AI Reshaping Soft Drinks Industry: Coca-Cola’s Futuristic Creation and Unilever’s AI Initiatives

In an era of cutting-edge technology and innovation, the soft drinks industry is tapping into the power of artificial intelligence (AI) to transform not only the way they create new flavors but also how they optimize their business operations.
Softdrink industry and AICoca-Cola, one of the world’s leading beverage giants, has recently unveiled a limited-edition creation, Coca-Cola 3000 Zero Sugar, within the Coca-Cola Creations platform, and it’s all thanks to the collaboration between humans and AI.

The concept behind Coca-Cola 3000 Zero Sugar is not just about the beverage itself but rather an exploration of what the future of beverages might look like in the year 3000. To shape this futuristic drink, Coca-Cola turned to its customers, asking them how they envisioned the beverage of the future.

Responses were gathered via the Coca-Cola Creations platform, and then AI was brought into the mix to analyze these responses. The AI considered elements like emotions, ambitions, colors, and flavors to create a framework for the beverage, which was rooted in how people imagine the future.

Based on this wealth of consumer insights and the company’s deep knowledge of beverage trends, the AI developed a unique packaging and flavor profile for a carbonate that represents the year 3000. The result is a colorful packaging format featuring a blend of spherical shapes in vibrant purple, pink, and blue colors with a pixelated logo.

Furthermore, the AI emphasized a sugar-free approach, aligning with the growing global trend of low-calorie carbonates, which have seen a remarkable 39 percent growth between 2015 and 2023. This trend is expected to persist, given consumers’ increasing focus on health and wellness.

But Coca-Cola is not the only player in the soft drinks industry harnessing the power of AI. Unilever, the owner of PepsiCo, has also been at the forefront of integrating AI into its operations. Unilever is using AI tools to optimize various aspects of its business, making it more efficient and responsive to consumer needs.

This trend of integrating AI into the soft drinks industry is expected to expand further, according to GlobalData. They predict that AI will play a pivotal role in discovering new flavors and enhancing business operations within the soft drinks sector.

In fact, GlobalData forecasts that the AI market will grow from $81 billion in 2022 to $90 billion by 2030, with a remarkable 35 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) from 2022 to 2030.

Recent advancements in machine learning and increased computing power have made AI more accessible and powerful, enabling it to play an essential role in the soft drinks industry. Unilever’s AI-driven applications leverage neural networks and the GPT API, aiming to adapt to the evolving needs of consumers and market dynamics. Additionally, they’re using AI to identify alternative ingredients, enhancing supply chain resilience, sustainability, and cost-efficiency without compromising product quality.

Dragos Dumitrachi, an Analyst at GlobalData, predicts that the use of AI in the soft drinks industry will continue to expand, encompassing supply chain optimization, administrative tasks, and the discovery of new flavors and packaging formats. As AI becomes increasingly integrated into the soft drinks sector, it promises not only to redefine the taste of our future beverages but also to reshape the way the industry operates, ensuring it remains competitive and innovative in an ever-changing world.