EAT responds to shift in food preferences, as a result of warm weather, with Blue Yonder predictive analytics

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The continued hot weather over the past week has seen a significant shift in people’s buying habits across EAT’s 114 UK stores. Using Blue Yonder’s Forward Demand Software-as-a-Service solution has allowed EAT to better respond to a 30% demand increase for sandwiches, a 150% demand increase for salads and a reduction in demand of hot food, such as soups, hot pots and toasties by 50%. The company has additionally sold more frozen yogurt in the last two days than it has in the whole year.

Not only has Blue Yonder’s technology enabled EAT to predict and respond to a shift in our tastes since the recent spate of good weather, but it has helped realise a waste saving of 14% since it was implemented six months ago. It has also helped the food-to-go chain to manage its predominantly short-shelf life inventory much more efficiently.

Strahan Wilson, CFO, EAT, said: “The complexity of forecasting the demand for one day shelf products is a real challenge. Blue Yonder’s Forward Demand solution has helped us effectively maintain product availability up to specified sell-out times, whilst significantly reducing waste so that we can achieve an optimal balance between out-of-stock and over-stock situations. This has helped us respond quickly to this week’s shift in our customers’ buying habits as a result of the recent warm weather. Interestingly, our data results highlight not only an expected 70% increase in cold drink sales, but also a 9% ncrease in sales of coffee and other hot drinks, which clearly suggests that people are just more thirsty than usual.”

“Predicting what customers will eat next month is more of an art than a science, but Blue Yonder is helping us  predict what, where and when customers will buy. This insight has helped us develop relevant products that our customers can get truly excited about, such as our new range of rustic baguettes – an upmarket artisan baguette with higher quality ingredients – that we will launch this summer.”