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A Data-Driven Ice Cream

On 13th July 2020, Supermac’s posted one of the best jobs one could ever apply for. It’s a Mystery Ice-cream taster, yes you read it right, it’s an actual job. So on a busy day, all you have to do is to eat some ice-creams and comment on their texture, body, how it rolls, how it scoops and how do you feel when you are done eating? All this sounds like a lot of fun and getting paid for it adds to it. In a few hours, this became one of the most searched news on Google in Ireland.

This is a day in the life of Lisa who recently started her job as an Ice-Cream Taster. She has to follow simple instructions and record her experience on predefined Key Attributes which are the base of the decision-making engine. She has 2 samples today to test, let’s call them Sample A & Sample B. Sample A is white and B is dark. She is liking A over B, maybe because A has more vanilla or maybe dairy ingredients are used. These attributes are used to define a product in the Data Analytics world. Other parameters like calorie content in the ice cream, allergens, and prices are also inputs to the decision-making models. These techniques help companies to identity preferred tastes and then they try to match them with specific customer segments.

Supermac’s is an Irish Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) commonly known as Fast Food Restaurant. Its direct competitors are few other global QSR brands like McDonald’s which keeps them under constant pressure to re-design and improvise their products to stay on the top of the curve, which they are doing successfully for the past few years.

But have you ever wondered why companies hire Mystery Ice-Cream Tasters or any food tasters?

In the QSR industry, customer loyalty is considerably low. Restaurants have to constantly challenge their products to keep attracting the taste buds of their frequent visitors. To meet this demand, they have to improvise their customer preference data and digital transformation to enable all the departments to work in an agile way so that the final product reaches the customer as soon as possible. Superior data and econometric models are the keys here to make fast and accurate decisions.

A Data-Driven Ice Cream

Each taster is segmented based on age, gender, and other parameters. Personal taste is a big bias here which data modelers have to be careful about. It’s all about the scent of the ice cream and the rating that the tasters give to a sample ice cream based on their breathing experience after eating the ice cream.

This data can also be used to design marketing campaigns. Deep learning techniques can be used to find out the right time and whether to market certain food products. These Analytical Techniques can be used in exploring new markets in an agile way. Backend process improvement is an integral part of quick product release.

Our Analytical Capability at Trugo Consultancy Services can help QSRs in improving food experiences, recommending menus, and increase overall sales of the restaurant. Powerful dashboards can help in understanding the change in customer behavior which is important in improving repetitive purchases resulting in increased customer engagement.

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