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Groceryshop 2021 Solution Spotlight: Avery Dennison

RETHINK Retail’s Solution Spotlight shines a light on industry vendors and what makes them distinct.

This spotlight from Groceryshop 2021 is on Avery Dennison, a global materials science company specializing in the design and manufacture of a wide variety of labeling and functional materials. The company’s products, which are used in nearly every major industry, include pressure-sensitive materials for labels and graphic applications; tapes and other bonding solutions for industrial, medical, and retail applications; tags, labels and embellishments for apparel; and radio frequency identification (RFID) solutions serving retail apparel and other markets.

To learn more about Avery Dennison, visit: www.averydennison.com

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Julie Rodgers Vargas

I’m Julie Vargas. I work with Avery Dennison. I actually lead identification solutions for the food segment where we are working on taking our roots in materials, science and global manufacturing to drive on product digital identities that allow for inventory optimization and traceability across the supply chain, but ultimately expanding margins and food retail. 

So one of the biggest challenges in retail in general right now is if you think about how much it’s changed in the last 10 years, there was always this idea that you could get the right assortment and have the right things in stock.

So one of the hardest things right now is not only creating that in-store experience in a way that is profitable and also, you know, focused on food, safety and assortment, but then also catering to the advent of omnichannel retail that has accelerated significantly in the past year, specifically for food and grocery. 

I think one of the biggest opportunities in this space is really to look at optimizing kind of your working capital. So what do you actually have in store? And then right now, labor is short. So making sure that your staff is actually doing things that are valuable for your consumer, that requires good demand planning. It requires a lot of, you know, technical technology for infrastructure, but the root of all of that is to have a really strong dataset. What do you have? Where is it? 

We’re working to not just digitize that data, but make it available in a way that can be read wirelessly automatically, you know, capturing it on a regular basis and then ensuring that there’s accuracy associated to the data sets that will ultimately drive the, the bigger, longer term interoperability of systems for retail optimization and more exciting for consumer experience.

So one of the things about any industry is there some type of inefficiency, but the food space is, is really interesting because globally we actually produce over 30% of the food that we produce for human consumption ends in a landfill. We make enough food to feed everyone on the planet, but not everyone eats. 

We’re working across the food supply chain, not just in grocery, but also food service, but one of the most exciting pieces is with a large perishable brand at one of the nation’s largest food producers. So in the end perishables account for about 80% of the food waste, and that’s either food donated, lost, ending up in a landfill, but they’re only 11% of sales. And so really finding a way to optimize the right in stock amount, but then also maximizing things like dynamic pricing before expiry. Those are really core strategies to expanding margins in grocery. 

In an industry that was on razor-thin margins before the pandemic and is now trying to figure out how do they build all of the infrastructure for these new consumer models and still be profitable. That is an area that’s ripe to just make sure that we use technology and the learnings of efficiencies and other verticals to drive the same type of tie between production and consumption that will help us really, both financially and environmentally.