Albertsons is rolling out an artificial intelligence platform chain-wide to reduce seafood shrink.
After a successful pilot project earlier this year, the Boise, Idaho, U.S.A.-based grocer is implementing AI technology from San Francisco, California, U.S.A.-based Afresh Technologies through the 2,200 grocery stores it operates under the Safeway, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Vons, and ACME banners.
The AI-powered predictive ordering solution for fresh departments will enable Albertsons’ meat and seafood teams to keep coolers and freezers light while boosting in-stock rates with AI-powered recommendations for high-value, hyper-perishable items like fresh poultry and prefilled order quantities for slower-moving, prepackaged items such as bacon, according to the company.
"At Albertsons, we strive to create a distinctive experience in fresh foods, and our meat and seafood departments are a key component in this strategy, Albertsons Executive Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Susan Morris said. “Afresh has enabled our associates to make smarter decisions daily that keep customer favorites in stock and ensure that we are offering them the best-quality, freshest product.”
The platform also helps its stores to “significantly reduce food waste as Albertsons continues to make progress toward our goal to have zero waste going to landfill by 2030,” Morris said.
Afresh’s platform is a built-for-fresh AI solution that analyzes shopping data to drive optimal decisions in the fresh departments such as meat, seafood, and deli, providing analysis on the correct amount of seafood grocers need in order to keep their customers happy while keeping their shrink levels low, Afresh Chief Revenue Officer Dain Charette told SeafoodSource.
“Seafood and meat departments are particularly tricky for grocers as their products are high-value and hyper-perishable, and often, some of the most significant contributors to store shrinks,” Charette said.
Afresh works by giving department managers follow a short list of required inventory checks that help generate AI-managed, pre-filled orders. The insights are delivered to store teams via handheld tablets, where employees can engage with order recommendations quickly and efficiently, according to Charette.
Since 2022, Albertsons has successfully reduced food waste in its produce department as a result of its partnership with Afresh, according to the retailer. Then, after a successful two-month pilot in meat and seafood departments in 2023, the Afresh platform was introduced chainwide in the summer and fall.
Charette declined to reveal specific results of the pilot program.
Kroger is currently involved in a proposed deal to merge with Kroger, which would be the biggest supermarket merger ever in the United States. First announced in October 2022, the USD 24.6 billion (EUR 22.8 billion) is still awaiting approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, according to Winsight Grocery Business.
Graphic courtesy of Afresh