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Technology Delivers Sustainable Solutions that Transform Fresh

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Matt Schwartz, CEO and co-founder, Afresh

Sustainability is a topic grocery retailers know they must address. That is especially important in their fresh departments, where food waste has become a key supply chain challenge. Here, Matt Schwartz, CEO and co-founder of Afresh, explains how the Afresh Fresh Operating System enables fresh teams to champion sustainability, prevent waste, and keep shelves full and fresh, too. 

Progressive Grocer: How would you describe the Afresh Fresh Operating System for retailers who want to transform their fresh departments? 

Matt Schwartz: Our Fresh Operating System is an AI-powered solution that optimizes fresh inventory, forecasting, merchandising, ordering, and store operations. It combines artificial intelligence, real-time store insights, and store-level expertise to reduce shrink, increase sales, empower store teams, and provide fresher food for customers. Unlike existing supply chain solutions, we’re built specifically to handle the challenges unique to fresh food, and do it in a way that’s easy to understand. Our app has a familiar workflow and intuitive design, and our AI makes reliable recommendations that help employees create perfect orders, which minimizes stockouts and shrink. Employees who use Afresh tell us they love writing orders — and they report higher job satisfaction and more time for customer interactions, too. 

PG: How does the system help grocery retailers become more sustainable businesses?

MS: Food waste is a global problem that impacts the environment, climate change, and access to food. Retail businesses, including grocery stores, account for 28 percent of food waste within the supply chain, with the highest occurrence in fresh food. Grocers have been starved of technology and left to rely on pen, paper, and intuition to make decisions leading to massive inefficiencies, excess waste, and lost profit. Afresh changes that! It gives retailers and fresh department employees the tools they need to curb climate change by reducing waste in stores. 

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Impact Table

PG: With everything on grocers’ plates, why should they take time to implement a new system? Why is the Afresh Fresh Operating System what every grocer needs to succeed in fresh?

MS: Adopting Afresh has a triple bottom line impact: we improve profitability, reduce waste, and also help get fresher food on shelves to customers. And the results speak for themselves! Retailers who have partnered with Afresh have ordered a combined 6.7 billion pounds of food and $1.6 billion of food with Afresh. The progress they’ve made is significant:1

PG: Does it have benefits from a customer perspective, too? 

MS: Absolutely! Retailers who use our Fresh Operating System are taking steps to become a more sustainable business, offer the freshest produce, and reduce waste, too. Those are things consumers want, and they can positively impact the bottom line, too. 

For example, 74% of consumers say fresh, delicious-looking produce is a top priority when shopping; 65% say fresh produce drives them to shop a store again; 56% say it makes them spend more time shopping the fresh section; and 51% say they’re willing to spend more money on fresh produce.2 

They’re also concerned about food waste: 63% of shoppers who know a store is taking steps to reduce food waste feel more compelled to shop there; 52% will shop there more frequently; and 52% will recommend the store to others.2 

PG: Do you have an example of a retailer who has implemented the system? 

MS: We are live with a number of regional and national retailers including Winco, Heinen’s, and Albertsons across the US, and by the end of the year 10% of produce ordered in the US will be ordered with Afresh! We have more partners we can’t quite announce yet, and are very excited to increase the impact of our system by scaling to even more partners. 

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“ By partnering with Afresh, we are now able to improve our processes to better manage our fresh product supply and provide our store teams with a tool to better predict demand and monitor inventory. ”

SUSAN MORRIS, EVP and Chief Operating Officer, Albertsons Companies


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For more information about how the Afresh Fresh Operating System can improve sustainability in your fresh department, visit


1 Afresh 2021 Impact Report 
2 Fresh Success: Keys to Customer Retention

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