Skip to content

8 Risks If You Don’t Have an AI Strategy

1. Competitive Disadvantage

For FMCG companies, the competition is relentless. Without AI, brands risk falling behind as competitors leverage AI for supply chain optimization, dynamic pricing, and consumer behavior prediction. Embracing AI is no longer about keeping up—it’s about setting the pace for innovation and efficiency in a sector where margins are thin and scale is everything.

2. Consumer Expectations

In an industry driven by consumer choices, AI provides the insights necessary to deliver the personalized experiences that customers now expect. Whether it’s through AI-driven recommendation engines or smart inventory management ensuring their favorite products are always in stock, consumers gravitate towards brands that seem to “know” them. Without AI, FMCG brands risk becoming faceless entities in a market that demands personalization.

3. Risk Management

AI’s predictive analytics can be the crystal ball that FMCG companies need to foresee and navigate risks—from fluctuating commodity prices to changing regulatory landscapes. In a sector where brand reputation is paramount, failing to predict and mitigate risks quickly can result in more than just lost sales—it can damage a brand’s credibility irreparably.

4. Regulatory Compliance

As regulations become more stringent and complex, especially around sustainability and ethical sourcing, AI offers FMCG companies the tools to stay compliant and ahead of legislative changes. Non-compliance can result in hefty fines and, even worse, a public relations nightmare that no FMCG brand can afford.

5. Efficiency & Cost Savings

With razor-thin margins, the FMCG sector’s success hinges on efficiency and the ability to reduce costs without compromising on quality. AI helps streamline production lines, optimize logistics, and reduce waste, ensuring that resources are utilized to their fullest potential. Without an AI strategy, FMCG companies may see their profits squeezed as operational inefficiencies go unchecked.

AI Strategy Graphic

6. Data Utilization

Data is the new oil, and in the FMCG sector, it’s flowing abundantly. AI is critical in converting this data into actionable insights—understanding market trends, predicting demand, and crafting marketing strategies that resonate. Ignoring AI means ignoring the data that could drive the next big FMCG trend.

7. Talent Attraction & Retention

AI expertise is becoming as essential as marketing savvy in the FMCG sector. Companies that showcase a commitment to AI innovation are more attractive to the best minds in data science and analytics. Without an AI strategy, FMCG companies may find themselves bereft of the talent that could drive their next breakthrough.

8. Strategic Alignment

For FMCG brands, aligning every aspect of the business with consumer demand is crucial. An AI strategy ensures that technological investments directly support the goal of meeting consumer needs quickly and effectively. Without this alignment, FMCG companies may find themselves investing in tech that doesn’t deliver ROI or, worse, detracts from the consumer experience.

The bottom line for FMCG companies in 2024 is clear: integrate AI into your strategy or risk falling behind. AI isn’t just about technology; it’s about staying relevant, resilient, and responsive in a sector where the consumer is king and the market waits for no one. An AI strategy is an indispensable tool in the FMCG toolkit, and those without it may soon find themselves unable to compete in the increasingly tech-driven marketplace.

Click here for more columns by Gail Martino; if you enjoy this content, please consider connecting with Gail Martino on LinkedIn.


  • Gail Martino

    Gail Martino, Ph.D is a thought leader and global innovation leader in the fast-moving consumer goods industry, having worked with billion-dollar brands at Unilever and previously at Gillette. With a background spanning both corporate and academic roles, Gail has a proven track record in developing and executing highly effective innovation ecosystems, driving value through strategic partnerships and internal product development. Notably, she has been a valued member of the advisory board for the Front End of Innovation conference since 2015.


Related Content

A smiling little robot
Generation Z

The Road to FEI24: Samantha Johnson

Samantha Johnson, Founder & CEO at Tatum Robotics, will take part in FEI 2024 in several ways, including participating in the keynote sessions, “Bru…

finger pointing at a data screen
data science

The Road to FEI24: Donald High

As we prepare for FEI 2024, All Things Innovation’s Seth Adler had a chance to sit down with Donald High, Chief Data Scientist, Internal Revenue Ser…

laboratory beaker with dropper
innovation insights

Transform New Product Development with AI

While AI is certainly touted as being able to create rapid data-driven insights, there are advantages in the new product development process that can…

explorer in a cave
behavioral insights

Applying AI to Anthropological Research

Agile research and methodologies are of primary importance to the innovation discipline, as they promote a more versatile, rapid, adaptive approach to…

prompt engineering
prompt engineering

Positioning the Role of Prompt Engineering

Prompt engineering is one of the latest buzzwords when it comes to artificial intelligence, but what is this evolving and complex job function? Some m…

data analytics

Powering AI-Driven Innovation

The advancements in artificial intelligence have rapidly impacted and transformed the business world around us. For insights and innovation, it has in…

data quality

Finding Best Practices for Data Management

Data management is critical in today’s innovation and overall business environment. This ensures that data is collected, cleansed, analyzed and stor…

future of work

Gaining an Innovation Edge with Automation

With the focus on how artificial intelligence, as well as digital transformation efforts, can help streamline operations, it’s worth another look at…

innovation collaboration

Bringing Sales and Innovation Together

Just how can innovation and sales work together to find success? Too often, companies find themselves stuck in their respective departments and the si…

digital transformation

Advancing Universal Interaction

Artificial intelligence, specifically generative AI, has the potential to be a great equalizing disruptive technology of our time. While we are still…

artificial intelligence

How AI is Redefining Business Strategy

Over the last year, AI went from being the next big thing to being the Big Thing. In particular, Large Language Models (LLMs) from companies like Open…

innovation culture

Taking Next Steps with Innovation Talent

As we head into the new year, taking the next steps with innovation talent remains an important question to explore. With the competitive landscape in…

innovation culture

PIE: Get Your Slice of Success

How can someone really stand out and succeed as a corporate innovator, get the most exciting projects, or secure a promotion? This is a question I enc…

innovation talent

Keeping Your Innovation Career Resilient

With the rise of technology, such as AI, impacting workers and workplaces, it’s safe to say the future of work is evolving—in innovation and in ma…

innovation strategy

The Impact of AI on Innovation

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is having a profound impact and influence on a broad range of industries. From healthcare to publishing to industrial fie…

measuring innovation

Measuring Innovation Performance

Innovation can be a key component to drive a company’s success and performance, in both short-term and long-term initiatives. Yet many executives gr…

risk management

Unlocking Business Growth Through Innovation

The business world is changing quickly for innovators and there is a growing and ever-present imperative to keep up. Business model transformations an…

digital innovation

Living in A Digital Transformation World

Digital transformation (DX) has been a hot topic in the innovation space for some time, but the term can be easily misunderstood as well. As we accele…

Innovation Resources
digital transformation

External Partnerships Fuel Innovation

As part of the continuing series of conversations at FEI with All Things Innovation’s Seth Adler, next on tap is Eric Agdeppa, R&D Director, Innovat…


Supporting Data with Design Thinking

At FEI, All Things Innovation conducted a special roundtable, bringing cross industry, cross disciplinarians together to talk about transformation and…


Achieving Transformational Innovation

At FEI, All Things Innovation conducted a special roundtable, bringing cross industry, cross disciplinarians together to talk about transformation and…

business innovation

Managing the Marketing of Innovation

Even some of the best new innovations might fail if there’s no effective marketing behind the product or service. With an emphasis on cross-collabor…

innovation culture

Putting Together Your Innovation Team

As the community’s recent Innovation Spend & Trends Report indicated, innovation teams are not working in a bubble, or at least not as much as they…

6 D's framework

The Progress of Innovation

Technology is shaping our society, taking us in new directions and playing a key role in our lives every day. These forces can disrupt, or delight, co…


Managing Talent to Drive Innovation

With the economy producing mixed signals, and companies often in a state of flux, managing innovation talent has never been a more challenging and imp…

data science

Diving Into Humanity-Centric Innovation

With the continued emergence and evolving development of artificial intelligence, there rises a question of how humans and AI can work together more e…

innovation team

Tapping Into the Innovation Talent Pipeline

In the last few years, the pandemic and a range of other economic factors have influenced the talent recruitment, development and retention practices…

innovation culture

Ignite a Culture of Innovation

From the successes to the failures, from the breakthroughs to the breaking points, the innovation community knows all too well that fostering a cultur…

product innovation

15 Second Workday

This morning I generated 40 new product ideas with concepts and ad copy to accompany each.  It took 15 seconds. This is just a small fraction of what…

fostering innovation

Fostering Innovation

When you start to talk that way and lead that way, people do feel more psychologically safe to support change and support innovation that’s happenin…

virtual reality

Innovation Reality

When working remotely, the main challenge is bringing people into an office when they live across the country or around the world. The AES Corporation…

innovation talent

Control The Sails

Although the world was affected heavily with change in the last few years, not much in the business world has changed as far as topics and issues go….

innovation talent

Innovation Culture

Innovation starts with the employees of an organization. As we know, the people that work for a business are some of its greatest assets. In today’s…


Measurable Innovation

Each company has their own KPIs that are important to their specific business in place to progress and be successful. Are people at the forefront of i…

innovation culture

Certain Uncertainty

Life is uncertain in every way. It’s always interesting to meet new people and try new things. On the other hand, attackers may sometimes appear out o…