Despite increasing concerns surrounding food waste, more than 89 million tonnes of food are thrown away every year in Europe. The grocery retail sector contributes some 5% to the total amount, often due to expired fresh produce, equating to more than 4.45 million tonnes.
Managing sell-by dates on perishable goods requires retailers to have a total view of their inventory at any given time. Here, inventory accuracy not only ensures brand owners can have a complete view of all merchandise and its location within the supply chain, but reduce lost sales and improve efficiency.
To date, retailers have relied on time-intensive, visual inspections to detect the sell-by dates on perishable products and manage replenishment needs, with less than half using an automated system to control inventory levels, but not expiry dates.
Here, retailers face an extremely difficult challenge. The management of sell-by dates is not only critical to the quality and sale of products in-store, but to retailers’ responsibility to protect consumers, ensuring that any out of date products are identified and removed promptly.
Helping retailers revolutionise the management of fresh produce, Checkpoint Systems, a global leader in source-to-shopper solutions, has unveiled its new RFreshIDTM fresh food solution. Using RFID technology, the solution allows stores to accurately monitor inventory levels and rotate stock efficiency as produce with near or exceeded expiry dates can be identified with ease.
It enables retailers to manage inventory and precisely plan when replenishments are required, as well as when stock needs to be marked down for sale. Checkpoint customers using the solution have already noted reduced food waste levels by as much as 60%, while also minimising the time spent required to manually check merchandise by up to 78%. Improvements in inventory accuracy were also noted, achieving up to 99.99% in the stock room and up to 99% on the sales floor. By improving cycle count times, reducing waste and accurately managing expiry dates, retailers can enjoy an uplift in sales thanks to increased product availability.
From delivery to disposal
Thanks to the application of Checkpoint’s RFreshIDTM at source, retailers are able to receive RFID tagged products, that can be quickly verified, aiding a high inventory accuracy. To achieve this, Checkpoint’s high-performance RFID labels are automatically applied during the production process. This not only improves the accuracy of shipments distributed from the point of manufacture but ensures accurate, timely deliveries in store.
Whether its on shop floor or in stock rooms, Checkpoint’s RFreshIDTM scanning process enables store personnel to use an intuitive handheld device that quickly and accurately counts and locates specific items. It works in conjunction with RFreshIDTM reporting software to deliver real-time actionable data that includes insights on replenishment, expiration, markdown, waste reports, products to restock and order, as well as items that are about to expire or have expired.
Completing the cycle from delivery to disposal, RFreshIDTM waste process provides insights into the amount of fresh produce that has expired and automatically removes the product from inventory records.
Delivering a wide range of substantial benefits for retailers, Checkpoint’s RFreshIDTM fresh food solution means products can be more efficiently managed and displayed in-store. By reducing waste and managing stock more efficiently, retailers can also enjoy an increase in sales.
Mike French, UK Business Unit Director of Checkpoint Systems, commented: “The shelf life of fresh produce presents a unique challenge for grocery retailers. By improving inventory management and replenishment, retailers can not only see a marked improvement in stock rotation and sales but crucially reduce current levels of avoidable and costly food waste. RFreshIDTM delivers the highest level of accuracy and ensures retailers are putting forward the right price, at the right time on the right product.”