Giant Eagle remotely ensures product freshness with IoT

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Giant Eagle
Giant Eagle is using IoT to help ensure food safety.

A regional food, fuel and pharmacy retailer is expanding a digital temperature monitoring rollout.

Pittsburgh-based Giant Eagle Inc. moving forward with a rollout of the Digi SmartSense Internet of Things (IoT)-based temperature monitoring platform. Giant Eagle is now utilizing 32,000 new SmartSense digital temperature monitoring devices across its 215 pharmacies, 175 grocery locations and 92 convenience stores. With this latest phase of IoT deployment, the retailer is remotely, automatically and continuously monitoring its critical food assets.

Hoping to gain a competitive and cost-saving advantage by utilizing digital technology, Giant Eagle now includes the SmartSense system for its walk-ins, chillers and refrigerators across all of its applicable supermarkets. The company can install temperature monitoring devices in minutes, combining wireless sensors, food probes, digital checklists, and remote monitoring software and analytics tools.

All SmartSense features and functions are accessible via a single compliance monitoring dashboard and mobile app. As a result, Giant Eagle can obtain a holistic view of operations at every level, providing actionable insights that the retailer uses to help drive quality control, employee productivity, and food safety compliance.

Another regional grocer, Midwest chain Coborn’s, also leverages Digi SmartSense IoT technology to ensure that its products and equipment do not get too hot or too cold. Coborn’s has deployed thousands of SmartSense temperature-monitoring solutions, seeking to strengthen its ability to monitor product quality and safety while redirecting labor hours to higher-value, customer-centric activities.

In addition to meeting organizational and regulatory standards for food safety and pharmaceutical monitoring, the retailer also utilizes SmartSense in its trucking operations to monitor multiple temperature zones within each trailer while providing appropriate telematics for its operations. Furthermore, Coborn's placed temperature-monitoring sensors inside its car washes to monitor for extreme temperature drops. The sensors can indicate malfunctioning doors during extreme cold weather and prevent equipment damage.

“We have been continually impressed with SmartSense’s innovative and intelligent solutions, which have allowed us to strengthen our unwavering commitment to maintaining the highest levels of food safety for the communities we serve,” said Giant Eagle VP of risk and chief compliance officer Vic Vercammen. “Specifically, capturing detailed data insights and prescriptive analytics via SmartSense’s advanced technologies will enhance our team members’ ability to monitor product freshness in real time.”

“We are proud to serve as an IoT partner for Giant Eagle,” said SmartSense president Guy Yehiav. “Our experience, easily solving compliance requirements of pharmacy and healthcare, empowers us to keep providing critical solutions for food safety and equipment optimization. With paper and manual checks a thing of the past, we help customers such as Giant Eagle advance their operations and move from physical logs to digital insights that inform their teams on the ground, with efficiency and effectiveness. We work with customers over the long-term—evolving and developing prescriptive analytics from our scalable systems that distill operational data into clear actions that improve safety, quality and sustainability.”

Founded in 1931 and headquartered in Pittsburgh, Giant Eagle Inc. operates more than 470 stores under the Giant Eagle, Market District, and GetGo banners throughout western Pennsylvania, north central Ohio, northern West Virginia, Maryland, and Indiana.