Albertsons is partnering with inventory and workflow management tech company Afresh and will begin using the platform in the meat and seafood departments of the grocer’s more than 2,200 banner stores including Safeway, Albertsons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Vons and ACME, the tech company announced on Thursday.
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 retailer began a chainwide rollout of the AI-powered Afresh tech in its meat and seafood departments. Afresh noted in a press release that meat and seafood accounted for 12% of all fresh sales, according to a 2021 FMI report.
It’s a big win for Afresh, which expanded its tech capabilities beyond the produce department in March to include meat, seafood, deli and foodservice departments. Among Afresh's most notable clients are The Save Mart Companies, Heinen’s, Bashas and Cub Foods.
"Managing a meat and seafood department is particularly challenging because of the financial implications of shrink. To meet these challenges, Afresh is leveraging AI at scale to support accurate ordering for complex cutting and production items," said Dain Charette, chief revenue officer at Afresh, in a statement. "Additionally, we are excited about furthering our mission and continuing to support Albertsons' ESG goal of reducing food waste."
Afresh said its platform will provide AI-driven order recommendations on highly perishable products such as poultry and prefilled order quantities for prepackaged meat products like bacon.
The easy-to-use Afresh platform interface enables managers of any tenure to place orders, the inventory management tech company said.
"At Albertsons, we strive to create a distinctive experience in fresh foods, and our meat and seafood departments are a key component in this strategy. Afresh has enabled our associates to make smarter decisions daily that keep customer favorites in stock and ensure that we are offering them the best quality, freshest product," said Susan Morris, EVP and chief operations officer for Albertsons Cos., in a statement. "The Afresh platform also helps our stores to significantly reduce food waste as Albertsons continues to make progress toward our goal to have zero waste going to landfill by 2030."