How Heineken is Harnessing Big Data, AI, and IoT

November 28, 2017 - 3 minutes read

Big data, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Internet of Things (IoT) are all becoming common buzzwords outside of San Francisco developer circles. Everyone knows they’re destined to disrupt the near future, but not many organizations know how to employ them properly. While other companies are scratching their heads on how to harness these new technologies, Heineken is already making excellent use of all three in its quest to dominate the U.S. beer market.

Big Data in Brewing

In business for almost 150 years, Heineken has stood the test of time in the brewing industry. Currently, it’s the leading brewer in Europe and holds second place in the United States. The U.S. buys 8.5 million barrels of Heineken’s numerous beer brands each year. While this is an astounding achievement, the company thinks it can boost this number by leveraging big data and implementing AI and IoT solutions.

The Dutch beer brewer is no stranger to big data. It currently utilizes data to refine every aspect of its supply chain. Demand forecasting, replenishment routines, and production have all benefited from discoveries made through analyzing the mass quantities of data that the beer maker takes in.

The company is also using data to improve their advertising strategy. Through partnerships with Facebook, Google, Walmart, and Shopperception, Heineken has been able to gather unique data in unorthodox ways. This has allowed the company to refine every part of the customer experience, from optimal product location in a store to targeted mobile ads.

Making a Smart Mouth

But Heineken wants to do much more with its data than make targeted mobile ads. During the UEFA Champions League Final this year, the company unveiled the Banternator, a Twitter commentator created by AI developers to discuss the soccer match in real-time.

This fun display of Heineken’s AI ambitions only scratches the surface — they hope to improve operations, the customer experience, and advertising in substantial ways with the disruptive technology. But AI is not the only tech that has caught Heineken’s eye.

IoT Innovation in Beer Bottles

The beer brewer has experimented with IoT through its Ignite bottle. One of the winners of Heineken’s Future Bottle Design Challenge, the Ignite bottle was made by IoT developers to “become part of the party.” With 50 sensors and electronic components, the bottle can light up to the beat of the music, flicker when tipped back, and dim when not being held.

Similar to AI, Heineken believes that IoT has the potential to augment its customer experience. Practically every industry will be affected by IoT and AI. These prudent initiatives by Heineken could very well be responsible for what pushes it to become the leading brewer in the United States.

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