An upcoming pilot by The Save Mart Cos. aims to optimize produce procurement and supply and, just as important, freshness.
Plans call for Save Mart to test Afresh Technologies’ Fresh Operating System at selected Save Mart, Lucky California and FoodMaxx stores across California, San Francisco-based Afresh said yesterday. The artificial intelligence-powered platform is expected to sharpen fresh produce operations at the pilot stores and by helping them reduce shrink and accelerate stock turns to provide customers with fresher produce.
With the technology, the Save Mart Cos. supermarkets stores will benefit from more efficient truck-to-shelf ordering as well as inventory tracking designed to minimize back stock, ensure that lead ad items are “plentiful and in stock,” and extend the shelf life of fresh produce “before it even leaves the store,” according to Afresh.
“Since its inception, The Save Mart Cos. has embraced innovation, from distinctive in-store experiences and hyperlocal product offerings to a robotic grocery delivery service,” Hal Levitt, senior vice president of retail operations and supply chain at Modesto, Calif.-based Save Mart. “Afresh Technologies should boost produce operations efficiency and help support our department managers stock and maintain the freshest product for our shoppers, all while reducing food waste.”
Afresh describes its platform as a “one-stop shop for all produce ordering,” including bulk purchases traditionally done with pen and paper. The company’s system helps supermarkets plan in advance by using AI to analyze previous demand and data trends and provide order recommendations that enable grocers to hold onto fresh food for as little time as possible, reducing losses and food waste. Afresh reported that stores using its programs have cute food waste by 25% and out-of-stocks by 80%, while lifting monthly department sales by 3% on average.
“Afresh is using an innovative approach to solve problems that have historically been overlooked, and we’re excited to drive results that support The Save Mart Cos.’ priorities,” commented Matt Schwartz, co-founder and CEO of Afresh. “The Save Mart Cos.’ stores are already leaders in fresh produce, given their location in the heart of California’s agricultural community, and our AI-driven approach will help their stores optimize its produce department.”
Overall, The Save Mart Cos. operates more than 200 stores in California and Nevada under the banners Save Mart, Lucky and Lucky California (supermarkets); FoodMaxx (warehouse grocery stores); and MaxxValue (discount grocery).