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29 June 2023

PepsiCo joins Stanford project on “responsible AI”

US food-and-beverage giant PepsiCo is to work with Stanford University on research into artificial intelligence. 

The Pepsi Max and Gatorade owner is to conduct studies alongside the California-based university into “ethical and responsible AI”. 

In a statement, PepsiCo and Stanford said they would focus their efforts in four areas: supply chains; the direct-to-consumer channel; organisational design; and sustainability. 

Athina Kanioura, PepsiCo’s chief strategy and transformation officer, said the company’s work with Stanford gave the company a “unique opportunity to engage with a community of leading experts, academics and engineers to understand the implications of this advancing technology and how it will enhance the human experience”. 

Kanioura added: “As AI becomes more prevalent across the CPG industry, it is increasingly important to recognise the significance of ethical AI and its impact.” 

Stanford set up its Institute for Human-Centered Artificial Intelligence four years ago “to guide and build the future of AI”. 

The institute’s founding “corporate members” were Google, IBM and US financial-services group Wells Fargo. 

PepsiCo is the first CPG company to work with the institute. “It is great to see PepsiCo, a global food and beverage corporation, prioritise the ethical application of AI in order to ensure that their products and services align with societal needs and values,” James Landay, the institute’s faculty director of research, said. 

The research into supply chains will look at how CPG groups can use AI in areas such as forecasting. Sustainability studies will dig into how the technology can support moves to lower emissions and improve agricultural yields.

19 July 2023

Hungary’s Hell Energy to launch AI-developed drink

Hell Energy, the Hungary-based energy-drinks business, is preparing to launch a product the company used AI to develop. 

The company said it will roll out the “tutti-frutti and berry blast” Hell A.I. in more than 60 countries in the next four months. 

Hell Energy said it used artificial intelligence to capture and analyse online data on ingredients, consumer feedback, sales figures and industry trends. 

The business released few further details about Hell A.I.’s recipe except to say the drink a “blend of vitamins and amino acids”. 

Information on where the beverage is being made is also closely guarded. The company said only that the site was “one of Europe’s most cutting-edge energy drink factories”. 

In a statement, Hell Energy added: “This groundbreaking development signifies a new era for the food industry, where AI systems analyse vast amounts of data in minutes, accelerating product development cycles from years to a matter of weeks. Collaborative efforts among numerous AI systems drive innovation, pushing boundaries previously thought impossible.”

7 June 2023

AI can boost online wine sales, US tech firm claims

The use of artificial intelligence tools can boost online wine sales, a US web platform has claimed., which works with e-commerce retailers and marketplaces, said research with an unnamed online retailer showed how its AI-powered software can “dramatically increase online wine shoppers’ engagement”. 

The company, which started out as a direct-to-consumer operator, sells AI “products” to retailers covering “personalised” wine recommendations for drinkers and better business forecasting. 

“Our AI platform represents a big step forward for the alcohol industry by helping merchants give people of legal drinking age a genuinely optimised shopping experience,” Zac Brandenberg, the co-founder and CEO of, said. 

The study, based off of 275,000 impressions from online shoppers, used’s AI tools, to present wine shoppers with bottles “tailored” to them, based on bottle and label attributes and “inferred customer behaviour”, the company said. 

Without providing specific numbers, claimed the study saw a “dramatic increase in orders” and generated a higher click-through rate, more products added to carts and consumers marketing wines as ‘favourites’ more often. 

“Over a recent 90-day period, application of Drinks’ AI increased actual sales by over 200% compared to a non-AI-enabled baseline,” said, again without disclosing specific figures.