Midwest grocery chain, CUB, makes a promise to their customers every day: Best Produce. Period. So when the company turned toward digital transformation to improve operations, the team knew it needed a solution that prioritized fresh food as much as their customers do.
CUB’s desire to drive inventory turns by increasing sales and reducing on-hand inventory led them to pilot the Afresh platform: fresh-first technology that leverages AI to help teams optimize decision-making in stores and throughout the fresh grocery supply chain.
Forecasting and inventory inaccuracies led to over-ordering on some items and under-ordering others, creating excess waste and missed sales opportunities, impacting both revenue and gross profit on the P&L
Similar to many retailers, CUB’s store teams primarily relied on experiential knowledge to manage forecasting, ordering, and store operations, which left even the most experienced produce veterans with opportunities to improve store conditions and increase product shelf life.
I really like how Afresh has led to a much lighter cooler and back room. It makes inventory so much easier and quicker.
- Veteran CUB Produce Manager
One week using Afresh, our sales floor is mint and the cooler looks so much better!
- Fresh Operations Specialist at CUB
Incredible tool that not only drives profitable incremental sales, but improves customer experience by providing fresher in home produce.
- Darren Caudill, Senior Vice President Of Sales, Merchandising, and Marketing at CUB
CUB increased sales and reduced inventory holds through Afresh’s AI-driven inventory management and order recommendations
Once implemented, Afresh delivered nearly immediate (<1 week) performance improvements to both the top-line revenue and bottom-line profitability. With intuitive digital workflows and AI-driven order recommendations that incorporate pricing, display sizing, and historical item-store-day insights, employees consistently placed truck-to-shelf orders that eliminated overstocked inventory and drove sales, generating improved product freshness.
During the 3-month pilot period, Afresh optimized ordering and inventory management for CUB stores, delivering +2.5% sales lift while also reducing inventory holds by 7.4%, leading to 6.7% faster inventory turns.
Delivering ROI that Maximizes Efficiency and Freshness
The communities that CUB supports rely on the fresh produce they know they can find in every store. With cumbersome ordering processes behind them, each team member now writes truck-to-shelf orders for every item in every store, every order day. But stocking shelves with fresher produce doesn’t just offer customers a better shopping experience—it also creates far less waste and simplifies the complexity in stores every day.
With Afresh implemented across every item in every produce department, pilot results suggest that CUB should expect to prevent at least 2.1 million pounds of food waste annually, reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1,264 tons, and save 43 million gallons of water—a massively positive impact on the communities their stores serve.
At CUB, the local community is at the center of everything we do. Afresh has helped us keep our community front and center by delivering better, fresher products to our shoppers, while also helping us reduce waste and lessen our environmental footprint.
- Mike Stigers, CEO at CUB