TORONTO — Invafresh, whose technologies are currently being used in more than 25,000 grocery stores in 15 countries, will have several areas of focus in 2023, said Stephen Midgley, the company’s vice president of marketing.

At the top of the list is the continued expansion of the functionality and usability of its Fresh Retail Platform. That includes continuing enhancements to its cloud-native user interface that allows grocery retailers to use any device, anywhere, Midgley said.

“We’ll also continue expanding our prescriptive analytics capabilities that empower grocery retailers with enterprise reporting and actionable insights,” he added. “As we continue to place importance on the role our technology plays in helping our customers meet their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) targets, having access to the data provided by our built-in analytics will play a critical role in helping grocery retailers achieve ESG goals, such as reducing food waste.”

Retailers are definitely becoming more aware of the necessity of services that Invafresh and other companies provide, Midgley said.

Coming out of the pandemic, he said, more and more supermarkets have embraced technology to deal with macrotrends such as inflation, labor shortages, and food waste.

In addition, regulatory changes to Section 204(d) of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) are also causing retailers to look for traceability and recipe management solutions to ensure compliance.

“Beyond the obvious financial benefits, there’s an increased global awareness of the need for sustainability and the corporate responsibility that goes with it,” Midgley said. “Food waste is a major source of shrink, especially for grocery retailers who struggle to accurately predict demand for perishable items.”

According to a recent Invafresh survey of senior grocery executives, reducing food waste is a high priority for grocery retailers, with 27% of retailers saying that waste is one of the biggest challenges technologies can solve in the food industry.

One happy customer is Schenectady, N.Y.-based Price Chopper. With the help of the Invafresh’s Fresh Retail Platform, Price Chopper prevents 20 tons of fresh food from being wasted each week and is projected to prevent more than 3,000 tons of food waste over the next three years across its 131 stores in the northeastern United States.

“Invafresh has helped Price Chopper to produce the correct amounts of product to meet our customer demand while reducing our exposure to excess shrink,” said Patrick Iannotti, the chain’s director of retail operations. “We are working on enhancements with Invafresh that will further our effort in exceeding our customer’s expectations for delivering fresh products while limiting the spoilage that ends up in the landfill.”