• Inside Indiana Business reports that Kroger "is expanding its fulfillment network with a new Indianapolis facility and delivery service. Kroger says the 48,000-square-foot facility will collaborate with its hub in Monroe, Ohio to connect customers with food … After placing an order via Kroger.com or the Kroger app, customers will have their groceries delivered by a Kroger Delivery associate in a temperature-controlled van. The company says the delivery network will also continue to use stores and third-party partners to deliver certain orders."
• Reuters reports that "British online supermarket group Ocado Group Plc said on Monday it had won a patent infringement lawsuit filed by Norwegian robotics company AutoStore Holdings Ltd (AUTO.OL) in the International Trade Commission (ITC).
"AutoStore had filed the lawsuit last year in both the United States and the United Kingdom, saying it was the inventor and rightful owner of certain patents filed by Ocado.
"The ITC's Chief Administrative Law Judge held three of the four AutoStore patents were invalid while the fourth one was not infringed by Ocado, the British company said in a statement. AutoStore abandoned its claim over a fifth patent the night before the trial.
"AutoStore said it plans to challenge the decision before the full commission, which will review the findings and issue a final verdict in April 2022."
• The Spoon reports that a company called Simbe Robotics "has just been issued a patent for spectral imaging of produce and meats and detect how fresh they are.
"The US patent, which is number 11,200,537 and titled 'Method for tracking and characterizing perishable goods in a store,' uses computer vision to record images across a period of time and derive a set of characteristics specific to the type of food. For produce, it can assign a percentage of ripeness, determine whether it is under, over, or at peak ripeness, and determine if there is other biological matter such as a contaminant on the food. It can also determine whether a fruit or vegetable is rotten, damaged, or bruised."
The story says that the computer system also "can access and implement hyper-spectral template histograms or template spectral profiles for 'fresh,' 'rancid,' 'low-fat,' 'moderate-fat,' 'high-fat,' 'low-water content,' 'moderate-water content,' and 'high-water content' for specific varietals of meats or for meats generally."
• Axios reports that delivery platform Gopuff "has raised $1.5 billion in what could be a valuation of up to $40 billion … This suggests that the Philadelphia-based company, which recently launched in London and New York, is preparing for a 2022 IPO."
According to the story, "Gopuff was valued at around $15 billion in a round over the summer."