How AI inspires private label products in the kitchen and on the shelf

Waitrose session
July 10, 202431 min
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Kelia Losa Reinoso
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Speakers: Lizzie Haywood, Innovations Manager and Will Torrent, Senior Brand Development Chef at Waitrose

In the session with Waitrose, attendees will learn how AI is transforming innovation in retail and culinary sectors. Lizzie Haywood (Innovations Manager) and Will Torrent (Senior Brand Development Chef) will discuss using AI to speed up the innovation process, identify food trends, and enhance product development. They will share real-world examples and highlight the collaboration between innovation and chef teams. The session will also address challenges in integrating AI and the importance of combining human expertise with AI, along with potential future AI capabilities.

Waitrose session

[00:00:00]

Lee: Hello, everyone. We are super excited to bring to the virtual summit panel that’s all about innovation, all about how we’re using AI to bring products to the shelf in retail and how that’s really developed in the kitchen as well. So I have two fantastic representatives from Waitrose and Partners in the UK. I have Lizzie Haywood and Will Torrent. Just before we get questions rolling and the discussion going, I want to do a brief introduction of both of you. So Lizzie Haywood, the innovations manager at Waitrose and Partners. She lives and breathes food trends and is really excited to talk a little bit about some of what they have launched this coming summer using AI as well. So we’ll defer to you a little later on that, Lizzie.

[00:01:00]

Lee: And for our chef in the kitchen, we have Will Torrent, the senior brand development chef. And he deals with all things sweet at Waitrose, but also dabbles in beer, wine, and spirits as well. So I know he said this morning, he was talking a little bit about cheese pairings, cheese and spirit pairing. So as always, cooking up something interesting. Now, first of all, welcome to both of you.

Lizzie Haywood: Happy to be here, Lee. Thanks for having us.

Will Torrent: Great to be here, Lee. Thanks for having us.

Lee: A pleasure, a pleasure. It’s all mine. Now, in today’s session, just to give you guys a little bit of an overview, we’re going to talk about the importance of AI in the innovation process and the role of consumer data, AI analysis, and supporting culinary. So really, how does AI play a role in the kitchen as well? Challenges that can come up from integrating AI into your workflows and where we’d like to see

[00:02:00]

Lee: AI help inspire us in the not-too-distant future. So I’m really excited to turn things over to our panel from Waitrose here. I want to kick it off with Lizzie, talking about essentially the current state of AI and innovation at Waitrose and where you see the transformative potential of AI.

Lizzie Haywood: Sure. I mean, it’s really exciting to be here to talk about AI. We’ve been using Tastewise at Waitrose now for over three years, and it’s been an absolutely fantastic tool to use for our innovation process. So it’s really important, and innovation at Waitrose is super, super important. Our customers are food lovers, essentially, and they love food and ingredient discovery. And so we’re always trying to make sure we’re staying ahead of the curve and making sure we’re launching the latest trending products and ingredients to make

[00:03:00]

Lizzie Haywood: sure we’re keeping those customers kind of excited and interested. And using AI in kind of our innovation process, it provides speed, it provides access to a massive wealth of data, and it takes away a lot of the manual work. And I’ve been doing trends and insights for the past 10 years now. Before I had the AI tool, there was a lot of manual work and kind of looking at menus, and Instagram data yourself. It took — it took a long time. So yeah, it’s really important for speed and that robust data and being able to spot trends quicker and just move much faster on projects.

Lee: Yeah, and we’ve heard that a lot today during some of the sessions and yesterday as well. Now, it’s not just about speed, but it’s also a lot about scale, too. So how you can work on so many projects simultaneously as well. So I’m

[00:04:00]

Lee: wondering if there’s any examples you can give us to highlight how that AI has really helped accelerate the innovation cycle.

Lizzie Haywood: Sure. Well, I guess it’s mentioned earlier about the summer range that we’ve just launched our new summer range, which has been really exciting and really exciting to work on. And yeah, I guess we look at cuisine trends, we look at flavor trends, so being able to have that ability to look at within one occasion, so eating occasion like summer. And we saw that rarebit as a flavor profile is growing. It’s something we’ve seen ourselves, so the chefs had also seen on menus and kind of just, naturally, we’re out and about, and we eat a lot, eat going out a lot. But we also saw this coming up on Tastewise. And as we know, there’s such a breadth of data there that I can’t remember the exact percentage that rarebit was growing on menus and on social media. So it became a key flavor profile for us.

[00:05:00]

Lizzie Haywood: And we launched our rarebit scotch eggs, which is part of our summer range, which are delicious. I’d recommend anyone to go and try them. So yes, that’s one really great example of kind of being able to bring some products to life and it’s being able to have that data. So when we need to present back to the business as those ideas for the innovation, we may have seen rarebit on menus ourselves, but actually having those stats, the graphs, the data to talk to the business and talk to our suppliers about why we want to do this, that’s what makes it so key for us. It kind of gets that story across and data behind it.

Lee: I think that’s a really interesting point about, you know, you guys are foodies yourself. You consume a lot out in the field. I imagine Will, of course, cooks at home. I’m sure you do as well, Lizzie. But beyond our own personal tastes and

[00:06:00]

Lee: what we see as innovative out of the market, these days, you need to have the data to back up any business decision you’re making. So Will, I want to go over to you as well and provide a little bit of a perspective from the developing chef side of things. Go on. And how AI is creating or helping really create novel culinary ideas and experiences.

Will Torrent: Yeah. I mean, I think it’s more about helping us think outside the box in new, innovative, and creative ways. You know, we — you know, our chef team is the best in the business. You’d expect me to say that, but we actually are. You know, Michelin star backgrounds, high-end patisserie backgrounds, and businesses. We have a huge amount of foodie culture within our, like, personal careers, but as a team, we’ve got probably near, if you added all our team’s careers up, we’ve probably got a hundred years worth, if more, of culinary experience in the field and at

[00:07:00]

Will Torrent: the top of our game. But what happens with that is that we naturally come with our own food memories. We come with our own nostalgia and we might not necessarily have been, have traveled the world and globetrotted, so might not have experienced new and exciting cuisines. And what AI helps us to do is to think outside the box in that new kind of globetrotting way. And that’s when it gets really exciting. That’s when it really gets, you really get under the skin of how do you put the data in? And when we’ve spoken to other chefs and hospitality industry people, we always say it’s only as good as the person inputting the data. And through Tastewise training and the way that Lizzie uses the platform, we’re able to kind of go deeper into what we’re putting in to get the best results out. And that’s the bit where we will then get out, “Oh, that’s something really interesting. We’re picking up in Sydney, but

[00:08:00]

Will Torrent: we’re also seeing in LA, and all of this.” How do we combine that into south of England to bring something new and exciting to the market that is also trending at the same time? And for me as a chef, that’s really exciting.

Lee: Yeah, I love the perspective that you have. And we’ve said a couple of times so far at this summit and also in general that there’s a bit of a fear that comes along to, with using AI or maybe it’s a little bit more of an ignorance even of not knowing how to use the tool. But at the end of the day, it’s not a solution itself. It’s a means to an end. It’s a solution, a tool to help you execute what you want to do. So you need to have that, of course, knowledge of how to use it, but also, your lived experience, right? You need to be able to put in your expertise and your domain acumen to be able to get

[00:09:00]

Lee: those best outputs.

Will Torrent: Yeah. And actually, with those outputs, it would be very easy to just kind of send that off into a brief, send it to a supplier, and that’s it. But actually what we — what we do with the outputs that Lizzie gathers for us as a food team is we then make it up in our development studio to say, “Actually, does it work? Does it taste good? Do we need to add on top some of our added kind of cuisine culture that we — that we know and love and we know our customers love?” Because that’s the other important factor here is that through other forms of data capturing, we can, we know what our customers love. We know what they’re not so hot on. They might not know that they love it yet, and that’s obviously the power of trends and kind of food innovation. But being able to take that data, take those outputs and recreate it in the kitchen and get more people involved in bringing that product to life, that’s really, really important. And to the point of

[00:10:00]

Will Torrent: the people not knowing, when we’ve spoken to people, they’re really interested because they only — they’ve only had experience of AI through the media. And you know, what’s — you know, when it all blew up a couple of years ago with Hollywood and all that kind of stuff, people are just really, really interested. And when we can put real life examples of bringing new and exciting innovative products to the market and then they taste it, and then they see the data of sales, they go, “Okay! So it actually does work then.”

Lee: Yeah. And I think that at least in our foodie world here, that the chef is a really perfect example of that blend of, let’s say, tradition and technology, because it’s such a craft, it’s such a skill, and it’s so personal to be in the kitchen. So I’d love to ask you if you have an example to share about how you use AI for inspiration. It can go back to the summer range, of course, if you’d like. Happy to hear more. Or

[00:11:00]

Lee: even an example of how maybe you’re looking forward to using AI in the future.

Will Torrent: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, like we said, we’re using it — we’re using it day in, day out, whether that’s for kind of blue sky thinking, whether that’s for — we’ve got a serious brief to put together, whether that’s for summer, for Christmas, for Valentine’s Day. But we use it very much also in our kind of, Christmas is the biggest event of the year for many retailers, especially us here at Waitrose. And what we do is we can — we can gather all of that social information that we — Instagram following, TikTok, Snapchat, all of those kind of things. But we’re also able to also scour the globe from, as you know, kind of food menus, anything electronic from a food perspective, we can — we can gather. And Lizzie is able to bring all of that data together and go, “Here’s what’s trending globally. How do we distill that into what is trending in the UK? How do we then — ” It’s all about that kind of crystal ball. How do we predict

[00:12:00]

Will Torrent: the future as to what people are going to be eating in Christmas in 2025, which we’ve already done. We’re already there. But we absolutely use —

Lizzie Haywood: Yeah, 2024 is already, it’s already —

Will Torrent: We’re still in last year. So this year. Twenty twenty-four is done. Twenty-five is [inaudible 00:12:15]. Oh, yeah, that’s done. But we’re able to use — we’re able to use tools like the concept creator to kind of see what would happen if, obviously time is money and we don’t want to kind of spend loads of time going down a bit of a rabbit warren sometimes of going, “We really think this is going to work.” And actually, then it doesn’t work, and we spent like kind of six months developing it, so we can use tools like the concept creator to go, “What happens if we put this together with that?” And we have a bit of a mantra within our team of what happens if dot, dot, dot. And we often talk about that from just as a team, as a brainstorm kind of way of developing. But actually, the concept creator helps do that now, to go, “Actually, that isn’t going to work, or actually, it does work. But what happens if we change that and we add that if?” “What happens

[00:13:00]

Will Torrent: if?” I love that. It’s like — it feels like another member of the team that is almost, it’s getting there, it’s not quite a fully-fledged member yet.

Lee: It’s the disruption to a linear technique, where we, Lizzie really mentioned about the speed earlier, the other element that — of many that are quite helpful with Tastewise and a lot of other AI tools is the scale. So being able to have that parallel approach to innovation and take that linear process and disrupt it. So you can at any point in that process, ask that question, “What happens if?” But what happens if, right, without having to cost yourself that precious time. We’ve been circling around it, and I’ve been hearing little tidbits, but I’d love to hear a little more, maybe from Lizzie, about the collaboration between the innovation team and the — and the chef team. So how the information flows, what are some ways that you really do

[00:14:00]

Lee: collaborate the most or work together?

Lizzie Haywood: Definitely. I mean, I think Will’s kind of touched upon it but — I mean, there’s several points of collaboration and we’re literally working together every day, pretty much myself and the chefs. And then we have our product developers as well. But like Will said, we have our bigger projects like Christmas, it’s really key, and summer as well. And as a team, we always run inspirational workshops, which combine data and the food. So we’ll be taking from the data to create the concepts and dishes, which then provides inspiration for the teams that are producing the dishes and the products with our suppliers, our supplier partners. So yeah, I think one of the key, well, probably the best time of the year is when we sit down and with the chef team, and we have a massive brainstorm about what could we do for Christmas, and it’s normally 18 months out

[00:15:00]

Lizzie Haywood: that we’re looking. Like Will said, we get our crystal balls out, but I’ll do a whole host of research before then. So gathering all that data, and we do look at our customer data as well, our sales data to see what did well the year before. That’s really key to us. And then overlaying the trends and the data that we can gather from Tastewise. And then we use our, as Will said, our expertise and our knowledge anyway, using that research, and our creative juices keep flowing. And then last year, because the concept creator had been developed, we, I introduced it to the team, and I said, “Right. Let’s try and use this as part of our brainstorming as a tool.” And it’s really interesting and such a great way, such good thought starters. Some of those concepts that would come up because it might spark a thought for something else that could be done, or as Will said, you kind of take that concept and go into the kitchen and maybe we can change it slightly.

[00:16:00]

Lizzie Haywood: Take one of the recipes that obviously get produced from concept creator and how can we twist it a bit more? How can we make it so it’s more suited to the Waitrose customer? But that’s been a really exciting point kind of in our collaboration between the sort of trends and the chef team. And we also work with our chefs that are in our kind of supply base of the sort of factories that make the products and we have our supplier chefs. So we sort of — we have to present the ideas to them and it’s using that data and that we can get from Tastewise to explain why we want to do this product. And that really, really helps with kind of bringing everyone on board.

Lee: Yeah, it’s super exciting time to be using AI in these roles. But I want to come to that innovation workshop, that ideation workshop. That sounds like the place to be. Even —

Lizzie Haywood: Best time of the year. We’re normally doing it kind of April time. So it’s really weird to be doing Christmas. We put Christmas

[00:17:00]

Lizzie Haywood: trees up and everything. It’s a MAD session.

Will Torrent: It is a MAD. But it’s about those kind of big events conjure up so much. You know, nostalgia is always a huge — a huge part of our, kind of almost foundation to anything we, that we do around Christmas, because everyone, Christmas means something different to just every single person. So each of us on this call, everyone at this summit, Christmas will mean something different from a food perspective. But it’s about — and actually, sometimes it’s where the data can take us in a completely different route than we — than we probably would have done if we didn’t have it. And it gives us — it almost drops in pieces of data that we wouldn’t have thought about. And that’s the other thing. It helps us — it helps us to be quicker, it helps us to react, but also to do things that we didn’t even know that we could do, and a customer doesn’t even know that they want yet.

Lee: That’s a really interesting

[00:18:00]

Lee: point. I think that there’s two main ways that our customers are using some of our solutions. One is for validation. So you’ve come up with your concept for Christmas 2025. Of course, we’re still in 2024. Things still may happen. So as we get closer to our development process, you’re continuing to validate what you’ve, the work that you’ve done and continuing to use those cross data sources to really make sure, and hone and tweak, and just take that final concept, which you’ve already worked on and developed and continuously validate it. And then there’s more what Will was just talking about, which is the discovery that we have an idea of what we want. We’ve been doing this for a while and we know our traditions and what works for our customers. But what is that piece that we don’t know about, and maybe our customers don’t even — don’t even know that they don’t know about? So I think that that’s the two kind of pronged

[00:19:00]

Lee: fork to innovation. And I love that your perspective on that. Now, I know we’ve been praising AI and praising the technology it brings into the innovation process, but there’s definitely challenges that come with the adoption of AI and the adoption of technology in general. So let’s go over to Lizzie and just see if there’s an example of a challenge that you faced when integrating AI into the innovation process and whether there was a solution to that challenge.

Lizzie Haywood: Yeah. So this is a really interesting one. So I think a lot of people that are so excited about AI and what it can bring, but there’s a lot of people that are very nervous about it, and particularly in the food industry. And when you talk to chefs or developers, it’s — I guess the big question is, “Is it going to take over my job?” The main answer is no, it’s not. As we said, there’s always that human element behind the data. It has to — you have to

[00:20:00]

Lizzie Haywood: have that. And I guess within the business, so as I said, we’ve been using Tastewise for about, over three years now. So we’ve come up against many challenges with the data. So particularly when we’re using it for that validation, there might be some distrust of the data, people not quite sure where it comes from, not quite understanding the platform itself. And I think, you know, sort of saying it’s not robust enough or why would we look at the social media trends when we can look at our sales data, and that kind of whole in general, not understanding AI. In terms of how we’ve come across and kind of come up against those challenges is, it’s talking about it. It’s talking about that data and sort of showing the in-depthness behind it. So I think something I really like on Tastewise is it’s really simply where it says how many social media posts, how many menus this data has come from, and it’s literally quantifying it

[00:21:00]

Lizzie Haywood: for you. So it comes from thousands, and thousands of posts, thousands of menus, thousands of recipes. And it makes it really, really clear that, yeah, this is what people are talking about in the market. And that’s really helped in terms of kind of making sure people understand the robustness of the data. And also, it’s making sure that when we’re talking to the business about the AI data that we use, that we are using other data. We’re not just using AI. We’re using our customer data. We still — we still do focus groups and surveys. That’s still really important. We’re still using our sales data and making sure we understand our customer, but it’s how we overlay that on top. And then also using our expertise and knowledge, particularly as a kind of a food innovation team. You know, we’re hired in because we’ve got the knowledge and expertise. We’ve worked in the business for long enough. We do understand that there’s nothing that can take that bit away. Something else that has really

[00:22:00]

Lizzie Haywood: helped as well is education and training on Tastewise and AI in general are kind of across the business. So we did have Tastewise in to do a roadshow for us, and we brought some of our marketing colleagues on board, particularly when, I think when you launch the concept creator, the blog creator, and all the other amazing tools. I would say we sort of got our marketing colleagues involved. And just having that roadshow and that training on the — on the product, it’s really helped people’s understanding of it and kind of bringing those new teams on board. Having — every year, we do a big annual trend event internally. And we’ve had Tastewise along to that, to talk to, you know, to kind of hundreds of people in the audience. And we’re very lucky to have Tastewise coming back for us this year as well. And that really helps with kind of getting a better understanding in our business about the data. So yeah, I think it’s a topic you can keep going on about because I think

[00:23:00]

Lizzie Haywood: there’s so much, and so much in-depthness about AI and kind of people just unsure about it. And it keeps changing constantly, which is what’s so exciting about it, but also, I guess, what makes people so scared about it.

Lee: Yeah, it’s a really good point. We say and we’ve said a couple of times so far, even today, that AI won’t take your job. But someone who can really use and leverage and take advantage of this tool may take your job because they have their own human element along with this really robust tool that can help bring something. So that’s why it’s super important, no matter what your element within the food and beverage industry is, whether it’s on the innovation side, the chef side, or even something completely different, that this is an opportunity for you to get hands-on with this technology so that you don’t fall behind. Like, it doesn’t need to go into every single process you do. Of course, not. There’s many other tools that are super, super tried

[00:24:00]

Lee: and tested. But this is a technology that’s not going away, right? So we need to stay — to stay on top of it, just as we would in continuing to hone your skills as a chef or continuing to attend innovation workshops or hear from your peers in the industry. Will, I want to go over to you and hear similar question around any resistance or acceptance issues from culinary professionals about AI in the kitchen.

[00:24:00]

Lee: and tested. But this is a technology that’s not going away, right? So we need to stay — to stay on top of it, just as we would in continuing to hone your skills as a chef or continuing to attend innovation workshops or hear from your peers in the industry. Will, I want to go over to you and hear similar question around any resistance or acceptance issues from culinary professionals about AI in the kitchen.

Will Torrent: It’s a bit of a different one. I think the, one of the biggest things is we — so last year, we hosted the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts here at Waitrose, and this is some of the top industry chefs, restauranteurs, hoteliers in the country. And Lizzie and our — and our boss, Martin, did a Tastewise demo on how we predict the future from a trends perspective, something that always captures people, pricks people’s ears up. And like I said earlier, people only,

[00:25:00]

Will Torrent: well, only knew about AI because of what has, the kind of the narrative that the media has kind of moved it in, and will it take your job, will it take my job, et cetera, et cetera? As soon as you start unraveling all of that kind of narrative, they’re just really, really interested, because like everyone, especially impacted through COVID, is that, you know, travel has been completely stripped back in the way that it wasn’t before COVID. So we aren’t able to kind of, as I said earlier, travel the world and find this place in San Francisco, and this place in Sydney, and everything in between. Tastewise allows us to be able to do that from the comfort of our own office. It’s the human element that we — that we continue to talk about that helps transform it from data into something accessible, something to eat, and then overlapping the culinary expertise

[00:26:00]

Will Torrent: of that chef to be able to bring that product to life. So we were giving them this kind of, this introduction to AI and Tastewise in particular. Just so many questions. We could have done a whole another day on this part of the day. Yes, we can show them our fantastic facilities, we can give them the most delicious lunch, we can send them away with the most lavish goody bag, but what they wanted to hear about more was AI and how we predict trends. And that was — that was really exciting. And the point that we will always go back to is that AI can’t yet, always put the “yet” in because it grows tremendously, is the quality and taste aspect of that final product. That is still down to us. That is still down to the expertise of our product developers, our buyers, our technical managers, our suppliers, and also our store partners being able to sell them to customers when they’re — when they’re shopping on a Friday night for their prepared dinner

[00:27:00]

Will Torrent: for tonight or whatever they’re looking for to be able to. And we spend a lot of time speaking to our in-store teams, being able to sell in all of that amazing, not necessarily selling in the data, but those top line headlines, working with our PR and marketing teams as well to be able to say to a customer, “Oh, you’ve got to try this next time you’re in, or you’ve got to try this with that product because I’ve tasted it and it’s amazing.” It’s about using all of that stuff to get customers excited to be able to spend their money and cross the road. So quality and taste always still falls on us. But I think, again, it enables us to think outside the box, and that’s where it becomes really exciting.

Lee: It’s really exciting to hear about the event you talked about and the excitement of the chef in the culinary community around AI and just that question, “What happens if I can bring this into my —

[00:28:00]

Lee: into my kitchen, or what happens if I have some tool that can help inspire me and help flare up my inspiration, get my creative juices flowing?” So I like that you emphasized “yet.” Of course, we don’t know what the future holds for technology, but the bounds that we’ve made even in the last six months in AI, specifically generative AI, which is what we’re talking a lot about today, is incredible. There was a quote from the, I believe it was the COO of OpenAI, one of the two largest companies in the field right now, talking about in one year from now, the technology that we have access to right now is going to feel laughable to us. So there’s so much to come. And I guess what I would love to wrap up with today is a question for both of you, maybe we’ll start off with Will, about what’s a capability of AI you’d love to have access to in the future. Let’s say in the near future, maybe the next

[00:29:00]

Lee: five years.

Will Torrent: It’s a good question. I think there’s something around knowing what it’s done for us so far and seeing where that could go is super exciting. The bit from my perspective, I suppose, as a chef and kind of making it all quicker so that we can react to new trends even quicker, landing it sooner in branches, is that whole thing around — again, I suppose it goes back to our what happens if dot, dot, dot kind of question, is if I put that with that, does it work? Can I — could AI tell me if it’s going to work or could it — could it help my creative thinking going, “Well, but if you added this.” And it’s that — it’s that almost additional member of the team, that’s where I think it could be really exciting in that sense to be able to, you know, can we input loads more of what we know our customers want, input our kind

[00:30:00]

Will Torrent: of culinary heritage to be able to grow this, I suppose, like a flavor simulator, if you like.

Lee: Yeah.

Will Torrent: You know, yes, we would spend months layering up different flavors. I mean, we talk, you can talk about an amazing Indian dish, layering of spices, and textures, and flavors. Could AI do that to enable us to cook it quicker and land it quicker to excite customers quicker and keep them shopping in our stores?

Lee: Yeah, I think that the flavor simulation side of things and where my mind went is then tying in. Oh!

Will Torrent: Oh, look, he was in full flow there. Oh, [00:31:00] that’s annoying. I don’t know if he knows that he’s frozen.

Lizzie Haywood: I don’t know either. Are you still recording?

Will Torrent: Yeah. Full flow as well.

Lizzie Haywood: Oh, he’s owing — he’s gone and you’re the host. We’re still being recorded. He’ll come back. There’s literally like one last bit to go through.

Will Torrent: Yeah. He’s back.

Lee: I love what you said about the flavor simulation, where my mind goes is then the consumer sensory element. Like, how do we then take this prediction or creation of an AI flavor simulation

[00:32:00]

Lee: and understand what consumers would think about that data as well? Like, what their taste buds would say or what their brain signals would — Connection issues. Lizzie, over to you. Thanks, Lee.

Lizzie Haywood: Thanks, Lee. I mean, I want to have a go on the flavor simulator. That sounds great. Oh, dear, it’s going so well. The Wi-Fi, something’s happening with the Wi-Fi.

[00:33:00]

Lee: Let’s try one more time. Okay. Over to you, Lizzie. Love to hear you.

Lizzie Haywood: Thanks, Lee. I mean, I want to have a go on the flavor simulator. This sounds great. Definitely very excited about that. And I think when you talk about AI in a couple of years time, I, like, it blows my mind what we could potentially have access to, because I feel like every time I talk to Tastewise and catch up with you guys, there’s always something new that you’ve been, you’ve created, and there’s always some new tool. And it always blows my mind because it’s always so clever. I think what would be absolutely amazing from my point of view is how could we combine our Waitrose customer data, so our sales data, what our customers want, using our kind of custom surveys and really getting to the heart of the Waitrose customer with the data that we get on Tastewise, so all of the trend data, which could then essentially tell us what do our customers really want. So

[00:34:00]

Lizzie Haywood: taking those trending ingredients and flavors, and it can essentially pinpoint which ones would appeal the most to our customer base, but also which ones could bring in new customers for us, because that would help us get to kind of new innovative products even quicker, and be able to talk to the business even better about why we should be launching a product, and it would save us an awful lot of time and money.

Lee: Yeah, it’s — I’m curious to see how far off we are from both of what you talked about, and we’ll really have that in the next year or two. I want to thank you both so much for being with us today. And we’ve gone over a bunch of really important points, but what I — what I take from both of you is that in both the innovation and the chef team at Waitrose and that what you’re seeing in the industry in general, people are really excited about AI. They’re excited about the capabilities. What we need to do is

[00:35:00]

Lee: continue the education and keep pushing forward what we know and how we can blend that tool of technology and human element together. So I’m really excited to see what comes from us in the next — in the next year. Thank you so much again for being with us both, everyone, and we’ll head back over to our studio for the rest of the sessions.

Lizzie Haywood: Thanks, Lee.

Will Torrent: Yeah, thanks, Lee.

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