EVANSTON, ILL. — Technology experts from consulting firm ZS Associates highlighted the various ways artificial intelligence is coming to life in food innovation and product development during a session at The Natural Products Expo West Virtual Week.

The session highlighted the emerging field of prescriptive analytics. Unlike predictive analytics, which uses collected data to come up with future outcomes, prescriptive analytics takes that data and goes deeper into the potential results of certain actions, said Brian Thompson, product manager at ZS Associates.

“This is where we give the computer the full set of information and data, train it using algorithms, and it is able to start to direct human actions to have the highest possible impact,” he said.

Business leaders historically have relied on promotional data, brand media spending, brand perceptions and consumer feedback to drive predictions around sales and distribution….

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