Revolutionizing food product development with AI – The success of Intellico at the Assolombarda Awards

Intellico Assoombardia Awards 2024 - Intellico


In an industry where most new product launches require extensive development times and often fail to achieve the desired outcomes, Artificial Intelligence is emerging as a crucial game changer.

AI tools enable quick adaptation to consumer trends by analyzing data from social media and consumer feedback. Additionally, AI models are employed to predict a product’s potential success before it reaches the market. These tools analyze a variety of metrics, from consumer willingness to purchase to market uniqueness, enabling brands to refine their products to better meet anticipated consumer demand1.

Moreover, the application of AI extends beyond marketing-related areas. It ranges from analyzing trends to formulating products, as exemplified by Intellico for Perfetti Van Melle.This achievement garnered the “Digitalization SME” award at the Assolombarda Awards 2024 , dedicated to Domenico Zucchetti,the late founder of the Italian software house.

AI for Food Discovery

According to Il Sole 24 Ore, innovation in the food sector is increasingly a key parameter for competitiveness2. In this context, AI can contribute to the efficiency of the R&D process, accelerating the development of new products and reducing the waste of raw materials. Perfetti Van Melle – a multinational confectionery leader and one of the top producers of chewing gum and candies worldwide – engaged Intellico with the aim of exploring the use of AI models to support formulation activities, achieving predictions on both physical and sensory parameters. Intellico’s project won the digitalization award in the SME category because it transformed an AI model into a daily-use tool: a notable 30% reduction in laboratory tests was observed, the ability to experiment with new formulations in a virtual laboratory, and the interaction between humans and machines through Explainable AI enhanced the team’s understanding of the models and phenomena analyzed, thus increasing their skills.

The lessons learned beyond the data

In an interview with Forbes3, the two project leaders highlighted the strengths of their collaboration that enabled them to achieve such significant results.

“This award not only recognizes the excellence and innovation of a project that, beyond focusing on data, emphasizes another important aspect of artificial intelligence: the importance of having a distinctive vision,” commented Francesca Saraceni, CEO of Intellico.

“If we have been able to implement a platform capable of using AI in our business processes, it is largely because a partnership based on mutual respect and honesty in understanding the potential and limits of artificial intelligence was established with Intellico,” remarked Marco Violi, Global Head of Product Development at Perfetti Van Melle.

These lessons learned demonstrate how AI projects should be founded not only on solid technological bases but also on a strong business orientation.

Want to know more about this topic? Visit our blog to find out how Intellico supports product development in the cosmetics and CPG sectors as well:


  1. The Grocer, Why brands are adding AI to their NPD mix, October 2023
  2. Il Sole 24 Ore, 15th April 2024
  3. Forbes Italia, April 2024

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