Recently, Chinese food delivery platform Ele.me launched an AI culinary analysis system for merchants named ‘exiaowei’, trying to help merchants develop new dishes through digital technology and market insight, combined with artificial intelligence algorithms.
At present, ‘exiaowei’ has cooperated with food brands such as Kungfu, Kwei Mun Lung and Kwai Yuen Po to design 12 new dishes and packages, covering more than 700 stores across 41 cities. Compared with existing dishes, the sales volume of new dishes has increased by up to 30%.
“Digitalization plays an important role in demand insight, dish design, and feedback,” said Chang Xudong, the person in charge of the project. Chang continued, “From brand positioning, taste preference, to regional and seasonal differences, exiaowei seems to provide Godlike perspective for new product developers.”
The AI analysis system can also give suggestions based on different taste preferences to help merchants design packages. For example, after analysis, ‘exiaowei’ suggested a brand in Beijing to put mutton shashlik, a popular dish in northern China, into the package. Recently, with the promotion of new products of Kungfu in Guangzhou and Shenzhen, the system provided a dish with chicken and ribs. With the marketing investment reduced by 16%, Kungfu’s order volume increased by more than 5%.
Chang Xudong said that ‘exiaowei’ is still in the testing stage, and he hopes to cooperate with more catering brands to improve the AI system. In the future, he may add low fat food, small dishes and others to help different types of merchants. He also hopes every small- and medium-sized merchant can use the service free of charge.