Artificial intelligence and data.

From the presentations, hallway conversations, and meetings that the Daisy sales team attended at the recent Groceryshop conference in Las Vegas, data and AI were clearly the major themes.

The focus on AI reflects the growing interest among grocery retailers to find new ways of drive operational efficiencies, improved financial results, and better customer experiences in a very competitive market.

Lori Raya, chief merchandising officer with SpartanNash, said AI is helping the company better understand when to run promotions and the items to promote. “[AI] is changing the way that we look at our business and the way that we are promoting products,” she said during a presentation at Groceryshop.

Raya said SpartanNash is embracing new technologies like AI and to provide guidance to the 2,100 independent grocers that it supports.

“The benefit they receive with us utilizing AI in our corporate store business is a lot of the thought leadership around promotional planning and the different type of promotions that will flow to them as an opportunity,” she said. “They are eager to see how to move the business forward.”

In another presentation, Steve Henig, Chief Customer Officer with Wakefern Food Corp., talked about the future of the circular at a time when new consumers are digital natives. He said Wakefern is seeing “incredible” traction with the digital circular on its Website.

“The passion for the circular has not gone away,” he said. ”It is still a way for our customers to navigate their purchases. I don’t see them going away. The mix may change but they are going to be important for the foreseeable future.”

Launched in 2018, Groceryshop attracts more than 2,000 attendees from retailers and CPG companies looking for guidance about the next wave challenges, opportunities, and technologies.

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