Even in inflationary times, commissaries, supermarkets and other places where food is made or sold are increasingly turning to Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies to help them streamline operations, improve the customer experience, reduce waste and give their bottom lines a boost.
The future is “phygital,” exclaimed Sophie Blum, chief marketing and channel officer for Puratos, during a Sunday, Sept. 18, session at the Artisan Marketplace, Crafted by Puratos (Booth No. 3645) at the International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE).
Companies are using systems to tie in data from multiple production lines at multiple sites across the globe to help improve processes, said Jon Gilchrist, engineering manager at Sightline Process Control Inc., a KPM Analytics brand, which among other things provides vision systems for bakeries.
The pandemic has highlighted tremendous opportunities for technology to solve continuing challenges impacting consumer behavior in fresh, said Muntazir Mehdi, senior product manager for analytics and AI for Toronto-based Invafresh, whose technologies are currently being used in more than 25,000 grocery stores in 15 countries.
Highly perishables now make up 39% of grocery stores, and produce alone is nearly 24%. These items have a short lifespan and are ripe for waste if not purchased. And food waste is expensive: shrink costs retailers $52 billion annually.