Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn is experimenting with dynamic discounts for fresh products. The discount is not only dependent on the best-before date, but also on other factors such as the weather, and is determined by artificial intelligence.
A test in the poultry and fish departments in one store in the Netherlands has an algorithm calculate the ideal discount, taking into account the remaining shelf life of the product, other discounts, the location, the weather, historical sales trends and the stock in the store. The electronic price tags show two prices: the regular price and the discounted price on a specific expiration date.
The main advantage is, of course, that the system is dynamic: prices can be further reduced during the day as the expiration date draws nearer. The current system attaches to items that go off the next day, a sticker that announces a "35 % discount because waste is a shame". This sticker is attached at 10AM and the discount remains the same during te rest of the day.
The trial fits in the Ahold Delhaize subsidiary's sustainability policy and wants to reduce food waste. To this end, the company also works together with food banks and with Instock, a restaurant that prepares meals with saved food.