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Grocery’s food waste game-changer (Q&A)

Pinpoint Software and MCA team up to help grocers curb product loss with an innovative expiration-date management solution

Expired food can result in a loss of products—and customers. In this Q&A, Andrew Hoeft, CEO of Madison, Wisc.-based Pinpoint Software, shares how Date Check Pro can drive efficiency and ensure the freshest shopping experience possible. And with Merchandising Consultants Associates (MCA) on board to manage the solution in Canada, Jean Daniel Bouchard, president and COO of MCA, weighs in on why the partnership is good news for grocers.

Describe Date Check Pro and how it helps grocery retailers.
Andrew Hoeft: Date Check Pro is a software tool that proactively tracks inventory expiration dates throughout the store. The solution notifies users what products are expiring soon and helps guide the retailer’s actions, for example, rotating the product or marking it down. Ultimately, Date Check Pro helps grocers sell products before they expire, which minimizes food waste and maximizes savings. It also prevents out-of-date products from getting into shoppers’ hands, resulting in a better customer experience.

How does the solution help protect brand image and customer loyalty?
AH: A national U.S. survey we conducted found that poor quality and expired products is the number-two reason consumers stop shopping at a particular grocer. That increases the probability that they’re going to take their business elsewhere, and it can impact brand perception. Many retailers also believe their brand image will suffer if they offer markdowns with loud, price-focused messaging, which they feel conveys poor-quality products. The opposite can be achieved when markdowns are done from a food waste and sustainability standpoint. To help retailers, we developed the “Stop Waste Together” program, which has messaging about saving money and reducing food waste—two issues that are immensely important to today’s consumers.

What was the thinking behind the partnership between Date Check Pro and MCA?
Jean Daniel Bouchard: MCA is a Canadian company that was established in 1989 and is now North America’s leading third-party retail services provider. One of the key reasons behind the partnership is that MCA provides unparalleled retail coverage in Canada: we are local to 95% of retail stores in the country. With Date Check Pro in the hands of thousands of MCA retail professionals, it enables us to implement and run a very powerful and effective program to better manage product expiry dates.

How will the partnership benefit Canadian grocery retailers?
JDB: MCA runs the program for our retail partners, so it requires no store labour. And with grocers already having so much going on in their stores, it eliminates any issues they might have executing the program consistently on their own. Stores are visited and serviced by dedicated merchandisers who already service those stores. The solution delivers a high shrink savings and a great return on investment, while helping grocers minimize waste. There is truly nothing but benefits for grocers and their customers.

To learn more about this partnership, MCA is offering free consulting calls, which you can book here.

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