PepsiCo looks to drive more personalized experiences via new Foodservice Digital Lab

PepsiCo Foodservice has introduced a Foodservice Digital Lab, which it says is the first such suite of capabilities for connecting food service operators with digital solutions.

The company said the new Lab, a data-driven consultancy, is an effort to help its customers adjust to the digital disruption of the food service industry.

PepsiCo, which owns brands including Pepsi, Lays, Quaker Oats, Gatorade, Doritos, Lipton, and Aquafina, has taken note that the food service industry is yet another space that stands to be transformed and improved by better use of marketing and customer data. Key focus areas include customer journeys, customer experience, audience targeting, and data-driven attribution.

For instance, PepsiCo Foodservice said it worked with restaurant delivery service Grubhub to identify issues that restaurants have when fulfilling online orders for beverages and snacks. And it worked with customer loyalty provider Mobivity to find ways to improve personalized experiences.

“One-stop service” to drive better customer experience

The Lab, said PepsiCo Foodservice CMO Scott Finlow in a statement, is a “one-stop service for operators to access the resources and knowledge needed to drive a better consumer experience.” And, of course, the Lab will make it easier for these food service operators to order and receive PepsiCo’s food products and services.

Gilbertson Cuffy, Director of Digital Marketing at PepsiCo Foodservice, told ClickZ that the Lab is available to his company’s customers at no charge.

In its announcement, the company noted that food service operators are still unsure about the longevity of digital technology in their industry, with 47% of respondents to a recent PepsiCo survey questioning whether it’s here to stay.

Nevertheless, almost two-thirds, or 63%, intend to upgrade their food service tech this year with new technologies, although PepsiCo said many of those operators worried about the resources needed to figure out the best solutions – a need the Lab is intended to fill.

Four components to identify and deploy tech solutions

The Lab will offer four components to help operators identify and deploy tech solutions:

  • Digital Insights from PepsiCo and partners about the digital habits of target demographics.
  • Digital Playbooks, which offers comprehensive solutions for various business sizes, from pizza places to global food chains.
  • Digital Activation, assistance from PepsiCo for implementing such solutions as online ordering and delivery platform for beverage and snack sales.
  • Digital Innovation, in which experimentation will be conducted to see how such tools as voice activation, AR, and machine learning can be utilized by the operators.

Cuffy said that some typical use cases might include increasing the beverage attachment rate on digital ordering apps like Grubhub, managing online reviews and search engine results, implementing point-of-sale tools and customer rewards programs, recommending strategies to employ digital tools to increase customer loyalty, and determining which kinds of digital and in-store promotion combos might be the most effective.

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