SOURCE: Altierre

June 23, 2009 08:00 ET

Altierre Adds Wireless Temperature Sensing to Its Wireless Store Platform That Alerts Food Retailers to Temperature Changes

Monitoring Refrigerators, Freezers & Hot Cases Is Key to Food Safety and Preventing Spoilage of Perishables

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - June 23, 2009) - As part of its Sensor Network applications, Altierre Corp., a provider of ultra low power wireless solutions for retailers, today expanded its line of innovative wireless products for large grocery chains by introducing digital temperature tags that monitor hot, refrigerated and freezer cases. By alerting grocers to temperature changes, the tags act as a warning system that may save the grocery industry and institutional food service providers millions of dollars in food spoilage.

"Food safety and spoilage is a significant concern and problem for all food retailers, and in particular large grocery chains, for whom ready to eat and refrigerated prepared foods are an increasingly large percentage of sales," said Altierre Chairman and CEO Sunit Saxena, who noted that nearly 20 percent of the products in typical supermarkets are refrigerated. "Instead of employees walking around manually reading thermometers throughout the stores, which is subject to human error and delays, our tags monitor refrigerators, freezers and hot cases 24/7 and alert managers to temperature variations via their computer screens, email or text messages. This acts as an early warning system that gives managers an opportunity to take action and address equipment problems before perishables start to spoil. This is also key to food safety." The system continuously monitors temperatures, which would be cost prohibitive if done manually.

The food industry as a whole is under increased public scrutiny to improve food safety. Last week a House of Representatives committee unanimously passed a new food safety bill.

Greater emphasis on prepared food and fresh products by food retailers is increasing their exposure to revenue lost to spoilage, particularly for the largest grocery chains. According to the Food Marketing Institute, large chains suffer much higher perishable shrink than independent or regional grocers. According to FMI's 2009 "The Food Retailing Industry Speaks" survey, chains with more than $5 billion in annual sales reported average annual shrink at 15.1 percent of sales in the prepared foods category in 2008.

By utilizing the same infrastructure, Altierre's temperature tags further enhance the ROI for "digital price tags" for the supermarket industry. "We now offer grocery chains a single low-power wireless infrastructure that supports digital display and display-less sensor applications for operational excellence and dramatically impacts the bottom line," added CFO and VP of Marketing Shan Kumar, a grocery industry veteran who held various senior level positions during his 16 years at Safeway and was vice president of marketing at Albertsons before joining Altierre. "When I came onboard I saw an opportunity to offer grocers a larger infrastructure platform, and it's very exciting to see applications come to life that are going to bring about dramatic changes that will allow food retailers to fully leverage the digital age."

Altierre's sensor network applications further expand the company's portfolio of digital applications for the supermarket industry. By leveraging wireless technology, this will help bring "bricks and mortar" stores onto the information highway.

Altierre has developed a new era of RF-based applications aimed at enhancing productivity, merchandising and the consumer shopping experience. Its platform now offers a full suite of infrastructure and customer facing solutions. The company's digital pricing solution is a revolutionary green technology that offers the grocery industry the potential to save billions of sheets of paper currently wasted on price tags and marketing messages. The eco-friendly system efficiently delivers real-time, chain-wide dynamic pricing, improves price accuracy, sharply reduces costs and paper waste, enables targeted communications with customers and employees and creates a clean-looking paperless environment. Altierre's Sensor Network applications, by providing expanding visibility into stores, help bring traditional bricks and mortar store into the digital age.

About Altierre Corp.

Altierre Corp., a leading provider of digital signage and pricing solutions for retailers, provides single-platform hardware, software and other IT solutions that enable RF-based applications. Altierre's ultra low power long-range wireless technology enables wireless pricing solutions and sensor network applications such as automated temperature monitoring. Its pricing solution allows chain-wide dynamic pricing, improves price accuracy, sharply reduces costs and paper waste, and improves communication with consumers from the onset of the shopping experience to the point-of-purchase. Altierre is a winner of the Red Herring 100 Award, a selection of the 100 private companies based in North America that play a leading role in innovation and technology. Incorporated in 2003, Altierre is headquartered in San Jose, Calif. For more information, please visit

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    The Blueshirt Group (for Altierre)
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