Importance of Edge Detection in Image Recognition For Retail Execution

Image recognition technology has been offering significant benefits to the consumer packaged goods industry, helping them with improved inventory management, enhanced merchandising optimization, accurate product identification, personalized marketing, brand promotion, and valuable consumer insights.

By leveraging the power of image recognition software, CPG companies can drive operational efficiency, deliver superior customer experiences, and stay competitive in a rapidly evolving market. A study showed that the image recognition software industry will grow by over 10 billion USD by 2030 at a CAGR rate of 22% in the forecast year. To leverage this growth, we need to adopt the newer features of Image Recognition that will help enhance the results obtained from existing systems.

Unveiling Edge Detection

Edge Detection is a feature embraced by leading pioneers in the Image Recognition industry. By delving into the technical aspects of this feature, we can gain insight into its ability to address our challenges effectively. Image processing utilizes edge detection to pinpoint areas in a digital image in sudden shifts in brightness or intensity, known as edges or boundaries. This technique holds immense significance in applications like pattern recognition, image segmentation, scene analysis, and computer vision.


Several methods exist for edge detection, including the Canny edge detection, Sobel operator, Roberts cross, Prewitt operator, and Laplace operator. Each technique employs distinct algorithms and filters to identify edges within an image. Among them, the Canny edge detection algorithm stands out due to its widespread usage and reliability in producing accurate results.

In image processing, edge detection operates by detecting abrupt changes in brightness values. It accomplishes this by applying filters or operators to the image, highlighting regions where intensity shifts rapidly. The output, an edge map or edge image, reveals the position and strength of edges in the original image.

Benefits of Edge Detection in Image Recognition

Edge detection in image processing finds extensive utility across diverse industries, including the consumer-packaged goods (CPG) sector. Let’s delve into several instances and illustrations that demonstrate the transformative impact of edge detection on the CPG industry.

1. Quality Control

Edge detection can play a crucial role in ensuring the quality of object detection. By detecting edges and boundaries in product images, manufacturers can identify defects, anomalies, or irregularities in packaging materials or product appearance.

Applications incorporate edge detection algorithms to check for inconsistencies in the shape, texture, or printing of labels and packaging. Any deviations from the expected edges can trigger alerts, leading to timely corrective actions and maintaining product quality standards.

It can be especially beneficial in identifying damaged or spoiled tetra-pack products that turn puffy when the contents inside are spoiled.

2. Packaging Design

Edge detection techniques can assist in optimizing packaging design for CPG products. By analyzing the edges of various packaging options, manufacturers can determine the visual impact, shelf presence, and consumer appeal of different designs.

The application utilizes edge detection algorithms to analyze the edges of various packaging prototypes, aiding in identifying design elements that either stand out or enhance brand recognition. This information enables CPG companies to create visually appealing packaging that aligns with their branding strategy.


3. Inventory Management

Edge detection can facilitate efficient inventory management in the CPG industry. Companies can automate counting and tracking inventory items by applying edge detection algorithms to product images.

Edge Detection can be helpful in situations where products are stored in visually cluttered environments. It can help identify the edges of individual products on a crowded shelf, enabling accurate inventory monitoring and optimizing stock levels. This feature helps merchandisers achieve 25% better productivity while performing regular tasks.

4. Product Development

Edge detection techniques can fuel innovation and product development in the CPG industry. By analyzing edges and boundaries in images of existing products or prototypes, manufacturers can identify opportunities for improvement or new product ideas.

Edge detection algorithms analyze the edges of consumer feedback captured through images or social media. It can provide valuable insights into customer preferences, allowing CPG companies to design and launch products that align with market demands.

5. Packaging Labelling Compliance

CPG Manufacturers can use Edge detection to ensure compliance with labeling regulations in the CPG industry. By analyzing the edges of labels, manufacturers can verify the correct placement of mandatory information such as ingredients, nutritional facts, and allergen warnings. Edge detection algorithms can help identify if any crucial label elements are missing, misaligned, or obscured. It ensures compliance with labeling standards and avoids potential legal issues or consumer dissatisfaction.

Factors to consider while choosing Edge Detection

1. Image Quality

Edge detection algorithms can be sensitive to variations in image quality, such as low-resolution images, noise, or lighting conditions. If the input images are of good quality, it may lead to accurate or consistent edge detection results. Quality can pose challenges in applications where image clarity and detail are critical, such as identifying small product features or detecting packaging designs.

2. Complex Aspects

Edge detection algorithms focus on detecting and outlining object boundaries based on contrast changes in pixel intensity. However, it may need help with more complex object recognition tasks beyond simple edges, such as identifying intricate product logos, textures, or patterns.

3. Packaging Design

The CPG sector often involves a wide range of packaging designs and formats. Edge detection algorithms may need help accurately detect edges and contours in packaging with unconventional shapes, complex textures, or transparent materials. Specialized algorithms or pre-processing steps might be needed to handle such variability effectively.

4. Processing Speed

Edge detection algorithms can be computationally intensive when applied to large-scale datasets or real-time scenarios. Processing speed can become a concern if there is a need for rapid analysis of numerous images, such as in high-speed production lines or real-time monitoring systems like the Ivy uses for Retail Merchandising.

5. Over-Reliance on Edges

Relying solely on edge detection for object recognition or feature extraction may limit the scope of information captured from the images. The application must consider other important visual cues like colour, texture, or context for improved result quality. It is crucial to consider a holistic approach that combines edge detection with complementary techniques to ensure accurate analysis of products in the CPG segment.


Edge detection in image processing has immense potential to transform the CPG industry. By leveraging edge detection techniques, companies can enhance quality control, optimize packaging design, improve inventory management, foster product innovation, and ensure labeling compliance. These applications enable CPG businesses to operate more efficiently, deliver high-quality products, and stay competitive in a rapidly evolving market.

If your company is looking for Retail Execution that utilizes Image Recognition software employing Edge Detection Algorithms, book a demo with us. Our sales team will guide you through the solution, enabling you to evaluate its suitability for your requirements.

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