The Power of AI: How It Increased Calbee's Potato Chips Sales by 1.3 Times

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Aug 28, 2023

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The Power of AI: How It Increased Calbee's Potato Chips Sales by 1.3 Times

In today's fast-paced business world, companies are constantly looking for ways to stay ahead of the competition and satisfy consumer demands. One company that has successfully done so is Calbee, a leading snack food manufacturer in Japan. Calbee was able to increase its potato chips sales by 1.3 times with the help of an unlikely ally - artificial intelligence (AI).

Calbee utilized a web service called "Package Design AI" developed by Plugg, a Japanese AI technology company. This AI-powered tool is capable of predicting the image and evaluation of package designs based on various keywords. It can determine if a design is cute, gentle, or evokes a sense of seasonality, among other qualities. Furthermore, it can measure the degree of likability and determine if a design appeals to a broad audience or a specific target group.

The Package Design AI is a user-friendly service that requires only the uploading of images for the AI to evaluate and predict the design's likability. It provides four main outputs: likability prediction scores, heat maps, image keywords, and likability variations. With the help of over 5.9 million pieces of training data, the AI can evaluate a product's package design in just 10 seconds.

This AI technology has proven to be invaluable for Calbee and other companies in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. In an era where time is of the essence and competition is fierce, being able to quickly bring desired products to market is crucial. Calbee recognized this need and leveraged Package Design AI to gain a competitive edge.

But AI is not the only technology that has revolutionized industries and allowed companies to meet consumer demands in innovative ways. Andrew Chen, a prominent figure in the tech industry, highlights the importance of combining technology with timeless human desires. He believes that despite technological advancements, human nature remains unchanged, presenting an opportunity for businesses to create valuable products that fulfill fundamental human needs.

Chen cites the example of Michelin, a renowned restaurant guide. Michelin's original intention was to give people a reason to drive by packaging desirable restaurant destinations. By appealing to friends, family, and personal interests, Michelin created something compelling that people would talk about. This approach demonstrates the importance of satisfying human desires and leveraging modern technology to meet those needs.

This concept of combining technology with human psychology is not new. In the past, CPG companies used advertising and coupons to stimulate demand and solve the chicken and egg problem. Today, startups employ fantastic mobile apps to generate demand and address the same problem. The underlying principle remains relevant, showcasing the enduring value of understanding consumer behavior and leveraging technology to drive growth.

To seize growth opportunities, the key lies in identifying the intersection of new technology, exciting customer behaviors, and insights about growth. Chen believes that the first and most critical aspect is new technology or platforms. Countless new technologies are on the horizon, offering definite opportunities in marketplaces, B2B, mobile, and other existing categories. However, one or two breakthroughs are needed to truly capitalize on these opportunities.

Video is one such breakthrough that extends beyond music videos. It can be utilized in various forms of entertainment and media, further propelling its growth. Another significant opportunity lies in products that automatically generate videos when users engage with them. This generates more video sharing activities, resulting in increased virality and engagement.

Chen's growth hacking strategy revolves around creating tangible offline experiences that make people want to use an app. As online channels become saturated with advertisements and millions of apps flood app stores, the physical world becomes incredibly appealing. By combining new technology, exciting customer behaviors, and growth insights, companies can create a compelling and unique product.

In conclusion, while technology may evolve, human behavior remains constant. By finding groundbreaking products at the intersection of technological advancements and human behavior, the next generation of startups can be born. To capitalize on this opportunity, here are three actionable advice:

  • 1. Embrace AI and leverage its predictive abilities. Just like Calbee, companies can use AI to evaluate and enhance their product designs, leading to increased sales and customer satisfaction.
  • 2. Understand the timeless human desires and needs. By combining modern technology with fundamental human desires, businesses can create valuable products that resonate with consumers on a deeper level.
  • 3. Seek out the intersection of new technology, exciting customer behaviors, and growth insights. Identifying and capitalizing on this intersection will allow companies to unlock untapped growth opportunities and gain a competitive advantage.

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