With its innovative "Fruit and vegetables 3 days fresher" campaign, SPAR Austria won the "Future of European Commerce" Award in the Digitalisation category, presented by EuroCommerce for the first time.
With a series of awards, EuroCommerce honours companies and associations throughout Europe for innovative projects. In the digitalisation category, SPAR Austria impressed the jury with the project “Fruit and vegetables 3 days fresher”.
The project to reduce the time from farm to store was driven by the IT unit of SPAR Austria. The initiative uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to analyse data on sales volumes, weather conditions, special offers, marketing campaigns, seasonality and numerous other factors, enabling a precise prediction of the optimal quantity of fruit and vegetables per store.
The result of the project is a prediction accuracy of over 90 percent. All of this means that exactly the required quantity is available at the right time in the right store, thus further reducing food waste.
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Reducing food spoilage with digitalization
The award-winning project, which attracted attention internationally, was divided into six areas:
Forecasting sales volumes by using artificial intelligence to further reduce food spoilage.
Better planning through issuing tenders for the fruit and vegetable assortment, as well as modernising planning software for the weekly assortment.
More efficient and faster procurement through a web EDI portal specially tailored to the needs of suppliers. This simplifies the ordering process, which also provides a connection enabling smaller, regional partners to get involved.
Optimisation of the ordering process at wholesale through the design of a completely new interface in SAP for wholesale ordering for use by the respective SPAR logistics centres.
Optimal delivery by standardising order dates and a maximum time for the delivery of the order. Additionally, SPAR Austria implemented numerous process improvement measures at the individual SPAR stores and logistics centres.
Improvement of quality assurance through improving and digitising the approval of fruit and vegetable article specifications.
Tackling food waste
This project is just one of many measures developed by SPAR Austria to combat food waste in retail. Today, only about 1% of the food on offer in SPAR stores nationwide is not sold.