News Briefs


Fractal Launches New Company:

fractal launches

Artificial intelligence and advanced analytics provider Fractal has launched a new company dedicated to the retail and CPG industries. 

Known as, the new company seeks to provide an end-to-end AI platform, unifying demand planning, sales and distribution, inventory planning, and pricing and promotion. The tech strives to alleviate tight budgets in retail and consumer goods, and its test release has been shown to help businesses unlock nearly 10 percent top-line and bottom-line growth, according to the company. 

These users were also reportedly able to free 40 to 60 percent of their existing manual bandwidth so they could focus on more strategic initiatives, said Fractal. 

“The opportunity for AI to unlock efficiency and drive growth is massive,” said Pranay Agrawal, Fractal co-founder and CEO, in a statement. “At Fractal, we are constantly looking for ways to help consumer brands tap into new revenue and growth opportunities and is the next step on the journey.”


DTC Standout Adore Me Picked Up By Victoria’s Secret

adore me

Victoria’s Secret will acquire Adore Me, the digitally native lingerie and apparel brand. The deal is expected to accelerate the modernization of Victoria’s Secret e-commerce platform and improve consumer experiences. 

The tech-savvy Adore Me, which leverages natural language processing within its content creation, will also provide access to a complementary consumer base for the retailer.  

The deal includes an initial upfront $400 million cash payment, with a further cash consideration including both fixed and performance-based growth targets over a two-year period. It’s expected to close by the end of January 2023. 

Adore Me and its proprietary tech platform serve a reported 1.2 million-plus active customers, leveraging personalization algorithms and a subscription model that’s said to generate strong customer retention, all of which Victoria’s Secret hopes will complement its physical retail.  

“Adore Me is a technology-led, digital-first innovator in the intimates category that will help us bring differentiated experiences to Victoria’s Secret and PINK customers,” said Martin Waters, CEO, Victoria’s Secret & Co., in a statement. “This acquisition will be a significant accelerant as we pivot toward growth and modernize the foundation of our company with an entrepreneurial mindset that puts technology at the forefront of everything we do. In partnering with the incredible team at Adore Me, we will move to the future much faster.”


Unilever Expands DTC Ice Cream Delivery

unilever ben and jerry's

Unilever is furthering its ice-cream-on-demand mission through a new partnership with Waitr Holdings’ delivery arm. 

Under the deal, will deliver such brands as Ben & Jerry’s, Bryers, Good Humor, and Magnum from Unilever’s virtual storefront, The Ice Cream Shop, to consumers in more than 2,000 locations in the United States. 

Unilever will also coordinate with ASAP’s existing restaurant partners to add ice cream to their menus.

“We are thrilled to begin this partnership with ASAP as Unilever continues to expand the many ways customers across the country can enjoy our frozen treats,” said Russel Lilly, Unilever general manager, North American ice cream, in a statement. “It’s not only exciting to further grow The Ice Cream Shop’s customer base with ASAP, but we are also honored to build out restaurant partners’ menus with our variety of offerings to bring something sweet to every customer.”

[See also: How Unilever Uses Consumer Insights in High-Risk Marketing

Getting the last mile right is one of the biggest stumbling blocks for CPGs when it comes to selling direct-to-consumer thanks to high fulfillment costs. Unilever for its part is leaving no channel left untested in its frozen DTC ambitions, having previously partnered to deliver ice cream via both drone and Robomart delivery

The company even brought ice cream into the metaverse, with a Decentraland experience that married virtual and physical worlds through NFTs and home delivery. 


Coty Reaffirms Commitment to Kindness in Beauty With New Corporate Identity

New Coty vision

Beauty brand Coty has launched a new corporate identity, centered around its new purpose — “together, we unleash every vision of beauty” — and value: “fearless kindness.” This is the latest phase of growth under the leadership of CEO Sue Y. Nabi. 

As part of this mission, Coty looks to break down barriers in beauty, creating innovative and science-based solutions that allow consumers to create their own vision of beauty. The brand hopes to work alongside the beauty industry to accomplish this mission.

[Read more: Coty Dives Into Sustainable Fragrance Production With Carbon-Captured Ethanol]

To encapsulate the new identity, which has been codified within the brand's corporate values, Coty is introducing a new tagline: “Coty, Fearless. Forward. You.”

According to Nabi, beauty has always been, and will continue to be, at the heart of society and culture.” The question of what is beautiful has built and fueled our industry through time,” she said in a statement. “We believe that today, no one can control or should dictate what is or is not beautiful. Beauty is formless, like water, a constantly evolving and adapting concept. Therefore, we need to undefine the notion of beauty.”

Nabi added that this is something the industry needs to face together by creating synergies that lead to innovations. 

“Collaboration is the catalyst for creating forward-thinking beauty,” said Nabi. “In synchrony with our people, our partners, and our customers, we will develop products that provide new, innovative, and simply better science-based solutions. Together, we will make over the world of beauty."


Google Cloud and HCLTech Expand Strategic Partnership

google cloud teaser

Google Cloud is extending its partnership with global tech consulting firm HCL Technologies

The move aims to accelerate digital transformation across Google Cloud Infrastructure, products and services, allowing for quicker enterprise cloud adoption, more efficient mass migrations, and the modernization of legacy systems.

The tech firm partnered with Google Cloud back in 2019 to form the Google Cloud Ecosystem Unit, which assisted businesses in carrying out large-scale migrations. As part of the new terms, the companies will have two new offerings — Google Cloud Global Migration and Modernization Factory. Efficiency and scalability are the overarching goal of these initiatives, providing the tools, knowledge, expertise and frameworks needed for businesses to gain quicker value-add from cloud-based investments.

Under the expanded partnership, HCLTech intends to train up to 18,000 tech and consulting staff in Google Cloud capabilities. The newly-formed HCLTech Cloud Acceleration Team will also be on hand to provide dedicated insights into enterprise data, the companies said.  

The two companies will also work together to drive “Google Cloud-first” processes across retail and CPGs, financial services, healthcare and other key industry segment. 


Brewery Group Carlsberg Is Expediting Order and Delivery With Intelligent Process Automation


Brewery company Carlsberg Group is accelerating its order and delivery processes, ensuring products in more than 150 markets arrive to their destinations faster through intelligent process automation.

The technology will allow Carlsberg Group to increase workflow efficiency and improve productivity across its teams. As an example, Carlsberg had to previously manually check and enter mailed orders, but with the new implementation — which captures incoming orders and automatically processes them through the company’s SAP system — Carlsberg will be saving up to eight minutes of manual work per order. In Sweden, this has already resulted in 140-plus hours saved per month and a touchless processing rate of 92%. 

[More Digital Transformations: How ConAgra Drives Supply Chain Transformations With Speed and Visibility]

Additionally, Carlsberg is leaning on intelligent automation for its delivery note scanning, accelerating receiving goods and reusing vendor labels to provide improved visibility of the overall delivery process. Previously, when trucks arrived at warehouses, staff had to manually check delivered products against the delivery note at the warehouse gate. Files were then manually typed into SAP before the goods receipt document could be generated and posted.

The company is partnering with ABBYY’s IDP technology in order to achieve these results as it looks to transform its digital strategy. The platform includes intelligent document processing, process mining, and task mining. Through this, Carlsberg can apply AI to understand documents in a more efficient manner. 

“ABBYY has been instrumental to our execution excellence strategy and enables us to digitally master our data and processes,” said Kamil Kropaczewski, business owner at Carlsberg, in a statement. “Thanks to the integration of ABBYY with our robotic process automation bot, we’re able to speed customer deliveries by improving workflow and team productivity.”

Neil Murphy, global channel chief at ABBYY, said that, too often, manual processes and endless paperwork get in the way of time to value and customer satisfaction. These types of solutions, he said, “means staff can focus on other more business-critical tasks and leave the tedious paperwork to their ‘digital’ colleagues.”

Learn more about the advantages and opportunities surrounding automation in the consumer goods space.