In the latest episode of NVIDIA’s AI Podcast, host Noah Kravitz spoke with the company’s cofounder and president, Nathan Fenner, about its mission, offerings and the greater challenge of eliminating food waste.
Afresh Technologies and Albertsons Companies (Boise, Idaho) announced today the rollout of the Afresh platform into the meat and seafood departments in more than 2,200 Albertsons Cos. banner stores including Safeway, Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Vons and ACME. The Afresh platform drives better decision-making across the fresh
The ever-present hum in today’s food retail ecosystem tends to revolve around solving problems and pain points with the latest technology. In fact, technology and automation solutions ranging from artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning to programs like ChatGPT are taking hold at nearly every level of the food production and sales cycle, making it essential to success in grocery both today and in the future.
The grocer has partnered with Afresh to help manage the produce departments of its stores since 2022, and after a two-month pilot this year, the company began a chainwide rollout of the AI-powered Afresh tech in its meat and seafood departments
Since 2022, Albertsons has successfully collaborated with Afresh in the produce category. Following a successful two-month pilot in the retailer’s meat and seafood departments earlier this year, the Afresh platform began an immediate chainwide rollout to those parts of the store.
After delivering transformational impact in Produce, Albertsons rolls out the Afresh platform across top-selling fresh categories, Meat and Seafood, driving higher in-stock rates and delivery on localized consumer product preferences
As environmental, social and governance (ESG) efforts take on ever-greater importance in the business world, the grocery industry has diligently kept pace with this trend. Retailers, suppliers and solution providers alike are striving not only to implement programs that will further their goals in these areas, but also to ensure that conscientious customers know about it, so they can make their purchases accordingly.
"I think technology will dramatically change the face of retail in the next 10 to 15 years,” predicts Dain Charette, chief revenue officer with Afresh, a San Francisco-based company that uses AI and machine-learning to help grocers optimize their fresh supply chain. “I’m really excited to see it.”
For all the excitement about ChatGPT, it requires significant effort for companies to harness the power of artificial intelligence and related technologies, such as machine learning. However, doing so isn’t just advantageous, it’s crucial — because any company that doesn’t keep pace with developments is going to watch as its competitors master it.
As grocery tech executives navigate the paradigm shift AI has introduced to this industry, it's crucial to recognize where AI can drive transformational impact. While some may see AI as a means to cut labor costs, Afresh prioritizes the empowerment – not replacement – of store associates. The best way to do this is by leveraging intelligent inventory management solutions to reduce shrink.
Afresh Technologies, a San Francisco-based fresh food technology company, has launched an inventory management solution that it says transforms ordering and inventory management across grocers' fresh departments with intelligent and connected solutions purpose-built for the complexities of fresh food.
Afresh inventory management minimizes the time and cost of taking ending inventory, delivering reliable and accurate financials while pairing seamlessly with Afresh store ordering to save teams time and drive higher profits across grocers' fresh business
Over the past year, retailers have navigated changing workforce dynamics, customer demand for seamless omnichannel experiences, and fluctuating economic conditions. To stay ahead of the competition, leading grocers are setting fresh-focused strategic priorities designed to enhance customer experiences and expand profits. In The Future of Fresh, we explore the foundational changes taking place in grocery retail as businesses prepare for what's next in fresh.
Albertsons Companies is a world-class grocery retailer that aims to provide every customer with the best experience possible, and shoppers consistently turn to their local banner to find the best fresh food. Today, retail associates across the chain optimize fresh operations and deliver even better experiences using AI-powered technology from Afresh.
A new ReFED report shows the percentage of retail food waste in the U.S. has dropped in the past three years. The Insight Engine update replaces old survey information with more comprehensive and current data from Pacific Coast Food Waste Commitment (PCFWC) signatories. PCFWC is a public-private partnership between governments and large food corporations –Walmart, Sodexo, Kroger, and Fresh Del Monte to name a few—along the West Coast. They are looking to halve food waste in their region by 2030.
More grocery stores are adopting this type of technology in an effort to cut down on how much food they toss each year, an amount that totals $28 billion, according to estimates from REFED, a nonprofit that tracks food waste.
The importance of sustainability continues to increase for grocers, but it’s not all about booming shopper interest in reducing plastics or consuming plant-based foods. Grocery retailers do have a clear understanding that shoppers want to see more sustainable products, more transparency and more companies taking the lead on things like decarbonization. However, inflation, smaller baskets and cost pressures are increasingly prompting grocers to invest in sustainable measures as a way to bolster profits while keeping pace with shopper preferences.
Every grocer’s IT department plays a significant role in driving operational efficiency and companywide innovation. Leaders like Maria Latushkin, GVP of Technology at Engineering at Albertsons Companies, now have the opportunity to champion innovative new strategies that leverage technology to improve outcomes.
The phrase "do more with less" has never been more true, especially in grocery retail IT. And yet, some IT executives are finding ways to lead transformational change for their brands, while still balancing resource allocation and prioritization amid unprecedented market constraints.
In some ideal utopia, average consumers could solve the planet’s food waste problem simply by throwing less food out. Realistically, that will never happen. As the oft-cited stat goes, around one-third of the world’s food goes to waste each year. In more recent years, nonprofit think tank ReFED has made it abundantly clear that waste happens up and down the supply chain, not just in consumer homes.
Fresh is the most important part of any grocery retailer’s digital strategy and identifying the best-in-class technology for fresh operations is critical. Explore this page to find out why grocers are taking a purpose-built approach to technology and download your free Fresh RFP template to get started on your search!
In order to be effective in fresh, a system must assess the available data with the expectation of imperfection (which is inherent to fresh goods) and apply techniques jointly across inventory estimation, demand forecasts, and order recommendations to understand and adjust for the degree of uncertainty within the data.
The grocery industry is experiencing new opportunities for growth with purpose-built tools for modernizing their supply chains. As members of a highly competitive market, this is a critical opportunity to realize higher profits, faster inventory turns, and fresher food for customers.
As an artificial intelligence platform designed specifically to help retailers optimize fresh food management through intelligent recommendations and streamlined ordering and inventory workflows, Afresh offers a technology platform that is purpose-built for fresh rather than adapted to it like some legacy systems.
When choosing their supply chain and inventory management software solutions, should grocers adopt an all-in-one or a best-in-class approach? We believe — admittedly with just a little bias — that the ROI, the strategic enablement, and the surprisingly simple maintenance of our best-in-class, purpose-built tool make this an easy decision.
"Afresh is making the fresh food supply chain in retail more efficient, and the way we're doing that is by optimizing decisions at various nodes in the supply chain. The way we optimize those decisions is by powering them with machine learning," says Afresh President Nathan Fenner.
In this episode, we speak with Matt Schwartz, Co-Founder and CEO of Afresh. Afresh is on a mission to reduce food waste globally by transforming the fresh food supply chain. The company builds AI-powered solutions that meet fresh food’s many challenges to optimize grocery retail forecasting, ordering, and operations.
Grocer retailers have thrown the burden of food waste over their shoulder. They are in it for the long haul. A few got together at the Southeast Produce Council’s 2023 Southern Exposure event and one thing was made clear: The tools and commitment are there, and the results are coming.
“I think the work we're doing to kind of divert food that would otherwise go to waste is incredible, but the root cause here is inefficient supply chain — and we can do better,” Afresh President and co-founder Nathan Fenner said.
Afresh has made a name for itself by developing systems that evaluate variables like sales trends, delivery schedules, perishability and the weather and use that information to guide grocery store employees in placing orders for fruits and vegetables.
“For the first time, grocers have a really innovative purpose-built technology that’s well-suited for fresh departments. The fresh category is a strategic differentiator for retailers, but the tech was all designed for non-fresh categories. So we’ve seen a historical underserving of these departments.”
Supermarket chains have an obligation to their customers to deliver fresh produce, at least, if they want to keep those customers. But keeping up with demand, especially amid seasonal shifts and market disruptions, makes this a complicated task. Through the adoption of AI, San Francisco start-up Afresh aims to simplify that task — and reduce waste in the process.
With two large exhibition floors, the National Retail Federation’s annual conference this week had hundreds of vendors, from brand-new startups to larger players like Google and Microsoft, show off their services and offerings to industry leaders.
AI is rapidly taking the grocery industry to the next level during a time when price volatility, labor shortages and competitive markets threaten to derail its progress. Learn how Afresh is improving product freshness and customer experience with leading grocery partners like SpartanNash.
Suzanne Long, Chief Sustainability and Transformation Officer at Albertsons Companies, said that “driving sustainability practices across Albertsons Cos. is essential to our business and the communities we serve. Our partnership with Afresh helps us improve ordering and better manage our inventory of fresh fruits and vegetables so our customers have access to fresher products, and we’re able to make meaningful progress toward achieving our goal to have zero food waste going to landfill by 2030.”
Albertsons Cos. and Afresh Technologies have completed the enterprise rollout of Afresh’s predictive ordering and inventory management platform across almost all of Albertsons’ banner stores across the country.
Built In announced its 2023 Best Places to Work winners, companies that foster meaningful employee experiences through cultural programs and benefits their people value. The annual awards program includes companies of all sizes, from startups to those in the enterprise, and honors both remote-first employers as well as companies in the largest tech markets across the U.S.
VCs are looking for promising foodtech startups to back as they push for profitability over growth. Insider asked emerging and veteran foodtech VCs to recommend companies helping restaurants and food retailers improve profits at a time when every penny counts. Their picks solve real issues, from addressing food waste to finding new revenue streams.
Two large retailers used artificial intelligence (AI) solutions to improve their order accuracy, which led to a 14.8% average reduction in food waste per store. While the two pilots were conducted at large retailers, the AI solutions also work for smaller chains. If the entire grocery sector were to implement these solutions, an estimated 907,372 tons of food waste could be prevented, representing 13.3 million metric tons of avoided CO2e emissions and more than $2 billion in financial benefits for the sector.
Technology is so powerful — if we can use it effectively in the produce industry, we’ll be able to prevent waste, add days of shelf life to product, and multiply the profitability of all constituents across the supply chain. As a result, fresh-first technology unlocks the potential to drive transformative value for business, people and the planet.
During the 3-month pilot period, Afresh helped produce teams optimize ordering and inventory management. As a result, sales increased by +2.5%, inventory holds decreased by +7.4%, and inventory turns improved by +6.7%.
To find new ways to prevent food surplus in stores, to exit any food surplus and to then re-use food waste, the ECR Retail Loss group, a network of hundreds of global retailers, have been on the search for innovations in partnership with Co:Cubed—an agency who monitor more than 12 million startups worldwide.
Matt Schwartz, CEO and Co-Founder at Afresh, emphasized that, with fresh food comprising an essential part of grocery, there is a strong need for new solutions; the Afresh platform drives greater accuracy and enables better ordering and inventory decisions.
“This round of funding proves that climate tech is important to investors and shows we’re building technology that the world needs,” CEO and co-founder Matt Schwartz said. “I am certainly excited about this financing, but I’m more energized by our team, the phenomenal work we do to be of service to our grocery customers and the positive social impact we’re making.”
Minnesota food retailer Cub has rolled out across its corporate stores the Fresh Operating System from Afresh Technologies, a provider of artificial intelligence-powered technology built specifically for fresh categories within grocery.
Afresh Technologies, the leading provider of AI-powered technology built specifically for Fresh categories within grocery stores, announced today the rollout of its Fresh Operating System across CUB stores. After utilizing Afresh's predictive ordering and merchandising solution in select stores, CUB, Minnesota's largest grocery store serving millions of customers each month, quickly recognized significant improvements to inventory turns and product freshness for consumers, material labor efficiencies for store personnel, and a profound reduction in food waste across their supply chain. Read more here.
Afresh, a technology company that uses artificial intelligence to help reduce food waste at grocery stores, has raised $115 in a Series B round led by Spark Capital, according to a press release last week. Walter Robb, senior executive partner at S2G Ventures and former co-CEO of Whole Foods Market, participated in the round.
Learn what inspired Afresh co-founders Matt Schwartz, Nathan Fenner and Volodymyr Kuleshov, to create the world's first purpose-built solution for fresh from The Spoon.
Afresh will use the investment to scale across thousands of stores and expand the footprint of its flexible solution for forecasting, inventory, ordering, and store operations.
Employees say: “Leadership is extremely transparent about what’s going on with company and where we’re headed, and at the same time provide so much enthusiasm and energy to the people that work for them. Not only are we developing a technology that will save companies millions of dollars, but we are having an even larger impact on decreasing the amount of food that is wasted in the grocery supply chain. That’s incredible!”
Becoming a more sustainable business while maximizing profits is a balancing act today’s grocery retailers are continually challenged to perform. Progressive Grocer reached out to Matt Schwartz, CEO and co-founder of Afresh, to learn how the company’s AI-powered Fresh Operating System can help grocery retailers achieve that balance by reducing food waste in fresh.
Retail is an industry of innovation, constantly changing to meet the demands of customers. That’s why NRF invited Afresh to share how technology advances are transforming the retail industry at The Retail Experience at the 2022 Retail Advocates Summit on July 28.
This year’s winners of the 40 Under 40 Produce Business awards illustrate the strength and depth of the industry’s talent — and each one has demonstrated leadership growth and keen insight into building our industry. Afresh CEO and co-founder Matt Schwartz is honored to receive this award.
If working for a company that has ambitions to change the world is the dream, then the 160-plus employees of Afresh have passed the “living the dream” stage of evolution and moved on to implementing the dream. San Francisco company Afresh, ranked third among small businesses on the Top Workplaces list, is on a mission to “eliminate food waste and make fresh food accessible to all.” It says it is on track to prevent 34 million pounds of food waste by the end of 2022.
Too Good To Go is always eager to share more background on the many creative solutions being used by sustainable companies to fight food waste. For example, how can optimized demand planning help the planet? That’s where Afresh Technologies is disrupting grocery retail for the better. Afresh Technologies offers grocery retailers an operating system built specifically to help them stock fresher food and reduce waste. Too Good to Go recently sat down with their CEO Matt Schwartz, to chat about Afresh’s approach to sustainability, the importance of data, and his thoughts on the future of food.
Every year, $1 trillion of food gets thrown away, and the cost is much higher in the long run. Read our free ebook to answer questions like: What is food waste; how do we fix the food waste problem; and what can we all do to help keep food out of landfills.
CB Insights has unveiled the winners of the sixth annual AI 100 — a list of the 100 most promising private AI companies across the globe. Afresh was included under the retail industry-specific application.
Food waste is a solvable problem, but it will take a village to get there. To shine a light on the important solutions already at work to eliminate food waste, Afresh hosted a webinar with Imperfect Foods, Apeel, and Too Good to Go.
Food waste happens in every segment of the supply chain, which means we all have a role to play in limiting it. From farms to restaurants, grocery stores and households, there are plenty of opportunities for delicious innovation. On April 27th, Imperfect Foods, Too Good To Go, Afresh and Apeel shared some groundbreaking efforts already at work safeguarding an avocado’s journey from the fields to your fridge. Learn how you can be part of the solution too!