Industry: Retail     Solution: Supply chain automation

How Beer Giant AB InBev Is Evolving A Global Chatbot Program Born In Brazil

After launching the “Bevi” assistant in Brazil just under a year ago, AB Inbev is now evolving it to increase customer satisfaction, reduce costs and ultimately, generate revenue.

The Results


Increase in customer engagement


Success rate on all customer queries


Reduction in live agent calls

AB Inbev: Aiming for High Impact

Started over 800 years ago by the experienced hands of Belgian monks, today Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB Inbev) is the world’s largest brewer with annual sales in 2018 of $54.6 billion. The company has 28 percent global market share of beer sales and owns 500 of the world’s most popular beer brands including Budweiser, Corona, and Stella Artois. The company boasts 56 offices around the world including Belgium, São Paulo, New York City, London, and Bangkok.


Though it was a multi-national beer giant, AB InBev had yet to implement conversational AI in any of its subsidiaries or markets worldwide. “There was definitely internal and external demand for what the bots could solve,” according to Gabriel Gaspar, ABI’s Global Director of Innovation.  So aiming for high impact, the Global Initiative Center, based in Mountain View, California, started to identify AI technology partners. The firm partnered with artificial intelligence specialist Avaamo, focusing on high volume, meaningful use cases, and worked between May and August 2018 to deliver a functional bot. ABI’s first virtual assistant was soon deployed and named “Bevi”.

The firm focused on high volume, meaningful use cases, partnered with artificial intelligence specialist Avaamo and worked between May and August 2018 to deliver a functional bot.

Business challenge

ABI decided the first global conversational AI project would launch in Brazil. Gaspar believed, “Given the number of people and resources in Brazil, it was clear that the chatbot would bring a real contribution to the business in terms of operational efficiency and customer satisfaction.”  This presented several challenges for Avaamo. The first being that the ABI assistant—now named Bevi—would converse exclusively in Brazilian Portuguese. This would require a deep understanding of Brazillian Portuguese and particularly its colloquial and informal characteristics. The second was that Bevi needed to be deployed solely to WhatsApp, which had just opened up its platform for businesses. The WhatsApp deployment was critical as nearly 9 out of 10 people use the platform in Brazil.


Under an aggressive timeline, ABI identified several high impact use cases that Avaamo could start automating. According to Gaspar, B2B customer satisfaction was a key goal, with cost reduction justifying the Bevi project. 


B2B customer satisfaction was a key goal, with cost reduction justifying the Bevi project.


Specifically, the B2B problem they wanted to address was the long wait times customers (restaurants, bars, & other beer vendors) were experiencing ordering new beer shipments.  Most business was done through WhatsApp, but with live agents. Frequently wait times exceeded several days for a call back. The Bevi agent should automate and handle these order requests—and thereby eliminate customer wait times and the demands on live agents. 


What initially started off as a small POC, is now available on WhatsApp and is currently being used by over 33,000 customers across all of Brazil. Avaamo had a production schedule of 4 weeks to develop 3 use cases: “order status”, “place an order” and “spam filter”.  The Avaamo platform ingested and classified over 3,000 Portuguese user conversations per use case and modeled the appropriate multi-turn Portuguese conversation.


The results were groundbreaking. Bevi won the coveted “Best in Class Solution-SLC 19”, for the most innovative project—a company wide award selected from all projects by the CEO Carlos Brito. Subsequently, Avaamo started to work with the customer success delivery team at ABI to develop and deliver more use cases. Within the next 3 months, Avaamo was able to deliver the multiple new use cases, along with integration into their legacy backend systems, and have the bot deployed to WhatsApp.



After the Bevi assitant was deployed to WhatsApp, ABI was able to see immediate results. Bevi has helped ABI greatly expand their customer reach and is continuing to add more customers. In only 4 months, Bevi has successfully answered 205,258 queries with an increase of 159% in customer engagement. Bevi now also helps users check their order status, open tickets, and answer frequently asked questions. Avaamo was able to deliver a conversational AI assistant with complex use cases and under an aggressive time schedule—across all of Brazil. And it’s just the beginning according to Gaspar:

Companies have barely scratched the surface in terms of how to use AI as a whole for top line and revenue generation, rather than using it just for automation. We embarked on this journey knowing the prize lies further down the line. And it’s a big one.
Anheuser-Busch InBev is the world’s largest brewer with annual sales of $54.6 Billion and 28 percent market share of global beer sales.
Build a Portuguese speaking bot that will be deployed to the WhatsApp platform under an aggressive 3 month time schedule.
Since its deployment, The Bevi Assistant has successfully answered over 205,258 queries with a 159% increase in engagement. Live agent calls have fallen by 94%.