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Food & Beverage

Suntory offers big bucks to techies who can personalize drinks

Data scientists to be paid $280,000 in digital push

Suntory Holdings is using data to turn expensive, high-maintenance vending machines into strategic assets. (Photo by Makoto Okada)

TOKYO -- Suntory Holdings has begun dangling annual salaries in the hundreds of thousands of dollars to lure technology talent for its digital transformation, as the Japanese beverage maker leverages data to move beyond the 20th-century model of mass production for mass consumption.

Listed subsidiary Suntory Beverage & Food will launch in July a new service for businesses that links workplace vending machines with an app on employees' smartphones. The app will offer individualized health advice to workers to adjust their habits, save companies money on medical costs -- and provide Suntory with a gold mine of data on individuals' buying habits and on how to change consumer behavior.

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