Skai helps leading international frozen food company triple product success outcomes and drive sustainable business growth
At a Glance
of growth after applying insights to a product line that was previously declining four years in a row
increase in number of successful product launches
of data sources continually monitored and mined
Transforming product decisioning with food and beverage analytics
UK-based Nomad Foods is Europe’s leading frozen food company and one of the largest in the world. It has a footprint that spans across 13 European markets with a portfolio that includes leading brands such as Bird’s Eye, Findus and iglo.
Before Skai (formerly Signals Analytics), the company primarily leveraged traditional market research and trend listening to inform its product decisions. Many of the insights these companies provided were limited to a single domain (e.g., observations of consumer behaviors, but not consumer perceptions); dependent on analysts’ opinions, rather than objective data sets; and/or were identified too late in the trend cycle to be actionable and valuable. Predictive analytics were more focused on media spend, as opposed to product forecasting.
Management knew that to remain competitive and innovative, they needed to leverage more data faster in order to surface insights that would lead to positive results. Specifically, Nomad sought out a means to:
- Continually mine and monitor a multitude of different types of external data sources
- Identify early multimodal signals of ascendant consumer trends
- Achieve detailed consumer sentiment analysis around specific product variables
- Guide decisions throughout the product development lifecycle
This is where Skai made a huge difference.
“Skai gives us the confidence to make the right business decisions by providing a 360-degree view of all the influences that may impact future demand from customer sentiment to market innovations.”
— Nick Steel, Growth Strategy & Insight Director, Nomad Foods
Unlock the Power of Market Intelligence
In 2016, Nomad Foods adopted the Skai platform to be able to connect multiple sources on top of the existing stack to provide them with timely and granular actionable insights. The advanced analytics platform is able to continually ingest and harmonize different unstructured data types into a single data lake. Data sources range from the voice of the consumer (e.g., social media chatter, product reviews, and KOL discussions) to competitive analysis (e.g., announcements, filings, product releases) to marketplace analysis (e.g., sales data, product claims) to innovation (e.g., patent filings, conference presentations, research forums). Skai’s patented Natural Language Processing (NLP) engine then applies a configurable category-specific taxonomy, which makes the findings emanating from the platform relevant to the specific product area being assessed. Furthermore, the platform is able to apply sentiment analysis at scale, which provides a deep level of specificity into how consumers perceive specific variables such as ingredients, benefits, and other product attributes.
The impact: New ways to manage product development lifecycle
By combining and analyzing multiple data sources, Skai has helped Nomad Foods identify relevant macro trends in their infancy and relate them to the overall market landscape and their own product portfolio. This has led to new ways of managing the product development lifecycle and uncovering new products to bring to market. The Skai platform has removed much of the guesswork around innovation by helping the company identify where to focus its investments and efforts.
The depth and breadth of insights have resulted in a number of demonstrable business wins, notably a three-fold increase in new product launches that remain on store shelves for more than two years.
In particular, Skai played an instrumental role in helping the company turn around the fortunes of its Fish Fingers and frozen vegetable product lines. The company identified both as “must win battles” after they suffered a multi-year period of declining sales.
Skai’s platform helped to surface the claims that would resonate best in a changing marketplace. These insights informed the brands’ successful relaunches, which have since sustained multiple consecutive years of growth. More recently, Nomad successfully launched a new line of frozen pea-protein-based meat alternatives based on white space opportunities identified through the Skai platform. By looking at the volume of consumer discussions on the topic as compared to product availability on the market, it became clear that this was an unmet need that the company was well-positioned to capitalize on. By further examining sentiment analysis, brand managers were also able to shape product messaging around specific claims that would resonate with target consumers.
“In the old world of innovation, we relied on analysts to give us their opinion about trends based on their observations. These weren’t always reliable. With Skai, we have granular data which lets us know exactly where we should be investing our resources. As a result, we can be more effective because we know where to focus. No more living in a world of opinions, Signals Analytics takes the guesswork out of innovation.”
Nick Steel, Growth Strategy & Insight Director, Nomad Foods