employees to collaborate and manage their schedules or projects.

5. Adequate storage

Whether it’s for compliance or future reference, many of the emails we receive, together with their attachments, will be kept in our inboxes or archives. Over time, the amount of storage you will need increases, especially if you regularly send or receive large attachments.

It is important, therefore, that you choose a provider that offers email packages with gradually increasing storage. This means, as your storage needs grow, you can upgrade to a larger package without having to migrate your email to a new host.

6. Enough email addresses for your needs

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Even very small companies often need multiple email addresses, some for individuals, some for departments (e.g. sales@) or some for specific purposes (e.g. info@ or newsletter@). You will often find various options available from email providers; at Anteelo, for example, our packages range from a single email address to unlimited addresses, so as your company grows, you can upgrade when it is appropriate to do so. Make sure you choose a host that provides packages which offer you enough addresses for your current needs and the flexibility to grow.

7. Easy management

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Another consideration is the ease at which you can manage your email service, carrying out such tasks as adding or deleting email addresses or configuring your account settings. The quality of the control panel you use for this purpose is key. Control panels like cPanel and Plesk are ideal for this purpose, enabling you to manage your email from the same interface as you run your website and offering a suite of tools to improve the email service. cPanel, for example, can compress email on delivery, helping minimise the amount of storage you need.

8. 24/7 technical support

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As email is essential, it is critical that, should you encounter any problems or need assistance, support is available 24/7. Check carefully that your email provider offers technical support, not just customer service, so that you can be confident an expert can help you out there and then.


Businesses rely on emails to deliver their services. Being almost universally used, they are necessary for both internal and external communications. Choosing the right email hosting solution is crucial to ensure you have a secure, reliable and fully featured service that is accessible, flexible and easy to manage.

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