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Cub Foods-produce dept-Chanhassen MN.jpg Cub Foods
Cub Foods plans to roll out Afresh's Fresh Operating System across its store base after testing it last year for produce operations in selected locations.

Cub Foods goes chainwide with fresh food platform

Twin Cities-area grocer gets results after pilot of Afresh solution

Cub Foods is implementing Afresh Technologies’ Fresh Operating System across its store base to sharpen management of fresh food operations.

Stillwater, Minn.-based Cub moved to roll out the Afresh fresh-food optimization platform chainwide after piloting its predictive ordering and merchandising solution at selected stores almost a year ago, Afresh said Thursday. Designed specifically for supermarket fresh-food departments, the artificial intelligence-powered technology supports forecasting, inventory, ordering, merchandising and store operations functions.

Part of distributor United Natural Foods Inc., Cub Foods has a retail network of 80 supermarkets and pharmacies, primarily in the Twin Cities market, with one Illinois store. The retailer also operates 31 beer, wine and spirits stores under the Wine & Spirits and Cub Liquor banners.

“Afresh has helped us keep our community front and center by delivering better, fresher products to our shoppers, while also helping us reduce waste and lessen our environmental footprint,” Cub Foods CEO Mike Stigers said in a statement.

In the pilot of Afresh’s solution, Cub saw “significant improvements” to inventory turns and product freshness for customers and realized material labor efficiencies for store staff, San Francisco-based Afresh said. The grocer also achieve a “profound reduction” in food waste across its supply chain, the tech company added.

“Afresh worked to make the implementation of the Fresh Operating System as easy, flexible and lightweight as possible, which significantly reduced the burden on our IT team,” according to Cub Foods Chief Information Officer Luke Anderson. “We’re excited to roll Afresh out to more stores as a part of Cub’s broader strategy to increase efficiencies across our chain.”

The Fresh Operating System gives department managers a suite of user-friendly ordering tools that are driven by real-time data insights, Afresh noted. The company said grocery retailers using its system typically see sales rise by an average of 3% across their chain and cut food waste by 25%, in the process achieving better inventory turns.

“Cub is a beloved cornerstone of their local community in Minnesota, a testament to the great work they do to constantly improve the grocery experience for their shoppers,” stated Afresh CEO and co-founder Matt Schwartz. “Afresh is proud to continue to partner with Cub to help them reduce food waste and make fresh, healthy food accessible to their community.”

Other grocery retailers using Afresh’s solution include Albertsons Cos., The Save Mart Cos., New Seasons Market, Heinen’s, WinCo Foods and Fresh Thyme Market.

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