A Midwestern grocer is enhancing inventory turns and product freshness with artificial intelligence (AI) technology.
Cub is rolling out the Afresh Fresh Operating System across all of its stores. After initially utilizing the Afresh predictive ordering and merchandising solution in select stores, Cub recognized improvements for consumers, material labor efficiencies for store personnel, and a reduction in food waste across the supply chain.
Leveraging Afresh, Cub store personnel can manage changes in the status of its fresh food more efficiently, reducing food waste and achieving higher levels of freshness in its stores. The Afresh solution works across Cub's existing forecasting, inventory, and store operations, providing department managers with a suite of ordering tools offering real-time insights.
According to Afresh, retailers utilizing its technology typically increase sales by an average of 3% chainwide, while reducing food waste by 25% and improving inventory turns.
Festival Foods ensures freshness with IoT
Grocers are using a variety of smart technologies to cut food waste by improving in-store freshness. For example, Wisconsin-based regional grocer Festival Foods is ensuring food safety and minimizing shrink with Internet of Things (IoT) technology.
The retailer utilizes Bluetooth IoT sensors from SmartSense to automatically and continuously monitor the temperature of coolers, refrigerators, and chilled cases in all of its stores. Festival Foods placed SmartSense Bluetooth IoT sensors in all chilled and frozen product shelving units in all of its stores.
The Bluetooth sensors continuously take in temperature data, which is then transmitted to gateways that collect the data and send it to a centralized SmartSense database. Gateways operate with battery backup and cellular technology, so that even in the event of a power or network outage, they can still collect and transmit data in real time.
"At Cub, the local community is at the center of everything we do. Afresh has helped us keep our community front and center by delivering better, fresher products to our shoppers, while also helping us reduce waste and lessen our environmental footprint," said Cub CEO Mike Stigers.
"Afresh worked to make the implementation of the Fresh Operating System as easy, flexible, and lightweight as possible, which significantly reduced the burden on our IT team," said Cub CIO Luke Anderson. "We're excited to roll Afresh out to more stores as a part of our broader strategy to increase efficiencies across our chain."
"Cub is a beloved cornerstone of their local community in Minnesota, a testament to the great work they do to constantly improve the grocery experience for its shoppers." said Matt Schwartz, CEO and co-founder of Afresh. "Afresh is proud to continue to partner with Cub to help reduce food waste and make fresh, healthy food accessible to the community."
Based in Stillwater, Minn., Cub was established in 1968 as one of the nation's first discount grocery stores. The organization operates 80 grocery stores and pharmacies in Minnesota and Illinois, as well as 31 Cub Wine & Spirits and Cub Liquor stores.