Albertsons Rolls Out AI Platform to Improve Produce Freshness

Jacqueline Barba
Digital Editor
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Albertsons Cos. completed an enterprise rollout of Afresh Technologies’ predictive ordering and inventory management platform in January. The system was implemented in more than 2,200  stores, including Safeway, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Vons and Acme banners.

The fresh food technology company’s artificial intelligence-powered platform enables store teams to better order and plan fresh produce, reducing food waste and increasing freshness in stores, according to a news release. It additionally equips department managers with ordering tools that leverage real-time insights.

The rollout of the system to Albertsons stores took Afresh seven months to complete.

On the rollout, Afresh CEO and co-founder Matt Schwartz, said in the release: "Supply chain and store technology implementations typically require a multi-year transformation and radical overhauls. Afresh and Albertsons have partnered to complete the fastest in-store technology rollout in Albertsons’ history and did so across thousands of stores in just months, helping Albertsons’ family of stores realize the transformational value in their fresh produce departments now; not years down the line." 

"Driving sustainability practices across Albertsons Cos. is essential to our business and the communities we serve,” Suzanne Long, chief sustainability and transformation officer at Albertsons added. “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.”

In 2022, as one of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Loss and Waste Champions, Albertsons pledged to reduce food waste by 50% by 2030. Additionally, the company promised to set a science-based carbon reduction goal to help reduce the carbon footprint within its value chain. 

Founded in 2017, Afresh also has partnerships with other retailers, including WinCo Foods, Heinen’sSave MartBashas’ and Cub Foods

Afresh aims to differentiate its platform and services by recognizing the unique challenges of fresh food and was built to produce results despite “hard-to-predict and error-prone data,” rather than relying on the same data that can be mostly beneficial when analyzing the grocery department. These factors enable Afresh to speed up the roll out timeline, according to the company.