Explore how Unilever’s strategic deployment of GenAI is transforming its FMCG operations, setting new industry standards in innovation and efficiency.

Unilever, a renowned FMCG titan, has forged a strategic alliance with Accenture, a professional services pioneer, to amplify the applications of GenAI in business operations. This collaboration will leverage Accenture’s considerable AI and data practice, which is backed by a substantial $3bn investment. Utilizing Accenture’s unique ‘switchboard’, Unilever aims to blend various AI models, optimizing them for precision and cost-efficiency.

The venture will kick-start at Unilever’s Horizon3 Labs in Toronto, a hub of AI R&D. This lab, positioned in a city with one of Accenture’s six North American GenAI studios, serves as a crucible for innovation and co-creation. Steve McCrystal, Unilever’s Chief Enterprise and Technology Officer, envisions this partnership to enhance consumer and retailer value significantly.

Accenture is set to bolster its AI workforce to an impressive 80,000, through hiring, acquisitions, and comprehensive training. Julie Sweet, Accenture’s Chair and CEO, notes that combining Horizon3 Labs’ innovation prowess with Accenture’s expertise will catalyze Unilever’s GenAI adoption, fostering new pathways to value creation.

Moreover, Unilever has instituted a ‘Generative AI Marketing Collective’ to guide responsible GenAI use. This initiative marks Unilever’s proactive approach in this rapidly evolving domain. Among its notable applications is a proprietary GenAI tool that auto-refreshes product descriptions on websites, aligning with search trends. This mechanism not only elevates brand visibility but also streamlines content generation, ensuring search optimization.

In their marketing arsenal, Unilever’s GenAI algorithm plays a pivotal role in identifying and sizing up new product development opportunities. A testament to its efficacy is the swift launch of products like Sunsilk Onion & Jojoba Oil Shampoo and Lakme Vitamin C face care range, inspired by trending ingredients. Unilever’s journey with GenAI spans over 400 applications across various domains, including marketing, supply chain, and R&D.