AI provides food for thought

Kavanagh’s, in partnership with tech firms Smartway and VusionGroup, uses flashing lights to highlight products that are about to reach their expiry date and AI to suggest ways to discount or donate them.

  • 1 month ago Posted in

A central London grocery store is saving almost a thousand products from being thrown away needlessly, each month, using AI and an innovative monitoring system that reveals when products are close to their use-by dates.

Belsize Park supermarket Kavanagh’s has worked with Smartway, which helps retailers combat food waste, and VusionGroup, the global leader in digitalization solutions for physical commerce, to install Smartdetection Flash Evo. This innovative in-store short-date detection solution is designed to reduce food waste.

The system uses Smartway’s technology to list products that are about to expire. Intelligent flashing labels on shelves, created by VusionGroup, lead workers to each item. The Smartway AI then guides supermarkets on the best way to discount items to make them appealing to shoppers or facilitates donating the food to charity.

On average, the shop has avoided disposing of 215 products a week, since the system was installed, the equivalent of 1.2 tonnes of CO2 reduction per month. Smartdetection Flash Evo also boosts Kavanagh’s commitment to providing fresh, high-quality food.

Smartdetection Flash Evo can check more than 500 products in less than four minutes. So, it drastically reduces staff time trawling the aisles, manually monitoring expiry dates. Staff members used to spend 92 minutes a day checking dates, but now it’s just 20 minutes – a 78% reduction. This cuts costs and allows the Kavanagh team to focus more on other activities in the store, such as customer service.

Smartway co-founder Christophe Menez commented, “Our collaboration with Kavanagh’s and VusionGroup shows that reducing food waste can align seamlessly with stores maintaining quality, reducing costs and boosting profits. Cutting-edge technology like this will allow the retail sector to take huge steps forward in reducing its considerable environmental impact.”

Roy Horgan, SEVP Strategy, Marketing & Communications of VusionGroup said “We’ve helped create a store that is more efficient, profitable, self-learning and, most importantly, sustainable. It leverages IoT and Data technologies that can be deployed very quickly, with minimal impact on shop trading, while maximizing returns for the business and generating a better experience for consumers.”

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