Weis Markets is teaming with fresh grocery platform Invafresh to deliver “the freshest foods” possible to its customers while also refining its product demand projections and cutting food waste.
The partnership will streamline fresh food operations in the Sunbury, Pa.-based grocer’s 198 stores by developing demand forecasting, in-store production planning, food traceability, recipe management and cut test management across all fresh departments.
Toronto-based Invafresh notes that growing consumer demand for fresh foods has driven an increase in sales during the pandemic, but higher costs coupled with labor shortages and competition have impelled food retailers to automate certain processes by implementing fresh-native technology.
“Our Invafresh collaboration will help us automate processes, such as ordering, production and inventory management, so that we are meeting customers’ expectations with the freshest foods while also more accurately predicting demand. We expect this platform to reduce food waste and improve efficiencies,” according to Bob Gleeson, senior vice president of merchandising and marketing at Weis, which operates supermarkets in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, New Jersey, New York, West Virginia and Virginia.
The Invafresh Fresh Retail Platforom will help upgrade Weis’ fresh food operations lifecycle, from purchase to prepared food production planning, using visibility and quality control to maximize freshness and deliver a consistent consumer experience. The platform incorporates artificial intelligence and machine learning to hone operations while reducing waste.
“We are pleased to be extending our relationship with Weis Markets, a customer who has used our scale management solution for many years,” Invafresh President and CEO Tim Spencer said in a statement. “We are now focused on helping Weis to optimize their fresh store operations — from deli to bakery, produce to meat, and everything in between — to ensure the freshest and highest quality products are available at the right levels when the consumer wants it.
“Our fresh-native platform helps grocery retailers deliver on their customer promise of quality and consistency while keeping margins in check and achieving their food sustainability goals in Fresh,” Spencer added.
In additional to streamlining operations, Invafresh’s program has a demonstrated capacity for cutting waste in fresh. For example, the solution has helped regional grocer Price Chopper/Market 32 to reduce inventory shortfalls and assist with on-shelf availability, forestalling 20 tons of fresh food waste weekly. Price Chopper/Market 32 is also reducing its methane emissions from landfills, lessening its carbon footprint and helping to fuel a more sustainable circular economy.