Austrian retailer Merkur is trialling a new anti-food waste technology in a number of its stores.
The chain, which is part of the REWE Group, is implementing the 'Smart-Shelf' technology to counter food waste, as well as provide fresh, baked goods.
This state-of-the-art technology in food innovation enables the automatic production of goods when the shelf detects that stocks are running low.
The precise weighing system built into the shelf recognises when a pastry gets taken from the shelf, and sends this information to a connected oven, which is also automated. The oven can then begin to produce goods to replace what was purchased.
This ensures that customers will always find freshly baked goods, and reduces pressure on staff to provide inventory control.
The 'Smart-Shelf' technology uses data to learn sales patterns through days of the week, time of day, and the weather to adapt more efficiently to customers' demands.
This prevents overproduction of baked goods, as it can tell when there will be less demand for products, such as in the evenings.
Harald Mießner, sales director at Billa Merkur Austria, said the innovation is further proof that the food industry is at "the cutting edge" of technology. He added that the group is delighted to "improve the daily shopping experience of our customers through modern solutions."
The new system also capable of slashing prices if it detects a large number of fresh goods left in the shelves around the store's closing hours.
'Smart Shelf' was developed by the German Bizerba SE & Co. KG company, specialising in weighing, cutting, and labelling technology.
© 2021 European Supermarket Magazine – your source for the latest retail news. Article by Conor Farrelly. Click subscribe to sign up to ESM: The European Supermarket Magazine.