Do you ever stop and think about what happens to all the food that doesn’t get purchased while grocery shopping? If you’re like most consumers, the answer is never. We’re all familiar with tossing out expired food from our fridges every week. Now, picture how much is being thrown out in grocery stores.
An article from Harvard Business Review titled How Large Food Retailers Can Help Solve the Food Waste Crisis reports, “ The Institution of Mechanical Engineers estimates that annually between a third and a half of all food produced is wasted worldwide. According to the Guardian, approximately 45% of all fruits and vegetables, 35% of fish and seafood, 30% of cereals, and 20% of meat and dairy products are wasted by suppliers, retailers, and consumers every year.”
Allowing these numbers to remain or grow higher is not only wasteful but also could lead to rising food prices. While food waste is a global issue, there is a solution to make an impact at the store level—and that solution is Digital Smart Labels™.
Digital Smart Labels™ to the rescue
How can technology and automation within grocery stores help solve this growing problem? Digital tools such as Digital Smart Labels™ improve productivity, efficiency, and inventory management while helping retailers eliminate waste and the amount of food thrown out.
One of the ways Digital Smart Labels™ can help grocers cut food waste is by discounting damaged foods or products close to expiration in real time. Grocers will no longer need to allocate employees to undertake the lengthy task of updating price tags or place discount stickers on products last minute. Instead, they can implement flash sales or promotions from anywhere with the click of a button.
Not only is this extremely convenient for grocers from an operational standpoint, but it’s a more effective way of bringing these types of promotions to consumers’ attention—especially in instances when they want to consume a product immediately or within a few days of purchasing it. This will further benefit grocers because the quicker the discounted products go, the less food gets thrown out and the emptier the store shelves get.
All grocers know that keeping track of inventory is crucial—knowing how much food is left and how long certain products have been on shelf is incredibly important. Although most grocery stores nowadays rely on some type of inventory management system, Digital Smart Labels™ could take this to the next level.
Digital Smart Labels™ can help modernize the inventory process by streamlining the process of restocking and counting products—resulting in more accurate, efficient, and quicker inventory management, and less time spent on overseeing inventory operations. With fewer hours allocated to the manual aspects of inventory management, employees can focus their efforts on more high-impact tasks, like fostering customer relationships and gaining product knowledge.
And from a consumer engagement perspective, Digital Smart Labels™ can also be used as an interactive way for grocers to connect with shoppers. Because they can display almost any image, font, or colour, grocers can get creative with their promotional communications (without the help of a marketing team) and encourage consumers to buy products that may go noticed. For example, a bigger display can be used to advertise a delicious recipe that requires an ingredient that is close to the sell-by date, encouraging consumers to buy said product and/or even make an impulse buy that they weren’t planning on.
Another way to stay green
Gone are the days when being sustainable was just a trend—it’s now a need if an organization wants to thrive and be successful in the eyes of consumers. Along with eliminating food waste, Digital Smart Labels™ can help you commit to a more sustainable way of doing business by reducing paper waste and offering a more energy-efficient way to digitize. It’s the little steps that lead to the big results, and if you’re ready for a sustainable, yet modern automation solution, give us a call today.