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10/14/2021

New Seasons Market, Afresh Team on Fresher Produce

Independent grocer launching pilot of AI-powered solution  
Bridget Goldschmidt
Managing Editor
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New Seasons Market, Afresh Team on Fresher Produce Artificial Intelligence
New Seasons Market will pilot Afresh software through 2022 to learn how to achieve significant reductions in food waste, achieve optimal freshness and in-stock rates, and raise operating margins.

West Coast independent grocer New Seasons Market has joined forces with artificial intelligence-driven Afresh Technologies to roll out Afresh’s Fresh Operating System at select stores in the Pacific Northwest. The pilot will help New Seasons reduce complexity within its stores, optimize produce operations, boost sales and deliver fresher produce to consumers. The artificial intelligence-powered solution will create more efficient truck-to-shelf ordering, reducing back stock and increasing the longevity of fresh produce before it even leaves the store.  

“New Seasons Market was founded with the vision of cultivating good for generations by taking care of our staff, our communities, regional producers and the environment,” noted New Seasons CEO Nancy Lebold. “Partnering with Afresh allows us to support these goals by leveraging technology that makes our food fresher and less wasteful. I’m excited for the game-changing impact Afresh will bring to the customers we serve, our sustainability efforts and our bottom line.”

“We’re always working to be more sustainable and looking for new ways to reduce waste and give back to the community,” added New Seasons CFO Karen Molis. “As a member of the Pacific Coast Collaborative, we’re working with other companies toward a shared ambition to effectively prevent and reduce food waste along the West Coast.” 

“Working with New Seasons Market is a natural fit for Afresh, as our corporate missions are so well aligned in our shared goals to eliminate food waste and increase access to fresh food,” said Matt Schwartz, CEO and co-founder of San Francisco-based Afresh, which already works with such food retailers as Cub Foods, Heinen’s, WinCo and Fresh Thyme. “Through our AI-driven approach built specifically for fresh, we will help New Seasons Market transform its fresh departments so that they can continue to build and nourish the communities they serve.”

New Seasons will pilot Afresh software through 2022 to learn how to achieve significant reductions in food waste, achieve optimal freshness and in-stock rates, and raise operating margins. Stores using Afresh have reduced food waste by 25%, minimized out of stocks by 80% and increased sales by an average of 3% month over month, according to the company.    

Portland, Ore.-based New Seasons employs  nearly 3,500 staffers at 19 stores in Oregon, Washington and Northern California, serving a unique mix of locally sourced and organic items, classic grocery favorites, and chef-made grab and go meal solutions. The company has committed 10% of its after-tax profits to the communities it serves. New Seasons and its sister banner, Santa Cruz, Calif.-based New Leaf Community Markets, an organic and natural grocer with five stores along California’s Central Coast, are independent operators within the Good Food Holdings family of brands. A subsidiary of Emart, which is part of The Shinsegae Group, a global retailer in Seoul, South Korea, Carson, Calif.-based Good Food Holdings is also the holding company for three other food retailing brands: Bristol Farms, Metropolitan Market and Lazy Acres Natural Market.

Boise, Idaho-based WinCo, an employee-owned company that employs more than 19,000 individuals and operates 131 stores and six distribution centers in the states of Washington, Idaho, Nevada, California, Oregon, Arizona, Utah, Oklahoma, Montana and Texas, is No. 44 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America. Stillwater, Minn.-based Cub is an 80-store retail division of Providence, R.I.-based UNFI, the largest publicly traded grocery distributor in America and No. 47 on The PG 100, and Downers Grove, Ill.-based Fresh Thyme Market, with 70 stores in 10 states throughout the Midwest, is No. 96 on PG’s list.

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