TECHNOLOGY

Online grocer delivers AI to fresh food supply chain

BY Dan Berthiaume

Farmstead is using advanced demand forecasting to save customers money.

The online, San Francisco-based Farmstead is offering a new program called Refill & Save, aimed at lowering the cost of recurring fresh food orders. Refill & Save provides customers with recurring orders with discounts on certain staples, including milk, eggs, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and bread.

To create savings for customers, Farmstead uses artificial intelligence-powered predictive models to improve efficiency and reduce costs in its supply chain. In addition to passing the savings along to customers, Farmstead hopes to help local growers increase sales.

Farmstead’s predictive models are self-learning, which enable the retailer to accurately predict demand to avoid overstocks. This reduces food waste, while also optimizing delivery routes to save time and conserve fuel.

To operate Refill & Save, Farmstead automatically queues up customers’ recurring weekly orders. Shoppers can then add or delete any items for the week, or cancel a weekly order entirely, up to an hour before their delivery window.

“Most households buy many of the same things every time they grocery shop,” said Pradeep Elankumaran, founder and CEO of Farmstead. “In Farmstead’s case that helps us predict demand, reducing our costs and improving efficiency. In light of that, we were able to reduce our prices on certain staples while still making the business profitable. It’s another way Farmstead is delivering on its mission to make fresh, locally sourced food available to all.”

 

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