Kroger’s Latest Tech Partnership to Move Freshness Initiatives Forward

Grocer will work with NVIDIA to reimagine shopping experience using AI-enabled applications and service
Emily Crowe, Progressive Grocer
Kroger and NVIDIA will push the grocer's initiatives forward with the use of artificial intelligence, computer vision and more

The Kroger Co. is kicking up its technology prowess through a strategic collaboration with computing company NVIDIA. The partnership will allow the grocer to utilize NVIDIA’s artificial intelligence (AI)-powered applications and services to fundamentally change the way consumers shop. 

The two companies plan to open a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence lab and demonstration center within Kroger’s headquarters in Cincinnati, which will be used to further the grocer’s shipping logistics, freshness initiatives and store experience. 

“Our collaboration with NVIDIA supports Kroger’s ‘Fresh for Everyone’ commitment,” said Wesley Rhodes, VP of technology transformation and research and development at Kroger. “We look forward to learning more about how AI and data analytics will further our journey to provide our customers with anything, anytime, anywhere.” 

NVIDIA’s enterprise software suite will enable Kroger to visualize virtual models, or digital twins, that accurately reflect store layouts and other operations in order to help increase store efficiency, while also exploring logistics optimizations to ensure freshness from farm to plate during last-mile delivery. Computer vision and analytics will also allow the grocer to identify the early indicators that can lead to food spoilage. 

“NVIDIA and Kroger’s collaboration on AI and digital twins will further expand Kroger’s digital technology leadership,” said Azita Martin, VP and general manager of retail at Santa Clara, Calif.-based NVIDIA. “Kroger already is delivering excellent customer experiences in stores and providing fast home delivery. With NVIDIA AI, shoppers gain more personalized experiences in physical stores and online.”

The technology news follows Kroger’s announcement that it plans to expand its reach with the addition of spoke fulfillment facilities in Austin and San Antonio, Texas, and Birmingham, Ala. The grocer also recently shared news of its impressive fourth quarter, which ended Jan. 29 and saw same-store sales increase 4% with digital sales growing 105% on a two-year stack. Total company sales were $33 billion for the period, compared with $30.7 billion for the same period last year.  

Serving 60 million households annually nationwide through a digital shopping experience, and almost 2,800 retail food stores under a variety of banner names, Cincinnati-based Kroger is No. 3 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America.

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