Mondelēz and Johnson & Johnson are both investing in their demand planning capabilities through the identification of illness trends, as well as using these insights to inform consumer engagement strategies.
The companies have individually partnered with Kinsa, a data analytics provider that clusters data points from millions of households and matches spikes in illness to the corresponding need for products.
The tech maps and pinpoints the prevalence of symptoms such as coughs and fevers, forecasting outbreaks weeks to months ahead of time, which in turn can help consumer goods companies channel more stock to certain areas or plan out their finances accordingly.
With the timing and intensity of seasonal illness increasingly unpredictable, both Mondelēz and Johnson & Johnson hope investing in more precise forecasting will help reduce empty shelves, account for spikes in demand, and mitigate risk.
For Halls, the technology aims to provide a granular look into geographic trends at the county level for flu-like symptoms, coughs, fevers, colds, and nasal drip. Allergy relief brand Zyrtec will leverage the solution in a similar way, but the mapping of trends and symptoms is expected to look different depending on the time, location, and severity of allergy season.
Chris Park, director of marketing at Halls, said in a statement that the company expects the partnership will provide a deeper understanding of the spread of illness.