Contributed by Valio
15/10/2022 - Valio
Did you know that the milk chocolate of everyone’s dreams does exist? Over a million milk chocolate lovers’ most delicious desires were curated with the power of artificial intelligence to create chocolate to please all. A Finnish dairy company harnessed AI in product development and created “The Bar”, a futuristic taste landscape of milk chocolate with five unique layers.
What would the future of milk chocolate taste like? Milk being the core ingredient of chocolate, a dairy and food company Valio harnessed artificial intelligence to showcase the taste of the future. 1.5 million public milk chocolate related social media discussions were analysed around the world on milk chocolate lovers’ preferences and milk chocolate use cases. The unique taste landscape of five layers was created to match everything the world loves about milk chocolate.
“By connecting the capabilities of AI, human craftsmanship, and design with our milk powder know-how, we were able to create the chocolate of the future matching the most recent needs of consumers around the world. Observing and curating conversations on social media enabled us to draw conclusions of authentic consumer preferences” , says Valio’s Senior Vice President Timo Pajari.
1.5 million Twitter posts were analysed by an AI platform
In order to create The Bar, 1.5 million Twitter posts containing the word chocolate were analysed by an AI platform specialized in understanding text by a Finnish company Aiwo Digital. AI was able to figure out the most relevant topics and attributes that people love about chocolate. These findings lead to the design of the final product.
The Aiwo platform is able to analyse themes and trends from open text utilizing data driven analysis methods. It breaks down different themes and topics and enriches them with structural information such as sentiment, data driven metadata (manufacturers, brands, products) and external metadata (language, location, device). The platform works by analysing similarities and differences in the texts in a similar way that a human would. AI analyzes all the different relevant themes and topics – ranging from taste and consumption patterns to industry and market trends.
Five different milk chocolate layers with 30% less sugar
With AI analysis Valio found future silent signals and emerging milk chocolate trends with two main conclusions. First, there is no single favourite chocolate taste, filling, or size as consumers want to enjoy different kinds of milk chocolate in different situations. Second, people want to indulge in milk chocolate with a good conscience. The taste and sweetness are very important but at the same time consumers want milk chocolate to be healthier and natural with less sugar.
“According to AI, people want their favourite products with better ingredients and processes. Even though we love the irresistible taste of sugar, we do not wish it to impact our health. Valio aims to contribute to create new low-sugar alternatives by helping chocolate companies with its special know-how on milk powders used in milk chocolates”, says Pajari.
The recipe for a healthier dream chocolate was based on AI’s findings: five layers of different chocolates with less sugar. Each layer has a different taste and texture designed to fit a different use case: hunger, craving, relaxation, and delight. From bite to bite new sensations get discovered and gradually build upon each other. The topographic design of the bar allows the layers to be easily separated for enjoyment at the suitable time.
The Bar’s milk chocolate has 30% less sugar than regular milk chocolate. It is also lactose-free. This is achieved without changing the sweet taste or texture of the milk chocolate by using the Valio Bettersweet™ solution in the recipe. Valio Bettersweet™ is a milk powder solution that enables natural sugar reduction in any milk chocolate product by using the proteins in milk reducing the need for added sugar. Utilizing the solution chocolate manufacturers can fully dispense with artificial sweeteners. The 30% sugar reduction is just the beginning, as Valio already has solutions under development that can eliminate the amount of added sugar completely. The Bar is a proof of concept of what Valio Bettersweet™ milk powder solution can do. This means that Valio itself has not switched to chocolate manufacturing. The proof of concept of future’s milk chocolate was created in collaboration with a Finnish chocolate artisan company Kultasuklaa.
Read more about The Bar, its natural recipe, great taste, and functional futuristic design on Valio’s website.
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