Food waste continues to be a significant global challenge, with the UN estimating that 17% of total food produced for human consumption goes to waste at the retail and consumer level each year. Within the retail sector, a substantial portion of this wasted food comprises fresh produce, particularly fruits and vegetables, due to inefficient ordering practices. However, a startup called Freshflow is stepping up to address this issue with its AI-powered forecasting platform, aiming to revolutionize the way grocers manage their stock replenishment.
Fresh produce ordering in many retail outlets is still conducted manually, leading to instances of both over-ordering and under-ordering. Freshflow’s innovative solution utilizes artificial intelligence to predict the exact amount of produce needed, factoring in various influencing factors such as weather, season, and local events that may affect demand.
“Our goal is to reduce food waste while ensuring that retailers always have the right amount of fresh produce on their shelves,” said the team at Freshflow.
The platform also incorporates available retailer data to create probabilistic models, enabling predictions of how much of each type of produce should be ordered to match the forecasted supply and demand accurately.
A key advantage of Freshflow’s system is its automation, streamlining the entire process for grocers. Retailers can use an iPad app to monitor their produce levels and requirements, making stock management a seamless and efficient task.
Currently, the platform is already live in four stores, including one of Germany’s largest grocery retailers and three stores in Eastern Europe. Early adopters of Freshflow’s system have reported remarkable results, with a 16.7% revenue boost and a significant 30% reduction in food waste.
Furthermore, the software is designed to be plug-and-play, making installation hassle-free by integrating seamlessly with a store’s existing enterprise resource planning systems. In just one month, the platform can be up and running, enhancing grocers’ stock management processes and reducing food waste.
Freshflow’s dedication to addressing food waste aligns with broader efforts in the industry to combat this pressing issue. As the battle against food waste continues, other innovations, such as sustainable packaging to keep perishable food cool, food waste management systems for commercial kitchens, and apps to help families reduce food waste, are also gaining traction.
With AI-powered forecasting becoming a crucial tool for optimizing stock replenishment and minimizing food waste, Freshflow’s innovative approach is set to play a pivotal role in transforming the fresh produce ordering landscape for grocers worldwide.