How to Reduce Food Waste in Your Grocery Store
Food waste is not a new issue for grocers. On average, supermarkets throw out more than 43 billion pounds of food annually. Throughout the pandemic, grocery stores have sought out ways to address common concerns like supply chain woes and increasing food prices, but focusing on tackling food waste could be a key way to help alleviate all those challenges at once. While retailers continue to work with manufacturers to maintain accurate “best by” and “sell by” labels, technology can help take these efforts even further. Here’s how.
Use your data
The top way to tackle food waste is by using data to inform your production, inventory, and purchasing decisions. By having accurate sales insights, your store can determine how many fresh foods to order based on your level of demand. Tapping into historical sales data will help your fresh food department avoid excess food staying on the shelves for too long or inadvertently selling food that might spoiler faster than expected.
But how can stores manage their sales data more efficiently? Streamlined grocery software helps grocers better track their inventory and product sales while forecasting supply chain disturbances and in-demand items. This can not only make inventory management more accurate but also reduce the number of fresh foods that go to waste. Plus these automation advancements can lead to a better quality of fresh foods, higher in-stock levels, and more time for employees to spend with customers directly.
Donate excess food
Even with streamlined forecasting and inventory management, food waste can still happen. Grocery technology is filling this gap by helping stores donate their surplus food to people in need. States like California recently enacted a law requiring grocery stores and restaurants to donate excess food, thus increasing the need for automated services. This emerging technology can help by scheduling food pickup and organizing donations while staying compliant with local regulations. The innovation is an added plus for communities facing food insecurity and rising costs.
With omnichannel solutions, you can streamline your front and back-end operations to reduce waste and increase donations, all while saving you time and money. Combat food waste and keep foods fresh through STCR’s retail solutions. Talk to us to learn how STCR can optimize your store today.