Retail Tech Thursday: “Hygiene War” taking place amongst UK’s supermarkets

Retail Tech Thursday is our weekly check-in here at Spreckley, where we share the most interesting retail and retail technology news, innovations, and trends.

Let’s take a deep breath and reflect on another eventful week in retail technology. This week, we take a look at the “hygiene war” taking place amongst the UK’s supermarkets and its growing impact on the retail industry, as well as Asda’s plans to use ‘Fitbit for cars and vans’ to cut CO2 emissions and improve road safety.

In the hygiene war, Aldi takes the lead

The UK’s most hygienic supermarket is revealed – and it’s not one of the Big Four. A new study by the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has revealed Aldi as a surprising winner as the UK’s most hygienic supermarket chain, according to a report in The Independent this week.

For UK-based supermarket giants like Sainsbury’s and Tesco, the news will be a real setback. Both companies are FTSE 100 members and are closely watched by investors. As a result of this news, the incumbent retailers are likely to be under increased pressure to prove they are still at the top of their game. In the current climate, shareholders will be disappointed that they are not leading the way in protecting in-store hygiene. It appears it’s time to “clean” up their acts!

Richard Thornton, Aldi UK’s communications director, said: “Customer and colleague safety remains the number one priority in all our stores across the UK, and we take pride in meeting the highest standards.

“Our top rating in this latest analysis of the Food Standards Agency hygiene scheme is thanks to the excellent work of our store teams in ensuring all Aldi stores are clean, safe and welcoming for the millions of customers that shop at Aldi.”

Asda’s “‘Fitbit for cars and vans”

The supermarket’s fleet of 3,000 delivery vehicles will be fitted with a “Fitbit,” developed by Devon green-tech firm: Lightfoot, according to Business-Live this week.

Asda’s grocery delivery drivers will be able to improve their road safety by using engineering technology made in Britain, installed by Lightfoot, a leading provider of in-cab coaching and engagement. By saving the equivalent of 2,482 tonnes of CO2 per year, Asda will be able to improve road safety while reducing pollution.

With this latest innovation in technology, fleets can reduce fuel consumption accidents while reducing fuel and CO2 emissions by 15% each. Through an app on their smartphones, drivers are given ownership of their performance and rewarded with prizes and giveaways.

As drivers complete each journey, they are awarded a score in the app, so they can see how their driving is improving as they progress over time, and compete in a company-wide drivers’ league with their colleagues.

Simon Gregg, vice president of online grocery at Asda, said: “We are continually looking at ways in which we can improve driver safety and we are delighted that many of our drivers are now engaging with Lightfoot on a daily basis. Reducing our carbon footprint is really important to both us and our customers and schemes like this help us towards our goals of halving our direct carbon emissions by 2025”.