Generative AI and the Food Industry

By Community Manager posted 04-04-2024 08:00


Generative AI use cases and applications are growing in many areas of the food industry, as food companies across all sectors recognize the competitive advantages offered by the technology. 

Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) describes AI that can analyze data to create new data, content, or other outputs. Although you may not be familiar with the phrase, generative AI is already being used by food and beverage manufacturers, grocery retailers and the foodservice sector for a variety of tasks. For instance, think of chatbots and online assistants that interact with customers and provide them with information and product recommendations. Generative AI can also be used to create engaging and personalized marketing and branding content, or to assist in product innovation by analyzing consumer preferences and creating new combinations of ingredients that are appealing, healthy or novel. 

Fiddlehead Technology has seen increased interest in this technology across the board. To help more food companies access generative AI, we’ve partnered with Microsoft to bring Open AI capabilities to our clients. We’re currently working with McCain Foods on two projects involving generative AI. The first is developing a production and maintenance chatbot that will be able to quickly answer questions from production and service personnel about the company’s manufacturing equipment, saving valuable time and labour, and ensuring proper sanitation, maintenance and safety guidelines are followed. 

The digital assistant will be based on Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) technology, which enables the chatbot to retrieve relevant information while generating accurate and exact answers in a natural conversational flow. RAG technology is unique because it is capable of not only learning from data, but also retrieving specific information, resulting in more precise and context-aware conversations. It is used for smart chatbots, AI-powered search engine applications, and automation of any workflows involving text and writing. 

The second project we’re working on with McCain involves generating customized marketing messages based on good examples and detailed product information. If successful, this will save time and reduce the more routine work of marketing and product specialists, allowing them to focus on more creative work 

Generative AI is becoming ubiquitous and can be effectively used to automate and improve pretty much any workflow involving text. If you have a daunting task, most likely it can be automated with the help of generative AI 


CFIN members can contact the Fiddlehead team at to discuss potential use cases. 

Shawn Carver is co-founder and CEO of Moncton, NB-based Fiddlehead Technology. Fiddlehead uses predictive forecasting and machine learning to help food and beverage manufacturers more accurately predict consumer demand and improve competitiveness.