The client

In today’s fast-paced world, innovation is the key to staying ahead, especially in the FMCG sector. The collaboration with B-Food is a prime example of how digital transformation can flip the script on traditional production and distribution models within the catering sector. The groundbreaking changes implemented elevate not only B-Food’s sales model but the granularity of their sales insights throughout.

The challenge

B-Food started as a traditional catering service focussed on the B2B market, when COVID hit and businesses remained closed, they faced significant challenges when demand dropped. At the same time, traditional methods were quickly becoming inefficient, leading to increased waste and slow speed to market. Instead of accepting the stand-still, B-Food took this challenge as an opportunity to turn the status quo upside down and invested in innovation. B-Food needed a COVID-safe solution that could streamline and grow its operations while maintaining the highest quality standards.

The solution

Enter the Smart Fridge! This solution isn’t just about creating a smart appliance; it’s about redefining how FMCG products are managed from production to consumer delivery. The project redefines what quality food delivery looks like, and gives B-Food unprecedented insights into their customer base and their preference and needs -who bought the product, when and where. But also gives them real-time information on the stock levels of each fridge individually, the exact contents of these units AND their expiry dates.

This information was crucial in pivoting towards a ‘food-as-a-service’ business model, allowing B-Food to expand its service offering to its clients while guaranteeing freshness and storage conditions, while at the same time reducing food waste.

The key innovation drivers

Enhanced user experience

For end consumers, the Smart Fridge app offers a seamless experience. It allows you to unlock the fridge so you can browse and take your products, and you pay for what you took from the fridge, seamlessly.

IoT integration

By embedding IoT sensors in the fridges and on the packaging, we enabled real-time tracking of stock levels, temperature, and shelf life. This data is crucial for maintaining product quality and reducing waste, ensuring that consumers always get fresh products.

Data analytics

Utilizing advanced data analytics, B-Food can now predict demand patterns more accurately. This capability allows them to adjust production schedules proactively, reducing overproduction and stockouts.

Automated restocking

The Smart Fridges now come equipped with automated restocking functionality. When stock levels drop below a certain threshold, the system triggers a restocking request to the nearest distribution center. This automation significantly reduces the manual effort required and ensures continuous product availability at all times.

The result

Reducing costs

By optimizing production and distribution, B-Food has seen a significant reduction in operational costs. The automation of restocking alone has saved countless hours of service runs and missed revenue.

Increasing efficiency

Real-time data and predictive analytics have streamlined the entire supply chain. B-Food can now respond more swiftly to changes in consumer demand, reducing lead times and improving customer satisfaction.

Avoiding waste

With better inventory management, there is less waste. Products are consumed before they expire, contributing to a more sustainable operation.

Promoting customer loyalty

The enhanced user experience has strengthened customer loyalty. Consumers appreciate the convenience and innovation, leading to increased brand loyalty and repeat purchases.

The future

The Smart Fridge initiative is just the beginning. Future developments may include enhanced AI capabilities for even smarter inventory management, integration with other smart devices or crafting smart services. Moreover, this project sets a precedent for other companies in the FMCG sector. By leveraging the latest technologies, businesses can transform their operations, reduce costs, and enhance the customer experience. The Smart Fridge is a testament to how digital transformation can create tangible value and drive business growth.

As we continue to push the boundaries of what’s possible, one thing is clear: the future of FMCG is smart, efficient, and incredibly exciting.

For more information about the Smart Fridge initiative and other digital solutions, check out our other cases!

Any questions?
Tell me all about them.

Laurent Schauvliege
Digital Innovation Acceleration Coordinator


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