Afresh is a company designing artificial intelligence (AI) solutions specifically for the unique operational demands of fresh food.
"Produce is the marquee department in a grocery store and plays a starring role in shopping decisions," Matt Schwartz, CEO of Afresh, told Grocery Dive. Afresh is a company designing artificial intelligence (AI) solutions specifically for the unique operational demands of fresh food. Schwartz went on to say that "Both in-store and online, a market can really shine with the quality of its produce or can drive away customers if the offerings aren't sufficiently fresh and plentiful." What we have observed even before the pandemic is that most of the complaints from shoppers who chose to order their groceries on line and have them delivered is that they were disappointed with the selection of their produce items. There is little doubt that shoppers prefer to select their own produce and as we have noted many times before, a great produce department, with all those aromas and colors sets the stage for a great shopping trip.
Grocery Dive reports that every produce manager knows that having the right amount of product on the shelves is critical—too little and you risk running out and losing sales, but too much leads to waste and lost profits. Produce ordering decisions can be among the most difficult in a supermarket. Quantities, seasonality, proper storage and dealing with those finicky customers who have to squeeze every lemon makes a produce manager’s job among the most challenging. Schwartz says that stores that prioritize fresh produce will win share of basket, and in this tech-driven world, being the best means investing in technology. He adds that most retailers are still relying on ordering systems built for the center store. Afresh is a new solution designed to meet the unique needs of the produce section and remove the guesswork and uncertainty that plagues fresh ordering. "Artificial intelligence is able to effectively predict demand and handle inventory uncertainty to optimize for getting the right amount of food on the shelves at the right time," Schwartz explains.
Afresh is designed to leverage the instincts and knowledge of produce teams - the combination of AI and store teams that really works. Afresh’s goal is to supply better inventory management, a win-win-win of profits based on reducing waste, sustainability and human health.