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E-magazine RFID & Wireless IoT Global Issue 02/2022
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Checkpoint Releases New Retail Study on Food Waste

Image: Checkpoint Systems

Checkpoint Releases New Retail Study on Food Waste

Checkpoint Study: Consumers See Retailers Under Obligation to Take Active Action Against Food Waste

Eight out of ten consumers surveyed in the UK expect retailers to take a leading role in fighting food waste, according to a Checkpoint Systems study. More than half (58 per cent) of British consumers are "more likely" to shop at a supermarket that is actively addressing the issue, and a quarter saying they are "much more likely" to do so. These figures show: Food retailers who actively address food waste can win and retain customers – and protect their margins.

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The study from Great Britain demonstrates that consumers are willing to prefer shops that commit to waste reduction. In Germany, according to the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture, the majority of food waste (52 per cent) is generated in private households, while food retailers account for only four per cent of discarded food.1 But in a study, 42 per cent of respondents suspected that most food waste was generated in the retail sector.2 So this is a clear opportunity for food retailers to position themselves. Another study shows that action is expected: 83 percent of the Germans surveyed said that it is important to them that retails take action – 85 percent also wanted to take action themselves.3

Reducing Products in Time

Among what they saw as possible options for retailers to prevent food waste, UK consumers surveyed on behalf of Checkpoint Systems cited: better management of use-by-dates (47.7 per cent), working with suppliers to reduce food waste across the supply chain (43.7 per cent), and marking down products earlier (41.1 per cent). The latter is a proven method for retailers to reduce food waste. The widespread acceptance of products nearing the end of their life according to the study is therefore welcome. Just one in ten shoppers say they never look for reduced items in the shop. Of the remaining 91 per cent, two-fifths are actively looking for bargains and are more likely to look for reduced items in 2021 than in 2020. Just one in ten claimed they would not buy certain fresh products at a discount – especially meat and seafood. Two-thirds said that there ist no limitation to what they would purchase when it came to marked down products.

However, discounts on food with a short sell-by date can only compensate for 0.75 per cent of the four per cent loss in sales caused by food shrinkage and waste.4 In the already highly competitive grocery sector, where retailers have typically slim margins, discounted or unsold food items present a major challenge. Poor management of food waste has a corresponding impact on profit and loss figures. This aspect gains explosiveness through the currently pending price renegotiations between supermarkets and major players in the meat industry, triggered by the exploding energy, operating and feed costs due to the war in Ukraine.5

Inventory Overview as a Prerequisite

Efficient management of shelf-life dates of perishable goods can reduce waste and protect margins. The prerequisite for this is a real-time stock overview. In this case, inventory accuracy not only ensures brand owners have a complete view of all goods and their location within the supply chain, but also reduces lost sales and improves efficiency. This is possible with Checkpoint Systems' RFreshID™ solution for fresh food. RFreshID™ uses RFID technology to closely monitor stock levels and increase inventory efficiency by easily identifying products with expired or near expiry dates.

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The solution 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%6*, while also minimising the time spent required to manually check merchandise by up to 78%.7*

Improvements in inventory accuracy were also noted, achieving up to 99.99% in the stock room and up to 99% on the sales floor.8* By improving cycle count times, reducing waste and accurately managing expiry dates, retailers can enjoy an uplift in sales thanks to increased product availability.

Miguel Garcia Manso, Business Unit Director Checkpoint Systems Germany, comments:

"Consumers must of course also do their bit to reduce food waste. But it is understandable that they expect more from retailers. Supermarkets have done fantastic work with charities to ensure more is redistributed. But they need to better manage their stock to ensure they can sell items rather than have to throw them away.

"It is clear that customers are more than willing to purchase marked-down produce. As long as retailers have effective solutions in place to identify when items are nearing their end-of- life they can quickly rotate the stock, reduce the price if necessary and ensure it doesn’t get discarded at the end of the day.”

*Sources 6, 7 & 8 come from Checkpoint internal studies.

 

 

 

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Source to Success: RFID with Checkpoint Systems
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Stephen Howells
Stephen Howells
Director Global Product Management
Hirschhorn, Germany
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