Albert Heijn combats food waste with AI recipes

Dutch supermarket operator Albert Heijn has released a new function dubbed Scan & Cook for its customer app. Users can take photographs of food products at home or in-store and then receive personalised recipe suggestions with these ingredients. The application is based on generative AI and was developed by in-house tech team Gen AI Labs. The Ahold Delhaize Group sales line presented it at its Food & Tech Week event.

The company has organised Food & Tech Week for the second time this week. Its tech teams are cooperating in workshops to design innovative solutions. Part of the annual series of events is a hackathon, which this year is focussing on how technology can improve collaboration with strategic suppliers of fresh foods.


Scan & Cook is also aimed to help reduce food waste on the part of consumers. The function gives users suggestions on how to utilise leftover products in a meaningful way. Reducing food waste is an important corporate goal. Albert Heijn wants to halve the amount of its food wasted by 2030 compared to 2016. To achieve this, the retailer is deploying software that enables more accurate inventory and sales forecasts, for example. In addition, Albert Heijn has introduced dynamic price reductions for products that are approaching their best-before date. The Retail Optimiser reported.

Albert Heijn accelerates AI deployment

Albert Heijn is using artificial intelligence in its assortment and shelf planning, among other things. This week, the company is starting to roll out store-specific planograms created by means of AI. The aim is to better adapt product ranges of individual stores to purchasing behaviour and thus increase product availability.

Generative AI is also playing a bigger role in the company. Albert Heijn has already implemented last year’s winning idea: A chatbot on the intranet that answers questions from employees in different languages in real time. Another initiative of the Gen AI Lab is the so-called GitHub Copilot. The tool is designed to increase efficiency of software developers by speeding up coding and automating simple, repetitive programming tasks. Generative AI also makes work easier in customer service. It can summarise customer conversations and improve answers to frequently asked questions.

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Joachim Pinhammer

Joachim Pinhammer supports retail and technology companies with consulting and marketing expertise. He was Senior Analyst and Research Director Retail Technology at the London-based analyst group Planet Retail. Prior to that, he was the global marketing director for the retail division of Wincor Nixdorf (now Diebold Nixdorf). Joachim Pinhammer is a regular speaker at events organised by Messe Düsseldorf (EuroShop and EuroCIS), the EHI and further industry conferences. His reports are regularly published by trade magazines and online retail industry media.

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