How artificial intelligence could help you save money on groceries |

Imagine walking into the produce aisle of your local grocery store and being able to look at a digital display, instead of a wrinkly plastic tab, to figure out the price of a head of lettuce.

The prices displayed on the screen would change in real time based on a host of factors including inventory size and shelf life, as well as more complex variables such as the weather, time of day and day of the week.

You may think these elements are already taken into account when grocers set prices, and you’d be right, but artificial intelligence stands to make the entire process of price optimization faster, cheaper and more precise.

Meaning better deals for shoppers, and fatter profit margins for grocers.

“It creates the perfect scenario for consumers and for grocers in the pursuit of market equilibrium between supply and demand,” says Sylvain Charlebois, a food distribution expert and dean of the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University.

Currently, a typical grocery store manager has to make between 1,000 and 1,500 decisions a day, while taking into account customer data and insights, head-office directions and plain instinct, Charlebois says. This means it can sometimes take days or weeks for grocery stores to optimize their prices to sync with fluctuations in demand.

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How artificial intelligence could help you save money on groceries – National |