Grocers such as Cub, Fresh Thyme and Heinen’s have signed up for the expansion of Afresh Technologies, already known for its produce solution, into other core fresh departments, among them meat, seafood, deli and foodservice. The holistic AI-powered platform aims to optimize store ordering and operations by providing intelligent recommendations and streamlined ordering and inventory workflows.
“Afresh has been an incredibly supportive and proactive partner as we’ve implemented their produce solution across all of our corporate stores,” noted Luke Anderson, CIO of Stillwater, Minn.-based Cub. “Having a lightweight, fully comprehensive solution that connects across other fresh departments should unlock even more benefits for our customers and store teams.”
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“After proving our ability to add value in thousands of stores in produce, we have been overwhelmed by demand to launch the Afresh platform in other fresh departments,” said Matt Schwartz, CEO and co-founder of San Francisco-based Afresh. “We are taking the same approach of bringing easy-to-use AI-powered tools to these historically underserved, strategically critical departments.”
In the meat department, for example, associates using Afresh can save time by placing pre-filled orders for packaged fresh products with longer shelf lives, like bacon. They can also boost order accuracy with intelligent recommendations for high-value, hyper-perishable items like fresh poultry, increasing in-stock rates and profits while reducing labor overhead.
To date, Afresh customers have seen an average 3% sales lift and 25% shrink reduction in their produce departments – a collective 31 million pounds of food waste prevented so far, according to the company.
Cub’s parent company, Providence, R.I.-based UNFI, the largest publicly traded grocery distributor in America, is No. 49 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2022 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Downers Grove, Ill.-based Fresh Thymeis No. 91 on PG’s list.