Around the world every year on April 22, Earth Day events highlight environmental issues, inspiring us to take positive action towards the protection of our planet. This year’s theme is especially relevant to us and our grocery retail customers.
Invest in our Planet. Act (boldly), innovate (broadly), and implement (equitably).
The global organizer of Earth Day, calls for individuals, governments, businesses, and institutions to “recognize our collective responsibility and to help accelerate the transition to an equitable, prosperous green economy for all.”
“It’s going to take all of us. Businesses, governments, and citizens — everyone accounted for, and everyone accountable. A partnership for the planet.”
So, how does this translate to your fresh operations?
Grocery retailers play a significant role in driving sustainability. Food retailers generate a whopping 10.5 million tons of food waste, sending almost one-third of wasted food to landfills. Fortunately, with the right fresh-centric technology, there are tremendous opportunities to reduce fresh food shrink to create a greener path to profits.
Invest in our planet. Invest in technology.
As consumers embrace sustainability in so many aspects of their lives, one thing has become clear: grocery retailers must implement sustainable business practices to stay relevant with their customers.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, sustainability has remained and continues to be at the forefront of North American consumers’ concerns. A whopping 69% of shoppers focus on reducing their impact on the environment as much as possible.
Progressive Grocer recently interviewed Invafresh’s Russ Newall, Vice President, Customer Success, to discuss how the Invafresh Fresh Retail Platform (FRP) — the industry standard for fresh food retail management — helps grocers rise to the challenges their fresh departments face and contributes to improved sustainability for grocers and consumers alike.
Progressive Grocer: What are the unique sustainability challenges that grocery retailers face in fresh?
Russ Newall: First, it is important to remember that fresh isn’t just a concern for produce departments. It impacts your entire perimeter business. A key challenge for grocery retailers is fresh is time-sensitive and many grocers over order and over produce. Easily done when you are operating without having the right forecasting data to understand shifts in demand throughout the day and week. This over production leads to increased waste, reduced margins, and non-sustainable operations.
Food retailers generate 10.5 million tons of food waste, sending almost one-third of wasted food to landfills. There is a tremendous opportunity to reduce shrink to improve profits in grocery.
Fresh-centric ordering capabilities help to automate just-in-time replenishment for store backrooms based on perpetual inventory, merchandising requirements, and forecasts, to generate accurate order amounts for future inbound deliveries. This leads to 50% reduction in replenishment time, 25% reduction in backroom inventory, and 30% reduction in shrink.
PG: What would you tell grocery retailers who ask, “How can Invafresh improve my business?”
RN: To achieve a greener path to profits, grocers must implement the right fresh-native technology to balance demand with supply and availability. Our platform integrates vast amounts of operational data into machine learning algorithms to work as a single source of truth for decision making and operations across all points of the customer experience — demand, production, availability, and delivery.
The platform intelligently forecasts constant shifts in demand and can optimize and match supply and availability.
Understanding the data through intelligent forecasting is key. Having the right fresh centric analytics and data is the answer, to make smart decisions that help manage waste, reduce shrink, and drive sustainability.
That is exactly what FRP empowers retailers to do. Our intelligent demand forecasting engine proactively forecasts to highlight anomalies, inefficiencies, and resource waste in operations and supply. All that and anticipates consumer demand accurately in the moment to avoid shrink and shortage
PG: Can you share an experience from a customer who is using the Fresh Retail Platform (FRP)?
RN: Yes! We’re working with a large-scale supermarket chain that operates over 100 stores in four states throughout the central US. The company wanted to improve sales in fresh, and realized its fresh departments were operating as independent units, with no connectivity or visibility across stores.
By implementing FRP, they could identify core items that helped fresh category managers execute production planning successfully around those items to drive sales. It dramatically dropped markdowns, increased on-shelf availability and sales across their fresh departments — all components of creating a more sustainable business model.
Our job is not only to understand what grocers are trying to accomplish, but also to understand how they want to accomplish it and why. We work alongside grocers to onboard, adapt and continuously improve their processes and deliver measurable outcomes in sustainability.
“Invafresh has helped Price Chopper to produce the correct amounts of product to meet our customer demand while reducing our shrink” — Patrick Iannotti, Director of Retail Operations, Price Chopper
ARE YOU READY TO TAKE THE GREENER PATH TO SUSTAINABILITY AND PROFIT MARGINS IN YOUR FRESH OPERATIONS? ACT NOW!
To find Earth Day events near you, visit the global campaign’s official website.