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Millennials are projected to soon overtake baby boomers as the largest adult population group, bringing demands for sustainability to the front of every grocery checkout aisle. Fresh retailers, or retailers in the business of providing highly perishable foods like fresh produce and meat to consumers, can strengthen sustainability efforts and combat the 1.3bn tonnes of food wasted annually with the support of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) solutions. AI and ML not only help fresh retailers reduce their environmental footprint through waste reduction, but the technologies allow them to respond to market conditions in real-time and offer more personalised assortments in line with the core values of their key consumers, resulting in more efficient and eco-friendly supply chains. So what does this look like in practice? Food waste is a worldwide issue.
The delivery service follows a pilot program started by the companies in Scottsdale in August and involved Nuro's R1, a custom unmanned vehicle. The R1 uses public roads and has no driver and is used to only transport goods. Kroger's deal with Nuro underscores the stiff competition in the U.S. grocery delivery market with supermarket chains angling for a bigger share of consumer spending. Inc (AMZN.O) have also invested heavily in their delivery operations by expanding their offerings and shortening delivery times. Walmart, Ford Motor Co (F.N) and delivery service Postmates Inc said last month they would collaborate to deliver groceries and other goods to Walmart customers and that could someday use autonomous vehicles.
Almost every known large industry today produces and distributes goods at scale over a supply chain. In a typical supply chain, as a product travels across the network of supply chain nodes–from the producer, to the intermediate nodes (e.g pre-processor, distributor etc.), all the way to the end consumer–each node adds'value' to the product until it is ready to be sold off at the final node (e.g. retail stores). Supply chains are customarily designed and operated to minimise costs or maximise profits (or both). One of the most important considerations is to decide'when' and'how' much to replenish each product at each node of the supply chain, as it proceeds from production to consumption. While this customary approach works well for products that'do not perish' or have an unlimited shelf life, a straightforward extension of this approach for perishable products (e.g.
Next thing you know, you're leaving the store with a backpack full of groceries and $20 less to your name. And the weirdest thing is that you actually feel good about it. How do supermarkets always get you to buy more than you intended? Grocers have many tricks up their sleeves; from sneaky shelf design that favors premium products to seductive snacks placed by the check-out queues to tempt customers while waiting in the line. But there is something that trumps them all -- sales promotions.
Sainsbury's commercial and technology teams are working with Accenture to implement machine learning processes that they say are providing the retailer with better insight into consumer behaviour. Using the Google Cloud Platform (GCP), the key aim of the collaboration is to generate new insights on what consumers want and the trends driving their eating habits. By tapping into data from multiple structured and unstructured sources, the supermarket chain has developed predictive analytics models that it uses to adjust inventory based on the trends it spots. According to Alan Coad, managing director of Google Cloud in the UK and Ireland, the platform can "ingest, clean and classify that data", while a custom-built front-end interface for staff can be used "to seamlessly navigate through a variety of filters and categories" to generate the relevant insights. Phil Jordan, group CIO of Sainsbury's, said: "The grocery market continues to change rapidly. "We know our customers want high quality at great value and that finding innovative and distinctive products is increasingly important to them.
According to a recent study conducted by Forrester Research, waiting in the checkout line is the top complaint among U.S. grocery, mass-merchandise, and convenience store shoppers. Mega-retailer Amazon and a quartet of well-funded retail technology startups -- Zippin, Standard Cognition, Grabango and Trigo -- believe they have the solution to the problem: Checkout-free stores powered by various technologies that enable shoppers to walk into the store, grab what they want off the shelves and just walk out. Autonomous checkout, another term for checkout-free, is becoming one of the hottest areas of retail investment today. It comes as the convenience expectations of today's Amazon-shopping, Grubhub-ordering, Uber-hailing consumers are ever-increasing, and informing their in-real-life (IRL) shopping demands. Brands are responding in kind, delivering digital services aimed at automating mundane tasks -- in this case, the checkout process -- so much so that the result is meant to feel "automagical," according to trend forecasting firm TrendWatching.
Bossa Nova Robotics today unveiled its latest creation, the 2020, a smaller version of its rover for checking inventory on store shelves. The latest from Bossa Nova is still over six feet tall but is about half a foot thinner to help maneuver store aisles in smaller stores. A company spokesperson called the robot a fit for most properties beyond a convenience store. The initial Bossa Nova was designed for use in larger stores like supermarkets and did trials in WalMart stores last year. The 2020 is able to count fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen foods, and apparel.
Amazon will take the next step in its bid to take over the food delivery market with its own company-branded grocery stores. In a report from CNET, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed the company's intention to open the first-ever Amazon-branded grocery store in Los Angeles. While the company hasn't released many details, a job listing discovered by CNET suggest the store will be'Amazon's first grocery store' meaning it will likely carry the e-tailing giant's brand name. Amazon is making its first foray into company-branded grocery stores. The outlets will reportedly offer cheaper options compared to the Amazon-owned Whole Foods.
The UK's top eight grocers can prevent £144 million in food waste each year if they use artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) in their supply chains, according to one technology company's predictions. Scientists at Blue Yonder, which provides solutions in AI and ML and was acquired by supply chain software company JDA in 2018, estimate that using the techniques they specialise in can significantly drive down industry food wastage in several key ways. They said by using the technology to improve demand forecasting, set the right price based on expiry dates, or sense transportation disruption, the top eight grocers – Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Morrisons, Aldi, the Co-Operative, Waitrose and Lidl – can help the environment and their avoid lost sales. Morrisons has been using Blue Yonder's demand forecast and replenishment solution for several years now, and says it can make 430 million calculations and 13 million automatic decisions every single day thanks to the AI enablement. The grocer has reduced its stockholding in store by two to three days, and reduced wastage and markdowns as a result.
Here is the brief story of this evolution of self-service. Not that long-ago, shop clerks pulled merchandise for us from high shelves behind a counter. Today, we push squeaky, wheeled, metal baskets around the well-lit warehouses we call supermarkets. Innovation in retail shopping--as with all service businesses--happens through shifts in business processes and technologies. Automated self-service fuses process and technology so customers can serve themselves.