Digital Food & Beverage 2020

July 20 - 22, 2020

Hilton Austin, TX

To Create a Truly Digital Supply Chain, Anheuser-Busch Is Using Artificial Intelligence, Data, and More

Brought to you by WBR Insights



Digital transformation is a hot topic in the food and beverage industry right now and companies are finding new ways to incorporate innovative technology into their existing business models.

Artificial intelligence is helping machines perform tasks with greater precision and efficiency than ever before, and the resultant reams of data are allowing for a far greater understanding of the inner workings of business than would have previously been possible. Of course, all this new technology comes with fresh challenges - such as a more complicated regulatory environment to negotiate - but those brands with the entrepreneurial passion to overcome them can see great rewards.

One such brand is world-famous beverage brewer, Anheuser-Busch.

Anheuser-Busch

As a producer of household name drink brands such as Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch has a reputation for being at the top of its game, and this is something the company takes very seriously - especially when it comes to digital transformation.

You may not realize it when you crack open an ice-cold beer at a family gathering or on a big night out with friends, but an awful lot of work and technology has gone into getting that drink from the fields to your hands.

The company even has a special innovation center located in the heart of the digital world, Silicon Valley. Dubbed the Beer Garage, the research facility is dedicated to developing emerging technologies which can drive the digital beverage industry even further forwards. Technology such as virtual reality and robotics are all on the table at the Beer Garage, but the focus isn't just on creating more revenue for the company.

"We're involved in many better-world initiatives," said Senior Director of Global Business Transformation at Anheuser-Busch, Jay Emery. "We consume a large amount of energy and raw materials - water, grains, hops - and we're focused on giving back. We've set ambitious sustainability goals to achieve by 2025 that will directly benefit our farmers, their communities, our packaging, and the world."

Technology is at the core of Anheuser-Busch and one of the biggest components of that is found in its use of big data.

Big Data

In the fields where the barley is grown which will eventually be brewed into delicious beer, Anheuser-Busch uses AI-powered drones to predict crop yields and decide on optimum harvest times. This swarm of robotic devices works tirelessly to ensure the grain which goes into Anheuser-Busch's premium beverage products is of the very best quality.

The data generated by these robots is put to work at all levels of the growing process and throughout the business - from the supply chain to sales.

This deep focus on data has led to the opening of a brand-new Growth Analytics Center in India, which is staffed by dozens of data scientists who are dedicated to using digital information to drive every single part of the business. This includes determining the best time for the barley farmers to their plant seeds, right up to making sure customers get the best deals.

"Our data scientists use AI and machine learning capabilities to look at our current and historical data," explains Chetan Kundavaram, Global Director at Anheuser-Busch. "They're identifying patterns we can use to optimize prices and promotions and achieve the highest possible levels of customer retention and adoption. We aim to get the right message to the right consumer at the right time, including texting or emailing customers on their birthday and offering a special promotion for their favorite beer. The company is consolidating all this data and moving it to the cloud, where advanced analytics extract more business value from existing information and build customer loyalty."

Final Thoughts

Digital technology is changing the way food and beverage products are produced and brought to consumers. Anheuser-Bush is leading the way with its powerful robotics and data innovations. We can't wait to see what emerges from the Beer Garage next.


You can hear Anheuser-Busch's Global Vice President of Ecommerce at ZX Ventures, Guilherme Lebelson, and Head of Ecommerce for North America, Carolyn Littlefield, speak at Digital Food and Beverage 2019, taking place in July, at the Hyatt Regency Austin, TX.

Download the agenda today for more information and insights.