October 27, 2022 – Over the past year Ahold Delhaize led three sprint weeks to complete the Food Waste Reduction Challenge as part of Kickstart AI. Kickstart AI aims to build practical Artificial Intelligence (AI) solutions that solve real business problems by leveraging the joint AI talent of leading Dutch companies including Ahold Delhaize, ING, KLM, and NS.
Ahold Delhaize chose to tackle food waste as the first Kickstart AI challenge due to scale of this global problem. The cross-company AI team – which included talent from Ahold Delhaize, ING, KLM, and NS – worked with one of our great local brands, Delhaize Belgium. In three sprint weeks, the team worked on improving a complicated demand forecasting model that predicts Delhaize Belgium’s customer demand and helps balance product availability and waste.
To predict customer demand as accurately as possible, the Kickstart AI team took a variety of factors and data into account. Such as product discounts, the time of day or week, and even the weather. The algorithm then looked at the relationship between all these inputs and resulting customer demand. As the algorithm processes more data, from a larger number of inputs, it can more accurately understand the impact of future conditions on customer demand.
As of now, after several months of testing at Delhaize Belgium’s operation, the Kickstart AI team is extremely pleased to see the improvement of their demand forecasting. In fact, the model has become 26% more accurate and this will help reduce Delhaize Belgium’s food waste by 21%.
Overall, this challenge was an important learning experience for Kickstart AI as it demonstrated that as a team, joint expertise, collaboration and talent can transform everyday life. The team also noted three key achievements:
Check out the video below to learn more!
About Kickstart AI
Kickstart AI is a bold initiative by four corporates (Ahold Delhaize, ING, KLM and NS) to give back to the community. Through ongoing funding and pooling of data science resources, they created and continue to foster a thriving AI community. As such, kickstart AI is uniquely positioned to drive AI adoption and tackle real-world challenges at scale.