Invafresh technology helps manage inflation, labor shortages and more

The pandemic has highlighted enormous opportunities for technology to solve the continuing challenges impacting consumer behavior in fresh produce, said Muntazir Mehdi, senior product manager for analytics and artificial intelligence for Toronto-based Invafresh, whose technologies are currently used in over 25,000 grocery stores in 15 countries.

Such challenges include inflation, labor shortages and supply chain problems.

“And it will continue to transform the way consumers shop as grocers seek innovative ways to provide greater convenience, transparency and variety in fresh purchases,” said Mehdi.

Artificial intelligence / machine learning has extraordinary capabilities to advance automation into a fresh and accurately predicted question, he added. Automated fresh produce orders based on artificial intelligence and augmented human intelligence optimize inventory management so that shelves are always available, not excessively, providing a variety of fresh foods accessible to all.

Image courtesy of Invafresh

From a consumer perspective, Mehdi said, stores that have adopted these and other fresh-focused technologies offer better experiences: fresher food, full shelves, more variety, greater food safety and transparency.

Invafresh’s demand forecasting, driven by AI and machine learning, “drives exceptional consumer experiences by helping to extend shelf life and providing retailers with the right performance data to deliver the freshest food,” he said. Mehdi stated.

Consumers demand variety and assortment in their fresh food selections, he added, and Invafresh’s fresh retail platform ensures that the freshest range of products, including seasonal items, are always available and maximum shelf life is passed on to final consumers.

“Managing product transformation can be complex. Invafresh makes it easy and efficient for stores to produce products in all fresh food departments through recipes, creating regulatory compliant labels with accurate nutrition, allergen and ingredient guidance that keeps consumers informed. “

Invafresh’s fresh retail platform, he added, helps retailers gain visibility into in-store operations, which in turn helps streamline basic and behind-the-scenes inventory across departments.

invafresh-informationImage courtesy of Invafresh

The platform also plays a vital role in increasing efficiency with in-store production across all departments, driving automation with a 3% improvement in work efficiency, a 5% increase in fresh produce sales, and a 30% reduction in food waste.

Fresh Ordering automatically generates just-in-time replenishment requirements for store backrooms for all fresh food retail grocery departments using in-store backroom perpetual inventory, merchandising requirements, processing via Fresh food retail recipes and forecasts transformed into ordering units integrated with pre-existing retailer fulfillment systems for significant labor and cost savings.

“Our native and fully modular platform is designed to process living fresh data and make it operational to predict constant changes in demand to optimize and match supply and availability to reduce food waste and drive sustainable fresh operations,” Mehdi said. “Retailers get a centralized platform to manage and improve the visibility of all Fresh departments and store-level performance.”

The platform is unique, he added, in its ability to handle all fresh use cases, ranging from meat, baked goods, food and more, each with their own nuances and specific edge cases.

With greater access to technology and information, end consumers are becoming smarter, Mehdi said, and expect variety, transparency, security and consistency in their new purchases.

“Fresh food has already become a key differentiator for retailers which helps them stand out in an extremely competitive market.”

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