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How consumer goods companies are unlocking the power of data

Did you know that an incredible 90% of all data in existence today was created in just the last two years? We’re talking about 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day.

I recently shared this mind-blowing fact along with awesome customer success stories and our strategic approach at the Consumer Goods Forum 2019. In case you haven’t been, it’s a veritable ‘who’s who’ in consumer goods attends this flagship event, including more than 1,000 C-level executives from over 70 countries.

It was incredible for me to see so many household-name brands thinking about how to unlock the power of their data, how to use AI and other technologies to create more innovative products, and how to get so much closer to their consumers. Another very consistent themes I heard was around how to leverage data for sustainability and our environment.

Of course, the world we live in now is increasingly digital and data is on overdrive. We’re seeing disruption and change everywhere, driven by the explosion of that data. It’s being generated at a break-neck pace, flooding out of the dozens of connected devices we use every day at work and at home, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

With all this data at our disposal, why does Nielsen data show that 80% of new product launches by fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) companies fail? It’s all about what they’re doing with their data, how they’re storing it, analyzing it, continuing to reevaluate it and creating digital feedback loops with it.

So how can consumer goods companies unlock their data to deliver more authentic brand experiences, be good for the planet or increase their speed to market? At the Consumer Goods Forum, I talked about the importance of data to the future of consumer goods companies and how our work with Starbucks and Carlsberg demonstrates a number of strategic consumer goods scenarios that show we are partnering with them to unlock the power of that data.


Microsoft is partnering with Starbucks on several initiatives, including one called bean-to-cup. It’s a real-time, data-fueled approach to transparency and traceability using Blockchain. It gives:

  1. Customers details on where their coffee was sourced and roasted, as well as tasting notes
  2. Farmers access to data, such as where their beans end up in consumers’ cups; and
  3. Starbucks digital, “real-time traceability” to its supply chains all the way from bean/farm to cup


Founded in 1847, Carlsberg is now using technology to create beer.

Faced with increasing global competition from large, established brands as well as smaller more niche microbreweries, the company wanted to get closer to its customers in innovative new ways. So Carlsberg launched its Beer Fingerprinting Project, which uses AI solutions, including machine learning algorithms, to measure the flavors and aromas created by yeast and other ingredients.

For instance, sensors can tell the difference between various pilsners and lagers, and researchers are now fine-tuning the system to help them produce better tasting beer. And they’re working to map a flavor fingerprint for each sample to reduce the time it takes to research taste combinations and processes by up to a third, which will help the company get more distinct beers to market faster.

We are all creating more data every single day, adding to a phenomenal – a growing – trove of information across the globe. For consumer goods companies, turning this data into useful and actionable insights that help them deliver personal experiences and develop new products we didn’t even know we needed is the key to the future.