Heinen's has a new partner to help the grocer reduce food waste and increase profits.
The company is implementing a store-level replenishment solution from Afresh Technologies to optimize the amount of perishable inventory. The ultimate goal is to achieve a perfect balance between minimizing food waste, maximizing in-stock rates and multiplying profits. Heinen's plans to deploy the Afresh solution suite in fresh departments across the chain.
"Our customers know that they can always find the freshest, highest quality foods and the greatest assortment at Heinen's," said Jeff Heinen, co-CEO of Heinen's. "The partnership with Afresh enables us to continue to deliver on that promise of the freshest food and the best in-stock rate. We have always embraced innovation and are excited to partner with Afresh."
Afresh maintains its system is unlike any other replenishment technology because it combines human-centric A.I., intentionally designed workflows, and holistic systems designed to address the complexities of the fresh food supply chain. Front-line staff on the grocery store floor access Afresh’s applications through an AI-powered app that runs on mobile devices.
"Afresh enables us to profitably run the fresh department just as we envision it," said Greg Sotka, Director of Category Management and Merchandising for Heinen's. "Ever since we started working with Afresh, our teams have loved the experience, from the ease of use of the app to the accuracy of recommendations. Our product is fresher and more in-stock and we've significantly reduced shrink. All in all, Afresh has been an incredible partner to Heinen's."
Earlier this year, Afresh secured an additional $12 million in Series A funding. Afresh has now raised $20 million with the latest funding round led by returning investor Innovation Endeavors with participation from Food Retail Ventures, Maersk Growth, Impact Engine, and existing investor Baseline Ventures.
Founded in 1929 in Shaker Heights, Ohio, by a local butcher named Joe Heinen, Heinen's has grown to 23 total store locations with 19 stores in Cleveland and four stores in the suburbs of Chicago. Heinen's employs more than 3,500 associates.
"Grocers like Heinen's have an important, but wildly tough job: feed millions of mouths with slim operating budgets inside a brutally competitive industry. We started Afresh to help them succeed," said Matt Schwartz, CEO of Afresh. "Heinen's is known for delighting its loyal customers and we are deeply honored to partner with them to help them be the best in fresh."