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How Artificial Intelligence is rewriting the rules of grocery

As consumers we get into habits. These habits translate into what we eat and drink at home, whether that being mum’s favourite meals for the family or your ‘go to’, ‘need a meal in a hurry’ dish. The result? Our grocery purchasing is often ritualised or worse. With the arrival of grocer’s online sites comes the tendency to just order the same basket week after week, for convenience and ease.

But, as Artificial Intelligence becomes evermore sophisticated, so does it’s capability to evolve our everyday grocery habits. New in home digital assistants such as Hello Egg, http://helloegg.net/, are transforming the modern day family meal plan. Not only can it plan your week’s meals based on your likes, dislikes and families activities, but can also order the necessary ingredients and instruct you on just how to cook them.

The potential impact of this type of technology most definitely has it’s positives. By suggesting recipe alternatives or ideas outside of the normal consideration set, it could significantly increase our food trial and experimentation, driving a greater need for more specialist food offers and ingredients in our grocery. On the other hand, it could reduce the likelihood of physical experiences when it comes to grocery shopping. With the growth of alternative delivery options, such as small order drone delivery, there is a real possibility that grocers are visited less by us in person, which could ultimately change the conventions of retail design (and challenge the need for physical environments).

Looking forwards, AI has the opportunity to go way beyond impacting just how we shop. We may also see our health improved through AI and VR, where technology can be used to satisfy every craving by tricking the mind into believing you have eaten something that you have not. Kokiri Lab’s Project Nourished (http://www.projectnourished.com) is a perfect example, combining VR technology with aromatic diffusers and specifically designed cutlery to transform algae into a number of gourmet meals from across the world. With the possibility of a vegetable one day tasting like a Big Mac, it could transform the future of the food industry. If this type of experiential eating becomes the norm, confectionary and fast food products may become a guilty pleasure of the past, replaced by a low calorie, candy cane flavoured celery stick. Most definitely food (or taste) for thought.

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