Save Mart Companies to test AI for produce in pilot program

Select Save Mart, Lucky California and Foodmaxx stores in California will test an AI service from Afresh Technologies aimed at keeping produce fresh and in-stock.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Save Mart Companies will soon partner with Afresh Technologies, an AI technology company, on an upcoming pilot program. Select Save Mart, Lucky California and Foodmaxx stores throughout California will utilize the AI technology to fresh produce.

Afresh’s AI-powered solutions will provide a number of The Save Mart Companies stores with truck-to-shelf ordering and inventory tracking that reduces backstock, helps ensure lead ad items are plentiful and in stock, and increases the longevity of its fresh produce before it even leaves the store. If the pilot program is successful, the technology could be used toward SaveMart Companies’ other inventory, including recently expanded own brand items.

“Afresh is using an innovative approach to solve problems that have historically been overlooked, and we’re excited to drive results that support The Save Mart Companies’ priorities,” said Matt Schwartz, CEO and co-founder of Afresh. “The Save Mart Companies’ stores are already leaders in fresh produce, given their location in the heart of California’s agricultural community, and our AI-driven approach will help their stores optimize its produce department.”

Afresh says its system helps supermarkets plan in advance by using AI to analyze previous demand and data trends. This allows grocers to keep fresh food for as little time as possible, reducing their losses and the amount of food waste. The company says stores using their programs have reduced food waste by 25%, out of stock inventory by 80%, and increased department sales by 3% on average month after month.

“Since its inception, The Save Mart Companies has embraced innovation — from distinctive in-store experiences and hyper-local product offerings to a robotic grocery delivery service,” said Hal Levitt, senior vice president of retail operations and supply chain for the grocer. “Afresh Technologies should boost produce operations efficiency and help support our department managers stock and maintain the freshest product for our shoppers, all while reducing food waste."