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Iceland Foods: Iceland Innovation Lab

With more than 900 stores, Iceland Foods operate primarily in the UK and have stores in Ireland and the Czech Republic. It is one of the biggest UK based frozen food retailers, with the second biggest grocery loyalty card scheme with 1.9m customers.

Iceland is continuously developing ways to set themselves apart from competitors, whether it’s sponsoring the Iceland football team, opening a £2million state of the art kitchen to create and test new products or taking a stand and positioning themselves as industry leaders with environmental initiatives. Iceland partnered with L Marks to create the Iceland Innovation Lab, running from 2018-2020, as part of an initiative to self-disrupt and embrace digital methods to future-proof business operations and enhance customer experiences.

The focal areas of Iceland Innovation Lab have included:

  • Sustainability
  • Improving Productivity
  • Seamless Customer Experience
  • Optimised Supply Chain
  • Improving Colleague Experience
  • Increasing Brand Awareness

Over 400 startups have applied to join this programme which has seen Iceland collaborate with early and growth stage companies, integrate new technologies, and showcase these learnings across Iceland Foods to encourage agility throughout the business.



WiseShelf transforms standard retail shelves to IoT by using light levels that are transmitted to the Cloud. WiseShelf uses a machine learning algorithim to translate this light data into inventory levels.

By providing an inventory management solution for supermarkets and pharmacies which use their stores as e-commerce fulfillment centres, WiseShelf measures on shelf availability in real time and sends reports to e-commerce systems to avoid orders of OOS items.

During Iceland Innovation Lab, WiseShelf were able to deliver their technology to Iceland by using light levels that are transmitted to the Cloud. They had their technology being trialled live in-store within the first three weeks of the programme.

WiseShelf has since partnered with Iceland to launch within their bakery products and is planning to roll out a further trial in additional stores.

“Shelf technology hasn’t really changed in over 40 years. WiseShelf provides an insight into a world of smart shelves that can actually add value to the replenishment operation and provide significantly better data to our ordering systems to make better decisions. While still evolving, the tech shows great promise and potential to the future.”

Jim Clifton Head of Merchandising, Iceland Foods