Food safety

Local Roots

Local Roots

We design, build, deploy and operate the world’s most productive indoor farming solutions. We believe the key to a more sustainable future requires eliminating supply-chain risks and undoing the commoditization of the food industry. That’s why our Local Roots Family is building a distributed network of cutting-edge farms throughout the world to grow the freshest, healthiest food possible.  We bring the Farm to you. We deliver turnkey TerraFarms, to your location, operated by our experienced farming team.   +MORE

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PAR SureCheck

PAR

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Food borne illness puts your customers and your business at risk. While most restaurant and grocery chains have Hazard Analysis & Critical Control Points (HACCP) programs, many are ineffective and time-consuming. PAR SureCheck combines a PDA-based mobile application, cloud-based enterprise server and a fully integrated temperature measuring device (TMD) for managing HACCP and inspection programs for retail and food service organizations. SureCheck checklist-based logging automates the monitoring of quality risk factors while dramatically lowering the potential for human error. +MORE

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Intelligent Checklist For Quality and Safety in the Supermarket

CART

Meticulous compliance with temperature control and monitoring practices is a fundamental necessity for food service providers in order to assure product quality and safety. As both hot and cold menu offerings continue to expand in the supermarket environment, this activity grows more complicated, placing a greater burden upon operators to maintain excellence. Many observe that existing paper-based recordkeeping processes are no longer adequate for the modern grocer. With these issues in mind, two retailers collaborated on in-store deployments of a food safety and intelligent checklist platform beginning in summer 2013. The activity was focused on deli and prepared foods departments located at one store of a regional supermarket chain and a single-store independent grocer. The platform (PAR EverServ® SureCheck®) uses digital temperature testing devices linked wirelessly to a cloud-based server application. Among multiple benefits of this arrangement, the platform helps food service associates to better manage temperature monitoring activities in a timely manner, while faithfully capturing an activity log that may be monitored to prove compliance. Results to date indicate improvement on several key performance dimensions compared with previously existing paper-based record keeping methods. +MORE

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GoSpotCheck

GoSpotCheck

GoSpotCheck is mobile form and execution management software that enables team leaders to improve workforce operations. Organizations can assign tasks, analyze real-time reporting, and drive action to accomplish critical goals and objectives. +MORE

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CART Weekly Report 5/16/19

CART , Advancing Retail

HOW TARGET USES ITS STARTUP ACCELERATORS TO STRENGTHEN ITS IN-HOUSE CAPABILITIES | Digiday Gary’s Take: Target’s accelerator program is a way for the retailer to support new innovation that can (hopefully) ultimately help the company. But this type of approach only works for the largest retailers that can devote significant resources. An alternative approach is provided by Retail Tomorrow’s Headquarters Events program, an innovation program specially curated for the specific retailer. Designed for regional and national retailers, the program identifies areas of interest from the retailer, then draws upon thousands of new innovative solutions to filter and curate those most appropriate. The team also includes ‘black swans’, new game-changing capabilities that the retailer should have on their radar. The selected solutions are brought together for a day on-site at the retailer’s HQ for a day focused around learning. This is the most effective way we see in the market today for retailers to gain intelligent awareness to new innovation. DRONES IN AISLE 5? GROCERY STORES ARE BECOMING UNUSUAL HOTBEDS OF INNOVATION | Denver Post Gary’s Take: Supermarkets have indeed become hotbeds of innovation, as we see from the regular stories coming out about new technologies being deployed by big retailers like Walmart, Kroger, and Amazon. While these stories get all the coverage, it makes you wonder what’s happening across the regional and independent retail sectors… are these mid-size and smaller retailers experimenting with and deploying new capabilities? Many smaller retailers have already decided they can’t or don’t want to keep up with ever faster innovation. Yet at the same time I know many regional and independent retailers are doing some exciting things. I would love to hear from regional and independent retailers that are pursuing innovative capabilities! I think it is important for all of us to maintain a diverse industry - a mix of all size retailers - as we go forward. Innovation can be a costly game and anything we can do to promote and publicize impactful innovation by smaller retailers can only help tech companies and solution providers understand the opportunity at all levels of retail. WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE (FILL IN THE BLANK) CATEGORY? | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: There’s something to be gained here from the perspective. “What strategies should we follow” is different than “how can we best serve our customers.” When an organization starts to ask more questions like the latter, the more positive results follow. If we turn our stores into commodities (by being all tactics and strategies to maximize return) customers will treat us that way too. There is of course a place for all the tactics, but they’re most effective secondary to a culture that’s really about serving the human beings that shop with them. WHY IS AMAZON PAYING EMPLOYEES TO QUIT THEIR JOBS? | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: There are no rules in this game (only some laws). This is a great way to transform the delivery market and empower their people. 100% agree that Amazon only stands to gain to make sure that everyone that steps into this program wins.  FEATURED BLOG OF THE WEEK: UNDERSTANDING THE AGE OF ‘i’ by Gary Hawkins, CEO CART HAPPENINGS: TEDx CHULA VISTA - How Leaders Innovate - May 25, 2019 at Southwestern College  CART Co-Founder, Sterling Hawkins will be speaking on How Leaders Innovate  EVENT DETAILS>> PURCHASE TICKET>> DISRUPTIVE LEADERSHIP & THE SELFCARE REVOLUTION​, Boston Immersion Event - Hosted July 17 & 18th, 2019 Apply to present at Retail Tomorrow Labs: Boston - Applications due June 15th, 2019 Full Agenda OUTLOOK LEADERSHIP - August 11-14, 2019 in Asheville, NC The convenience industry’s premier, invitation-only event, that you cannot afford to miss. In a world of accelerating change, where we are going and how do we build our organizations to thrive there? Sterling Hawkins will take attendees on a retail journey. C-Store operators can register today at https://outlookleadership.com/ using Invite Code: power GROCERYSHOP - September 15-18, 2019 at the Venetian in Las Vegas  Preliminary Agenda Speakers INFLUENTIALS: TOP MOVERS AND SHAKERS IN RETAIL 2019 | RIS News CART COMMUNITY - GET ON THE INSIDE. MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS. Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. ✔️Blogs ✔️Newsletter ✔️Webinars ✔️Accelerator ✔️Pitch Events ✔️Solution Spotlights  ✔️Innovation Programs ✔️Educational Content​ LEARN MORE >> VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART GET THE CART WEEKLY REPORT DELIVERED TO YOUR INBOX. SIGN UP HERE. +MORE

CART Weekly Report 5/17/19

CART , Advancing Retail

HOW TARGET USES ITS STARTUP ACCELERATORS TO STRENGTHEN ITS IN-HOUSE CAPABILITIES | Digiday Gary’s Take: Target’s accelerator program is a way for the retailer to support new innovation that can (hopefully) ultimately help the company. But this type of approach only works for the largest retailers that can devote significant resources. An alternative approach is provided by Retail Tomorrow’s Headquarters Events program, an innovation program specially curated for the specific retailer. Designed for regional and national retailers, the program identifies areas of interest from the retailer, then draws upon thousands of new innovative solutions to filter and curate those most appropriate. The team also includes ‘black swans’, new game-changing capabilities that the retailer should have on their radar. The selected solutions are brought together for a day on-site at the retailer’s HQ for a day focused around learning. This is the most effective way we see in the market today for retailers to gain intelligent awareness to new innovation. DRONES IN AISLE 5? GROCERY STORES ARE BECOMING UNUSUAL HOTBEDS OF INNOVATION | Denver Post Gary’s Take: Supermarkets have indeed become hotbeds of innovation, as we see from the regular stories coming out about new technologies being deployed by big retailers like Walmart, Kroger, and Amazon. While these stories get all the coverage, it makes you wonder what’s happening across the regional and independent retail sectors… are these mid-size and smaller retailers experimenting with and deploying new capabilities? Many smaller retailers have already decided they can’t or don’t want to keep up with ever faster innovation. Yet at the same time I know many regional and independent retailers are doing some exciting things. I would love to hear from regional and independent retailers that are pursuing innovative capabilities! I think it is important for all of us to maintain a diverse industry - a mix of all size retailers - as we go forward. Innovation can be a costly game and anything we can do to promote and publicize impactful innovation by smaller retailers can only help tech companies and solution providers understand the opportunity at all levels of retail. WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE FILL IN THE BLANK CATEGORY? | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: There’s something to be gained here from the perspective. “What strategies should we follow” is different than “how can we best serve our customers.” When an organization starts to ask more questions like the latter, the more positive results follow. If we turn our stores into commodities (by being all tactics and strategies to maximize return) customers will treat us that way too. There is of course a place for all the tactics, but they’re most effective secondary to a culture that’s really about serving the human beings that shop with them. WHY IS AMAZON PAYING EMPLOYEES TO QUIT THEIR JOBS? | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: There are no rules in this game (only some laws). This is a great way to transform the delivery market and empower their people. 100% agree that Amazon only stands to gain to make sure that everyone that steps into this program wins. FEATURED BLOG OF THE WEEK: UNDERSTANDING THE AGE OF ‘i’ by Gary Hawkins, CEO CART HAPPENINGS: TEDx CHULA VISTA - May 25, 2019 at Southwestern College  CART Co-Founder, Sterling Hawkins will be speaking on How Leaders Innovate  EVENT DETAILS>> PURCHASE TICKET>> DISRUPTIVE LEADERSHIP & THE SELFCARE REVOLUTION​, Boston Immersion Event - Hosted July 17 & 18th, 2019 Apply to present at Retail Tomorrow Labs: Boston - Applications due June 15th, 2019 Full Agenda OUTLOOK LEADERSHIP - August 11-14, 2019 in Asheville, NC The convenience industry’s premier, invitation-only event, that you cannot afford to miss. In a world of accelerating change, where we are going and how do we build our organizations to thrive there? Sterling Hawkins will take attendees on a retail journey. C-Store operators can register today at https://outlookleadership.com/ using Invite Code: power GROCERYSHOP - September 15-18, 2019 at the Venetian in Las Vegas Preliminary Agenda Speakers INFLUENTIALS: TOP MOVERS AND SHAKERS IN RETAIL 2019 | RIS News   CART COMMUNITY - GET ON THE INSIDE. MEMBERSHIP HAS BENEFITS. Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. ✔️Blogs ✔️Newsletter ✔️Accelerator ✔️Pitch Events ✔️Solution Spotlights  ✔️Innovation Programs ✔️Educational Content FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>>Your growth engine into retail VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. +MORE

Understanding the Age of ‘i’

Gary Hawkins, CEO, Center for Advancing Retail and Technology

Look about and you see that the world is becoming increasingly tailored to you, your interests, and your needs. We have come to take for granted the personalization and relevancy in the digital world, no longer thinking about our customized news feeds. We give no thought to the complexity of systems and algorithms driving the process of sorting through nearly 600 million products sold by Amazon, or the thousands of movies available on Netflix. The work behind the scenes provides us with relevant recommendations. We simply see the suggestions put in front of us and, more often than not, make a purchase. AI Drives Customization The recent growth of artificial intelligence is powering yet more customization in the digital world. It is AI powering the voice-enabled digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Assistant, and Apple’s Siri. Amazon is intent on making Alexa ubiquitous in our lives, available not just in our homes but in our cars, offices, libraries, and even hospitals. The digital world is ours for the asking, any time, any place.  Forgot something for the dinner party tonight? Just ask Alexa to order it while you’re driving to work. And Alexa is getting smarter. Amazon recently received a patent tied to Alexa’s ability to recognize a user’s physical and emotional states and respond to how you’re feeling. Alexa can now tell if you’re suffering from a cold and suggest ordering chicken soup from Whole Foods to be delivered in the next couple hours. If you want to shop by voice, you’re not limited to Amazon; Kroger recently joined Walmart, Walgreens, and other retailers providing consumers the ability to use Google Assistant to place online orders simply by speaking. Growing numbers of retail merchants are integrating to the predominant digital assistants, those provided by Amazon, Google, and Apple. It is AI-powered voice recognition that is enabling a new world of services. Woebot is your virtual therapist available 24x7 through your smartphone. No need for a couch, no meds, and no dredging up childhood memories. Have a problem? Feeling sad or depressed? Just ask Woebot. And if exercising is better than going to a therapist, Vi is at your service. Vi is your virtual personal trainer, accessing your workout data from your smartwatch, smartphone, and IoT-enabled equipment in the gym to provide realtime guidance — run faster! lift more! — communicated to you through your wireless headset. Increasingly, the personalization found in the digital domain is manifesting in our physical world. 3D printing technology is helping drive this as shoes and clothing are created to our own individual specifications. Similar technology is being used to ‘print’ body parts and even organs. Nike’s Configurator enables shoppers to customize their shoes, selecting colors and even materials. BareMinerals Made-2-Fit’s app leverages the iPhone’s camera and processing power to enable a user to scan their skin and get a custom makeup foundation delivered to their home with their name on the bottle, backed by a 100% Shade Match Guarantee.   And when the makeup is delivered to your home, you’ll know it as you lie on the beach, receiving a notification on your phone. Opening the app, you can see and communicate with the driver through your smart doorbell. Voice-powered digital assistants connected to IoT devices enable you to customize your home to your desires simply by asking. While driving home you can ask Alexa to turn on the lights, warm the oven, and put some music on to greet you upon arrival. A growing number of smart appliances are connected to Amazon’s automated replenishment service so you no longer have to be bothered to remember to reorder laundry detergent; your smart home can take care of that for you. Kroger is working to make the brick and mortar store personalized to you. The company is deploying a new digital shelf display; one of its features will be lighting up relevant products for you as you walk down the aisle. Kroger is not only calling out relevant products as you shop but also personalizing the price to entice you to buy. Online shoppers are increasingly able to tailor the delivery of products. You can have products delivered to your home, your office, the trunk of your car, available for pickup at the store on your way home, and more. You can reserve clothing online and find it waiting for you in the store’s fitting room when you arrive. With Amazon’s Key service you can even have the delivery person put your groceries in the refrigerator at home while you’re at work. The world is increasingly your way. And what is perhaps the ultimate in personalization, medicine and healthcare are rapidly becoming tailored to the individual, using the person’s genome and other bio-markers. The use of technology to gather realtime health data from wearables, combined with a person’s genomic blueprint, can help doctors assess an individual’s disease susceptibility and develop personalized treatment plans. This movement is already underway. The Isala Hospital in the Netherlands is using 3D food printing to customize meals to ensure that each person receives the nutrition needed to get them better faster. Retailers Slow to Adapt So we have a world increasingly customized to each individual, not only in the digital world, but increasingly in the physical world. And yet much of the retail industry goes to market and operates largely as it did fifty years ago with weekly ads filled with mass promotion, the same products, services, and prices for all.  At the core of this tumult is technology-fueled innovation. Retail executives are used to brick and mortar competitors of all types, from low cost, limited assortment stores like Aldi, Save-A-Lot, and Family Dollar, to more highbrow operators like Wegmans and Whole Foods. What retail executives are not accustomed to is competing with some of the world’s largest and most powerful technology companies and a plethora of nimble, young startups gunning to transform a lethargic industry. This is an entirely new playing field where disruption is the new normal. Retail executives are poorly prepared for this new world, accustomed to a slow-moving industry and a time when retailers dictated industry change and innovation. Today, retail companies are adrift in a world of increasingly fast change across the supply chain as consumers rapidly adopt new technologies and new competitors spring forth at a bewildering pace. Too many retailers are dealing with the symptoms of innovation rather than addressing the underlying forces. And this approach is dangerous, leading executives to make short-term tactical decisions without benefit of understanding the larger battle being waged. Consumed with the nuts and bolts tactical execution required to simply stay alive in such an intense, high volume, low margin business, retail leaders are challenged to step back and understand the vast forces at work.  And yet they must. Welcome to the Age of ‘i’.  An excerpt from Retail in the Age of ‘I’. Available on Amazon.com +MORE

CART Weekly Report 5/9/19

CART, ADVANCING RETAIL

THE RETAIL APOCALYPSE HAS CLAIMED 6,000 STORES IN 2019 SO FAR, MORE THAN THE NUMBER THAT SHUT DOWN IN ALL OF 2018 | Business Insider Gary’s Take: Grocery retail has not yet been swept up in the Retail Apocalypse in a major way but I don't believe that is going to last. As eCommerce sales grow it is inevitable that grocery stores will close. But it is the disruption caused by Amazon, and increasingly by Walmart and Kroger, as they invest heavily in new innovation that is going to drive competing supermarket retailers out. Even large regional supermarket chains simply do not have the resources to bet on new innovative, disruptive capabilities that the largest players do. Regional retailers need to focus more limited resources on gaining awareness to new innovation, understanding what capabilities to focus on, and reimagining the shopping experience using new technologies to personalize each engagement to the individual customer and deliver exciting new services. RETAIL SUCCESS DEPENDS ON HOW YOU ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS | Winsight Grocery Business  Gary’s Take: There is a fundamental shift underway in retail away from mass marketing to focusing on each individual customer and providing meaningful savings on relevant products. This shift requires significant data and intelligence to help power that contextual relevancy. H&M WILL CEASE PRINTING IT’S CATALOG AFTER 39 YEARS | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: It’s the right move. Not just for sustainability reasons, but it gives H&M the chance to rethink processes to improve customer experience all around. It’s less about online/offline and more about curating the right content via the right channels that make sense to their customers. WILL A STRATEGY BUILT AROUND CHAING PEOPLE’S LIVES TRANSFORM LULULEMON’S BUSINESS? | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: I’m not sure Lululemon has ever been playing purely a price-based game. They’re not worried about commodities. How else could a premium yoga brand grow selling $150 yoga pants during a recession? This seems like an extension of Chip Wilson’s culture and purpose driven mission. Their future relies on people buying into the vision and lifestyle, just like it always has. INFLUENTIALS: TOP MOVERS AND SHAKERS IN RETAIL 2019 | RIS News​ FEATURED BLOG OF THE WEEK: RECLAIMING RETAIL'S CUSTOMER HERITAGE by Gary Hawkins, CEO CART HAPPENINGS: OUTLOOK LEADERSHIP - August 11-14, 2019 in Asheville, NC  The convenience industry’s premier, invitation-only event, that you cannot afford to miss. In a world of accelerating change, where we are going and how do we build our organizations to thrive there? Sterling Hawkins will take attendees on a retail journey. C-Store operators can register today at https://outlookleadership.com/ using Invite Code: power GROCERYSHOP - September 15-18, 2019 at the Venetian in Las Vegas   Preliminary Agenda Speakers CREATING ROI IN THE FUTURE OF AR/VR IN RETAIL: HOW RETAILERS ARE USING VR/AR TO ACHIEVE GROWTH, PROFITABILITY, AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE GOALS  Questions? Contact Retail and eCommerce Committee Event Co-Chair,​ Sterling Hawkins DISRUPTIVE LEADERSHIP & THE SELFCARE REVOLUTION​, Boston Immersion Event  Apply to present at Retail Tomorrow Labs: Boston - Applications due June 15th, 2019 Full Agenda Get on the Inside - CART Community  Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future. FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>>Your growth engine into retail VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here. +MORE

Reclaiming Retail’s Customer Heritage

Gary Hawkins, CEO, Center for Advancing Retail and Technology

Today will be the slowest pace of change in your lifetime. Consider that for a moment. The ubiquitous iPhone was introduced just a decade ago, and today we take the app store and all the capabilities we have in our hand for granted. It seems like only yesterday that robots were the realm of science fiction, yet today we find them roaming store aisles, autonomous pods delivering groceries, and automated warehouses fast becoming the norm. Even the production of food itself is being transformed as meat is grown in factories and greens are grown in trailers alongside the store. The fast moving consumer goods retail industry is in chaos and the shift online is only the tip of the iceberg as disruption sweeps across every part of the supply chain. And this disruption is only just getting started. Technologies are converging, triggering even greater growth in world-changing capabilities. And even industries are converging as new technologies, consumer interest, and economic forces come into play. Many retailers are being whipsawed by the shift online and the explosive growth of innovation, not knowing where to focus next. Amidst this chaos, some retailers are trying to do everything while others are overwhelmed to the point of paralysis. And all retailers are moving too slowly, often not understanding the underlying forces at work driving this new world. Five year plans, a staple of management, are obsolete before the save button is clicked as new capabilities, new competitors, and new consumer demands arise almost daily. To bring order to the chaos retailers need to focus on the one constant that is ever-present: The customer. We have entered the Age of ‘i’. This is a time of quickening innovation; expanding intelligence powered by artificial intelligence feeding off big data, and immersive experiences provided by augmented and virtual reality, with all of it increasingly focused on making the world all about each individual person. Retail in the Age of ‘i’ reclaims the industry’s heritage of customer focus growing from the days of the corner store. Today, retailers have the ability to leverage vast new technologies to once again focus on the individual customer, partnering with each customer as we journey forward. And beyond technology, retailers have an opportunity to inject humanness into a shopping experience that is at risk of becoming an automated, people-free process of replenishment. The retail industry is rapidly approaching a crossroads. One path is leading to an efficient, cost-effective, yet sterile, shopping environment ruled by automation. The other is positioning technology in service to customers, taking advantage of automation to redirect human associates to engage with shoppers in either the physical or virtual environments, and fostering the personal relationships between the merchant and the customer that were a part of life decades ago.   “Throughout history, human beings have inherently been social creatures. For millions of years we’ve genetically evolved to survive and thrive through the “togetherness” of social groups and gatherings. Today, modern communication and technology has forever changed the landscape of our human interaction, and as such, we often decline without this type of meaningful personal contact. Today’s highly individualistic, digitally remote, and material driven culture is now challenging all of this, as we turn to science to unlock the mysteries of human connection and wellness in a digitally connected world.” I believe there is business opportunity in doing the right thing for people and our communities. That people today, staring into their digital screens for hours at a time, interacting via Facebook or Twitter, and being drawn to every new shiny piece of tech, actually covet human connectedness. Retailers, especially food retailers, are in a unique position to deliver this powerful human experience given that people still need to eat daily and, as we’ll see later in the book, the growing connectedness between food and health and wellbeing. From a business perspective, every customer interaction, whether in the digital realm or the physical store, is vital to acquiring, growing, and retaining customers. Focusing on each individual customer forces retailers to think beyond generalizations - investing in a health and wellness program is good for my shoppers - to focus on leveraging technology to serve the individual; ‘how can I help Sasha improve her life by providing products and services contextually relevant to her?’. This involves not looking at Sasha as representative of a cohort, but - literally - building a relationship with Sasha as an individual.  Not only is the customer the only constant in today’s world of non-stop disruption, but customers are expecting, even demanding, that the world be made relevant to them. And why not? Consumers take for granted the personalization and relevancy in the digital world, and expect the same from brick & mortar retailers. An excerpt from Retail in the Age of ‘I’. Available on Amazon.com +MORE

CART Weekly Report 4/25/19

CART, Advancing Retail

AMERICA'S BIGGEST SUPERMARKET COMPANY STRUGGLES WITH ONLINE GROCERY UPHEAVAL | Wall Street Journal Gary’s Take: Two key things I would call out relative to this Kroger story by Heather Haddon from WSJ. The first is that while Kroger, like all other grocery retailers, is being challenged by the move online, has an asset few others do: Years of accurate customer purchase data. That data is the fuel for helping Kroger understand their customers and powering up more efficient customer growth and retention. While Kroger does a good job with personalization, they can always do better, especially leveraging the latest AI and machine learning approaches. The second call out: while Kroger is working to innovate at a growing pace, they are resource-challenged to deploy new tech like their digital shelf edge solution fast enough. If a Kroger with their resources is having a tough time, it makes you wonder about the future of the regional and independent retailers. HOW GROCERY RETAILERS CAN REINVENT THEIR LOYALTY PROGRAMS | Progressive Grocer  Gary’s Take: So this article on retailers reinventing their loyalty programs fails to understand what retail loyalty programs are all about… DATA. Sure, the value proposition is important - points, fuel rewards, 2-tier pricing, etc. - that’s what drives shopper enrollment and participation. But the author is suggesting that retailers can be successful by dropping traditional loyalty and concentrating on customer service and developing a unique niche like a Trader Joe. In a world of consumer expectation for personalization and contextual relevancy, customer data is not optional. Just having great service or a unique product niche is not enough. Its all about data - just ask Kroger, Amazon, and many others. Retailers without data will be increasingly challenged to remain relevant in the Age of ‘I’, as the world is increasingly tailored to each of us individually. WILL AMERICA’S LOVE FOR COUPONS EVER DIE? | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: It’s worth looking at the whole experience not just the paper coupons; there’s a cycle of distribution and redemption that’s sometimes just easier with paper. Digital has a little work to do. I don’t think consumers “want” paper coupons — they just accept them as a known, simple experience. Separately, Valassis conducting a paper coupon survey is kind of like cigarette companies funding cigarette studies in the ’50s and early ’60s :). IS AI’s IMPACT ON DEMAND FORECASTING MORE HYPE THAN REALITY | RetailWire Sterling’s Take: AI will significantly transform most aspects of our lives. By 2045 (or so) a $1,000 USD processor will buy you the processing power equivalent to all human beings alive — about 9 billion people. It’s hard to fathom the kind of impact that’s going to have on our businesses or our lives; however, I imagine shoring up at 32% forecasting error will be positively impacted sooner than later. HOW TO FIX CORPORATE TECH STRATEGY | Innovation Excellence Sterling’s Take: There is no silver bullet to ensure a company commercializes its next great technology, product or service. Key disruption to current processes can significantly improve the odds because it’s about the people and about the culture. Ensuring connectedness, simplifying analysis, and increasing agility will help any company better invest its resources as it tries to invent the future. FEATURED BLOG OF THE WEEK:  4 WAYS AUGMENTED REALITY IS REDEFINING THE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE by Alexa Marino, Glance Creative HAPPENINGS COMMERCE IN THE CONSUMER AGE: HOW HUMANITY AND TECHNOLOGY COME TOGETHER TO CREATE A NEW VISION FOR RETAIL - Criteo Commerce Forum May 9, 2019  CREATING ROI IN THE FUTURE OF AR/VR IN RETAIL: HOW RETAILERS ARE USING VR/AR TO ACHIEVE GROWTH, PROFITABILITY, AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE GOALS - May 14, 2019 Questions? Contact Retail and eCommerce Committee Event Co-Chair, Sterling Hawkins via email:sterling.hawkins@advancingretail.org DISRUPTIVE LEADERSHIP & THE SELFCARE REVOLUTION​, Boston Immersion Event  Apply to present at Retail Tomorrow Labs: Boston - Applications due June 15th, 2019 Full Agenda Get on the Inside - CART Community FOR RETAILERS>> Proven programs to advance your business FOR SOLUTIONS>>Your growth engine into retail Become part of the epicenter of retail innovation exclusive network. The place where retail decision makers and solution providers come together to advance retail into the future.  VIEW ALL SOLUTIONS HERE  CONTACT US TELL ME HOW TO GET MY SOLUTION ADDED TO CART Get the CART Weekly Report delivered to your inbox. Sign up here +MORE

CART'S INNOVATION PROGRAM

Gary Hawkins, CEO , Center for Advancing Retail and Technology

CART’s Innovation Program, done in partnership with Retail Tomorrow, is a unique offering that works for retailers and solution providers alike. Designed for national and larger regional retailers, the CART team works with the retailer’s executive team to identify 2-3 specific areas of interest like automation, in-store experience, etc. With interests established, the team then goes to work identifying the leading solution providers in each area, filtering through and curating the most appropriate capabilities. That process often entails talking with each solution to ensure applicability and set expectations. Amongst the many factors we evaluate is making sure the size and scale of the retailer is aligned with the solution provider’s resources. Connecting a young solution to a massive retailer might sound exciting, but if the solution provider lacks the resources to pilot and then scale deployments it leads to frustration on all sides. Once the appropriate solution providers have been identified we all go on-site to the retailer’s HQ to spend a day with their executive team focused around education as each solution is given an opportunity to present to the group and talk about what they do. The format allows for Q&A along with opportunity to start building relationships as everyone networks over coffee breaks and lunch. From the solution provider’s perspective, the opportunity to get time with the senior exec team from prominent retailers is invaluable. Once a solution provider is selected to participate, the CART team will work with you to review your presentation materials to make sure you’re providing the most powerful and relevant message possible about your company and what you do. The CART team will provide some coaching for the presenters to make sure you deliver your message in the time allotted (these events are pretty tightly scripted to accomplish everything).  Expectations are clearly identified on all sides early in the process. From the retailer, CART is looking for executive level commitment and engagement with the process, the executive team’s commitment to spend the day with in the on-site meeting with all the solutions, and a commitment to seriously consider piloting appropriate solutions. From solution providers, CART is looking for new innovative capabilities to help the retailer address challenges they have or provide new capabilities that are beneficial to the retailer. This involves having a good understanding of retail and how retail works and helping educate everyone in the meeting as to the technologies involved. Retailers interested in learning more about the CART Innovation Program can get more information here Solutions interested in participating can learn more here +MORE

Five Predictions for Retail Transformation in 2019

Gary Hawkins, CEO , Center for Advancing Retail & Technology (CART)

As we begin 2019, tomorrow is no longer going to resemble today. The pace of tech-fueled innovation continues to grow, bringing with it increasing change across the supply chain and greater impact on traditional retail operations and models. 2019 is going to be a year of even greater change. Here are five key areas to watch this year: Frictionless shopping: The Amazon Go store with its cashier-less shopping experience has gotten the industry’s attention and this year we will see a great deal of activity in this space. There are several tech companies working to bring similar capabilities to the retail industry along with cost-effectively scaling the technology to work in traditional supermarkets. I believe the proliferation of retailers’ mobile apps having some kind of self-shopping capability - the shopper scanning their products as they shop using their smartphone and then an expedited payment process - is an interim step to a completely frictionless shopping environment. The whole idea of the Amazon Go store is to make buying products as easy as possible; the shopper having to use their app to scan and pay makes it easier to buy but not as easy as just walking in, picking up what you want, and walking out. Automated fulfillment: Kroger’s partnership with Ocado to build and operate twenty automated grocery eComm fulfillment centers is on track. We are seeing several other retailers enter into agreements with Takeoff Technologies to build mini automated fulfillment centers that can sit in the backroom, automatically fulfilling high-velocity packaged goods ordered online. Walmart is working with a partner to build an automated fulfillment center that is designed to sit alongside their stores, fulfilling high-volume products. In 2019 we are going to see even more activity in this space as other retailers will be forced to follow these leaders as automation brings efficiency and lower fulfillment costs, opening up a productivity gap. We will be seeing other technology providers step into this space as the market expands. Automated delivery: Kroger’s partnership with Nuro to use automated, driverless delivery vehicles to deliver online orders to the shopper’s home is already in pilot. Udelv and other solutions will be gaining more interest as retailers begin to focus more attention on the final mile delivery. While many retailers have signed deals with Instacart or Shipt to handle actual delivery, we’re going to see growing interest in Uber and other services to handle deliveries and fast growing interest in automated solutions like Nuro and Udelv in search of cost efficiencies. Health & Wellness gets personal: The wearables market is growing fast as Apple’s Watch and similar devices provide even more functionality to monitor key health indicators in realtime. The explosion in health data coming from these wearables will become increasingly tied to food guidance, helping the individual understand what specific food products to purchase and consume based upon the individual’s health condition and realtime data. As an example, Dexcom recently released a device that provides realtime glucose monitoring for people with diabetes. The ability to use knowledge of an individual’s glucose levels at that specific time - for example, while they are standing in front of the shelf - will inform guidance to beneficial foods. This movement is already underway as the massive food and healthcare industries converge, driven by Amazon’s ownership of Whole Foods, PillPack, and other activity in healthcare. Kroger’s Opt-UP app enables the shopper to easily understand the quality of the foods they are buying and easily filter the store’s product selection based upon the shopper’s interests, needs, and preferences. Look for a lot more activity around this space in the coming year. Melding of digital and physical retail: While most industry activity has been focused around eCommerce and automation of fulfillment and delivery of orders, I believe we are going to see growing attention to the melding of digital and physical shopping. This encompasses bringing augmented reality into the store and shopping experience; we’ll also see growing activity in virtual reality shopping as VR tech gets better and cheaper. Digital signage will spread across the store and get smarter, not only using demographic info to present messaging relevant to the person standing in front of the screen, but engagement will be far more personalized. Kroger’s new shelf Edge system is moving in this direction, lighting up as a shopper moves down the aisle to call out relevant products. Obviously there are many more areas where technology is going to transform retail but these are five key areas to watch. Each of these fundamentally changes the game: Frictionless shopping and automating fulfillment and delivery remove significant costs and will put growing pressure on competing retailers as companies using these technologies scale deployments.  Personalization will move quickly, not just in marketing but in linking an Individual shopper’s health to her favorite store’s product assortment, guiding the shopper to products to improve her wellbeing.  Lastly, shopping is about to become far more interesting and truly immersive as technology really begins to impact the shopping experience, whether you are in the brick & mortar store or sitting at home. +MORE

Pseudo Customer Centricity: Fool’s Gold

Gary Hawkins on Winsight Grocery Business, CART

Retailers must employ a customer-first philosophy into organizational culture Many regional retailers are (at last!) intent on becoming customer-centric, more than a decade after The Kroger Co. led the way and more than two decades after early loyalty pioneers proved the value of a true customer focus. But too many retailers believe that customer centricity can simply be bolted on to their organizations without realizing that true customer centricity is far more involved. Like the intrepid gold miners of the 1840s, these retailers awaken to the realization that what they’ve taken for retail gold is in actuality a false promise, seduced by the fools gold of pseudo customer centricity. I can recount meetings with senior executives from well-known retailers who espouse their customer centricity efforts; spending massive sums on consultants and solutions powered by a decade’s old approach based on customer segments integrated to the retailer’s category planning processes, and even personalized offers to shoppers. Countless of these retailers remain anchored in a product-focused world, even those who tout using technology to discover what products should be put on offer to their customers rather than starting with a vendor-funded offer pool.  True disciples of customer centricity deeply embed a customer-first philosophy into their organizational culture, extending it to every part of the enterprise. These companies realize that providing savings on products relevant to the shopper is only the beginning. Leading companies such as Amazon and Kroger are investing heavily in taking customer centricity to the next level: comprehensive, seamless user experiences across channels and devices, integrating personalized product recommendations with an understanding of the individual shopper’s specific health conditions, and laying the technology foundation for immersive shopping experiences melding the physical and digital worlds. Customer first disciples understand the dynamic flow of customers and their shopping behavior over time, putting in place capabilities and processes attuned to providing contextual relevancy inside and outside the store. And personalization—driven by past purchases and recommendation algorithms—is fast evolving to what I think of as strategic hyper-personalization, leveraging vast intelligence about each individual shopper to power a mix of recommendations to win the shopping trip, grow baskets, maximize retention, and foster customer advocacy—one customer at a time, in real time. Many regional retailers are based in more rural areas where company executives believe their shoppers are less tech savvy, relieving pressure on digital imperatives. According to Pew Research, 95% of Americans own a cellphone in 2018, with 77% of Americans owning a smartphone. Pew also calls out that in 2018, 89% of Americans use the internet. Location is no longer a proxy for customer technology illiteracy.  This year, Amazon is projected to realize over $258 billion in U.S. retail sales, an estimated 49% of all online retail spending in the United States. With this kind of penetration, and the ability to ship products anywhere overnight, traditional supermarket retailers would do well to remember that their shoppers are increasingly expecting (demanding!) the seamless and comprehensive user experience provided by Amazon, and increasingly by Kroger and Walmart. Yet, too many retailers remain mired in digital purgatory, constrained by capability silos and the inability to bring piecemeal capabilities together in a seamless fashion for shoppers.  Lastly, many seasoned grocery executives have spent their careers being rewarded for following, letting someone else bring innovation to market and only following when it has been proven successful. Years ago IT executives would buy IBM, even if it wasn’t the best choice, but because it was the "safe" choice. This practice continues today as retailers sign deals with "established" providers because they believe it is the safe choice, failing to understand that today’s environment rewards fresh, forward-looking thinking. Retail executives need to look beyond yesterday’s approach to customer centricity to capabilities and platforms that actually position the retailer for future success. The cost of failing to provide a seamless shopping experience, for failing to provide true individual shopper personalization, and failing to provide real time contextual relevancy, can rapidly obliterate any savings or security from yesterday’s "proven" approach. Tom Furphy, a former Amazon executive and the originator of Amazon Fresh, in a recent interviewspeaking to the challenges retailers face today, especially a reliance on past practices, says it all: “What seems safe is actually destructive. That’s a recipe for longer term disaster.” This article originally appeared on Winsight Grocery Business and can be viewed here +MORE

The Top Five Ways Retailers Benefit from Industry Trade Shows

Courtney Muller, Chief Corporate Development & Strategy Officer, Clarion UX

When was the last time you attended a retail or food and beverage trade show? If you have to pause to think of the answer – or know immediately that the answer is, “Never” – then it might be time to find a show or expo near you. Trade shows are the best places for those within the industry to get out of their stores and network; find new products and stay abreast of the cutting edge technology offerings; and gain invaluable education in the areas you need it most. In short, even if you spend time every day trying to stay current, you could never see it all – or know what to search for. There is no better place than a trade show … from seeing new products, meeting new people, becoming educated on a new way to engage your customers, or finding out about technology … this is the place to find what you don’t know!   Here are some of the top reasons you should attend a trade show this year: Network with Decision Makers When you think of networking, perhaps the typical “mixer” scenario comes to mind with people you don’t know awkwardly milling about a bar or restaurant, trying to strike up conversations with random people in the hopes that you might be able to benefit one another in some way. Networking at a trade show couldn’t be any more different. As an attendee, you can specifically find exhibitors with the products you seek; attend educational sessions that pertain to topics you are interested in, therefore attracting other audience members who share the same challenges; and be assured that your peers in the same industry as you are seeking similar solutions as you.  And you might even run into a colleague you haven’t seen in years! Find New Products and Foods You subscribe to industry periodicals and get Google Alerts in your inbox every day, but have you seen that new robot that identifies out of stock items and potential slip and fall hazards? Have you read about leveraging data to establish loyalty and trust with food delivery customers? A trade show is the perfect venue to scope out all that is new in the retail world from tech products to new foods and services – all in one place – to help you use technology to create a seamless customer experience. As you look for new technology innovation to keep you competitive, you may find the perfect partner for online ordering, rapid delivery, or rapid checkout through customer’s smartphones.  No matter what you want to go to a trade show to find, you will likely be pleasantly surprised by discovering even more than you thought along the aisles. See New Trends in Action Are vegan offerings a must-have? Should you offer chef demonstrations to showcase meal ideas? Are international flavors high on consumer’s minds? What chef dishes are they trying replicate at home? Be on the front line of this year’s and next year’s trends so you can bank on what your customers will be looking for in the near future. You’ll walk away with new products and great ideas you can implement immediately in your store operations. You may even realize that you are on the verge of creating an entirely different trend yourself that has yet to appear on the market – good information that you can capitalize on in the year to come. Receive Best in Class Education If school is a distant memory – or perhaps you learned hands-on in a family business and worked your way up the ranks – one of the best perks of most trade shows is the educational content provided to attendees and exhibitors alike. Whether you’re interested in operational excellence, developing your workforce, building bigger baskets, or sessions dedicated to those hot new tech trends we previously mentioned, trade shows like The NGA Show (presented by the National Grocers Association) in San Diego this coming February will have you covered on all fronts. What’s more, you can connect with presenting industry specialists to gain even more valuable insight into the topics that interest you most. Gain Immediate, Actionable Ideas The bottom line … your time is valuable and you want to spend any time out of your store obtaining the cream of the crop ideas - from new products, growth strategies and tech trends. Hear what the experts have to share, sample emerging products, uncover new technology, and refresh your enthusiasm for the business. You’ll walk away with a plan to bring all of these new ideas and initiatives into your store operation to drive profits, growth and innovation.   No matter where you are in your retail career, a trade show will no doubt provide you with opportunities, education and inspiration as you progress in the business. Interested in learning more? Check out the upcoming NGA show: National Grocers Association Show, San Diego, CA, February 24-27, 2019, www.thengashow.com  Each year, The NGA Show brings together independent retailers and wholesalers, food retail industry executives, food/CPG manufacturers and service providers for unparalleled opportunities to learn, engage, share, network, and innovate.  Given today’s ever-changing marketplace and evolving advancements in innovation occurring in the food retail industry, The NGA Show is a must-attend event, providing over 40 educational workshops, an expo floor featuring innovative and game-changing products and solutions and countless networking opportunities.  Registration is open at www.thengashow.com – early bird registration rates in effect through December 10, 2018.  +MORE

NGA Show 2019: The Epicenter of Grocery Industry Innovation

CART, Advancing Retail

In a special event leading up to the opening of the new NGA Show 2019, CART will bring together unique education, an impressive line up of speakers, and cutting edge innovation to make San Diego the epicenter of grocery industry innovation during Feb. 24-27, 2019. With a focus on regional retailers and dynamic independent operators, the CART team will present an innovation tour de force designed to help attendees not only stay in the game but help them win. CART is coming together with leading retailers through-out the industry to provide attendees a new worldview for the future of retail where transformation and disruption are the new normal: iRetail. Focused on five ‘i’s, iRetail will give attending executives a framework for evaluating their existing capabilities and provide a roadmap to closing the innovation gap. In a time of declining and disappearing industry events, the NGA Show has become a beacon of light for the industry as it has grown each year, even outgrowing its longtime home in Las Vegas, spurring the move to San Diego this coming February. CART has had a long time partnership with NGA and is taking the relationship to a new level this year, building on the success of CART’s Innovation Event at last year’s show.  Make sure to put Sunday, Feb. 24, 2019, on your calendar and plan to attend the CART special event at the new NGA Show! +MORE

Technology's Profound Impact on the Supermarket Industry

Peter Larkin, President & CEO, National Grocers Association

Often cited as the one of the greatest catalyst of change within the retail grocery industry, technology is an area that independent supermarket operators must understand, and embrace.  Technology continues to have a profound impact, where virtually every detail of the supermarket industry is being touched by new solutions and platforms. I see three technology threads, each entwined with the other. One is the explosion of mobile applications and programs that are turning grocery shoppers into high information consumers. According to Pew research, smart phone adoption among Americans has more than doubled since 2011. Not only are shoppers becoming more sophisticated, but they are using technology as a way to gain more information, transparency, and convenience. At the touch of a mobile screen, consumers can instantly access to updated information on locally sourced perishables, competitive promotions, price checks and recipe ingredient lists. In turn, this migration to the digital space is shaping customer relationships with retailers. Today’s shopper does not want to be talked to but instead wants to be a part of the conversation. Consumer product manufacturers and marketers make up a second technology thread. By analyzing large chunks of customer data and retail sales, manufacturers, retailers and service suppliers are exploring innovative ways to touch their target audiences. Big data though can be vast and hard to harness. Whether it’s social media, a mobile payment system, or loyalty programs, technology can effectively create many new opportunities for savvy retailers to learn about and to connect with their shoppers to better serve their needs. A good place to see and learn about a number of these innovative solutions is right here at www.advancingretail.org. The third thread is in the store itself, where technology is increasingly employed to improve overall store productivity to program more effective lighting, to boost checkout efficiency, to track shopper traffic flows to improve layout and sales per square foot, or to offer customers immediate cost savings via real time wifi connections as they shop. A great, and very recent, example of this is Sedano's Supermarkets launch of a “robotic supermarket,” which entails an automated fulfillment center where AI-enabled robots will assemble full supermarket orders of up to 60 items. While the landscape is quickly evolving, many independent grocers are taking advantage of cutting-edge technologies to engage with their shoppers, find efficiencies, and reach new and existing customers where, how, and when they want. Independents have been making their move into digital. They are hiring dedicated staff, dedicating marketing budgets to digital initiatives, more effectively leveraging social media platforms, and integrating the latest technologies into their business strategies.  With the dramatic pace in which new apps and tech solutions are coming on to the market, it can all seem a bit overwhelming, but technology will play a defining role in the supermarket industry.  Those retailers that are on the forefront of implementing new technology and embrace the hyper-connected, tech-savvy consumer are positioning themselves for success. I’m one who is convinced that these threads will weave into a pattern of rising sales and profits. And that’s why the 2019 NGA Show will kick-off with a new educational event, spearheaded by our partners at CART, entitled “iRetail: Technology Innovation Reshaping the Grocery Industry.” The event is designed to give supermarket operators a framework for navigating fast-paced innovation while maintaining a focus on the importance of people and physical stores as we move into the future. Despite increased competition from all angles, it is an exciting time for the supermarket industry – and we at NGA are bullish about what the future holds for the independent grocers! Known as the true entrepreneurs of the industry, independents are nimble enough to quickly overcome obstacles, and are finding innovative ways to respond to changing consumer preferences, which is something they’ve always been good at given their close ties to their communities and the consumers they serve. +MORE

The One Technology Every Grocerant Needs to Know

Tebo Store Fixtures

Digital signage isn’t just a pretty display, it is a tool to boost sales, customer experience and more; The use of digital signage in your grocerant deli will inform and persuade customers. The use of eye-catching imagery and content will drive sales, allow you to cross promote within your store, and excite your guests. Every day more and more grocery store delis are adopting the use of digital signage and seeing the benefit from this increasingly affordable technology. In the Deli environment, this is not only a resource for customers but is a great resource to engage your employees as well. It brings your daily menu to life with promotions and specials.  Not only does this increase dwell time, it will also help your customers get to know your brand better than static boards leaving lasting impressions. The Benefits of Using Digital Signage: Remotely update menu boards with no ongoing printing or labor costs Offer service to non-English speakers Boost sales 8-22% by simply placing the screen in your deli space Reduce perceived wait time Cross promote within store Employee engagement The Deli grocerant has many challenges that digital menu boards can help solve, but the key to success is to have a clear objective for your digital menu boards. Asking yourself how to correlate to your customer base, store branding, and employee involvement are the steps necessary for a successful relationship with digital signage. Regardless of the size of your grocery stores (multiple or single locations) with the use of digital signage, it will increase the effectiveness of communication in the work environment. A little-known fact is having engaged employees there is a positive correlation to above average productivity. With a raise in productivity leads to more sales and customers walking through your doors. Bringing digital signage to your space is a great start for positive growth of your grocerant deli. +MORE

IoT Technology Tackling FSMA Regulations

Naeem Zafar, TeleSense

2017 is bringing new requirements to cold chain monitoring and food safety as the Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) regulation deadlines approach, requiring the food industry to keep better records of their operations. With the help of Industrial Internet of Things hardware and user-friendly software, businesses can easily implement compliance in preparation of audits. What is Required to be Compliant Depending on the size of your business, the new regulations will become law over the next two years. FSMA mandates rigid plans for monitoring food products and taking corrective actions. By law, every registered food operation in a variety of industries, including meat, poultry, seafood, and produce, must perform a hazard analysis of their facilities and distribution assets to (1) Identify areas that can potentially jeopardize food safety, and (2) Determine what preventive controls to systematically implement and scientifically measure to monitor regulated food products. How does this translate to action? Food businesses need to keep temperature and/or humidity records up to 2 years back to prove that they were operating within the correct temperature range. This includes food in-storage and in-transit. Moreover, such records need to be easily retrievable upon the request of an inspector during an audit. At a glance, it may seem like a big hassle to get an entire business up to compliance, but with the help of modern technology, an operator’s job can become easier than it was before the FSMA was ever implemented. Bridging FSMA and IoT: By incorporating new web-based software with wireless sensors, a food processor or distributor can manage both the FSMA regulations and gain better insight into its operations. No more clipboards and manual time recording! There are many plug-and-play sensors that can be installed within 30 minutes. They usually come with a software subscription that allows facility managers to: Monitor facility and equipment health Determine critical control points Establish critical limits and alerts Dispatch immediate corrective action Automate record keeping and report generation Keep record database in the cloud for easy retrieval Insure facility with backup system Within the past year, many options have popped up within IoT for monitoring food. However, more does not necessarily mean better – more variety means confusion and frustration when sensor and software shopping. Hardware solutions range from Bluetooth sensors, industrial thermocouples, wired sensors, RFID labels, USB data loggers, cellular gateways, WiFi gateways, and the list goes on. The right sensor to purchase is dependent on which operational process one focuses on. The sensor chosen must withstand the working conditions of the facility for it to last. Most importantly, getting good communication between the sensor and gateway is dependent on the layout of the facility and sensor placement. Sometimes, the sensor of preference does not provide optimal connectivity. Without proper research, thousands of dollars can be waste on a solution that just does not fit. Bottom line – speak with an expert before diving in. Many IoT companies provide free consultations or 1-month free trials, which are all meant to make regulatory compliance as hassle-free of an experience as possible. +MORE

Pace of Innovation -- Shattering the Status Quo

Gary Hawkins, CART

Retailers are shellshocked by the increasing pace of technology fueled innovation that is transforming and disrupting the industry. It seems not a week goes by that we don’t read about yet another new competitor entering the grocery space or some new innovation being rolled out by an existing competitor. Case in point: Kroger’s recent announcement that it is deploying its Shop, Scan, and Bag self-shopping solution at 400+ stores. This in response to Amazon’s cashier-less Go store pilot and Walmart’s similar self-shopping solution. Supermarket retailers are challenged on several fronts relative to innovation. It is nearly impossible for a retailer to be aware of all the new innovation entering the market. As an example, CART reviews an estimated 100 new solutions each month. Beyond awareness though is the challenge of deciding what areas to focus on (supply chain, distribution, marketing, store operations, etc.) and deciding what specific solution to pilot. And then having to decide what new capabilities to deploy across operating stores. Having efficient operations, quality foods, and great pricing and service is simply the cost of entry to supermarket retail. The new battleground is innovation. This is a new world for retailers to navigate. As an example, we see too many retailers implementing different digital capabilities in a piecemeal fashion rather than working towards a cohesive and comprehensive platform. The self-shopping capability mentioned earlier is a great example. Some retailers are trying to implement this kind of capability through a third-party app or a separate app rather than bundling it into one mobile app for their customers. Shoppers are after an omni-channel, seamless experience, not being forced to interact with different apps or systems to do business with a retailer. CART is here to help. We’re able to leverage our strong retail experience, industry knowledge, and unique insight to new capabilities and innovation flowing into the market to help retailers understand where they are today relative to their competitors and best-in-class retailers. Developing an innovation roadmap is important to help in prioritizing what new innovation to focus on and to create a foundation capable of adapting to new capabilities and technologies as they come into the market. +MORE

Real-Time Temperature Monitoring

TeleSense

The Food Safety and Modernization Act (FSMA) is increasing the focus on operations and quality control for every U.S. food processing plant, distribution company, and supplier. Food-borne illnesses have been attracting increasing media attention. Maintaining your products at a correct temperature is a critical control point at every stage of the food cold chain. TeleSenseTM real-time monitoring solutions can help your company with third party temperature verification, FSMA compliance, and quality assurance so you can sleep soundly at night knowing your products are safe. +MORE

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ProduceFresh Concentrate

Sterilox Fresh

ProduceFresh Concentrate protects against cross contamination in the produce wash water, reduces labor associated with trimming and case cleaning, and reduces category shrink, enhancing the shelf life and quality of fresh produce. +MORE

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Digital Signage Solutions

Tebo Store Fixtures

Tebo Store Fixtures, after years of listening to America’s Independent Grocer, have developed a Digital Menu Board System designed to drive sales at a very affordable price. Once installed, your marketing team can control screens in single and multiple stores from a central point, and store personnel can make on the fly changes from any web enabled device. The complete system includes one commercial grade LG screen (49", 55" or 65"), PingHD signage player, 3 year warranty, two 1 hour training classes, and 24/7 technical support.  +MORE

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Date Check Pro

Pinpoint Software, Inc.

Stop expired food loss before it happens. Date Check Pro notifies you exactly when and where a product is expiring, giving you time to take action, avoid the loss, and better serve your customers with always fresh, always quality food. Anything with an expiration date and UPC can be tracked. +MORE

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FoodLoop System

FoodLoop Inc.

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FoodLoop provides automated, location based, real time marketing of your in-store discounts. Marking down perishables that are overstocked or reaching their best before end has been common practice for decades. Despite this, on average 53 Kg of food items per day per store, still ends up as write-offs and waste,which could have been avoided if it was communicated in time to the right customer. This common practice has remained stagnant despite technological advances. Retailers willing to change, are able to receive large returns. We at FoodLoop are here to facilitate that. We set out to create an efficient way to market goods in danger of not being sold within their shelf-life. Now, with FoodLoop, mobile customers can explore all your discounted products and services and quickly plan their meals with ease. With personalized offers, all streamlined to the palm of our hands, you'll be driving more businesses to your stores. What's more, they'll be proud to spend! They'll know, they're reducing the CO2 footprint. The FoodLoop system builds on the increased adoption of connected devices like smartphones: On average two thirds of people in an industrialized country own a smartphone. More than half of these users, check shopping options on their smartphones before making purchase decisions. So why not take the information of individual store discounts and clearance sales beyond the door and into the customers’ pocket? The FoodLoop System is available to all retailers and wholesalers. The system has also been developed to support the new GS1 DataBar; the new barcode standard which can incorporate best-before-date information on a product level. So as retailers upgrade to the GS1 DataBar, they'll be happy to receive seamless integration (and further improved results like cutting labour hours) with the FoodLoop system. +MORE

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Food Retail Services

Ecolab

Ecolab recognizes the unique challenges faced by food retailers. Where else are the same employees asked to prepare, cook and serve food, and complete critical cleaning and sanitation tasks? Unique food retail challenges require a specialized cleaning and sanitation program. As a result, Ecolab Food Retail Services has recognized these needs and built a program specifically focused on the food retail market. Our program is made up of products designed for the food retail market, in addition to customized food safety audits, real time web reporting, and a food safety-trained field service team dedicated to the food retail market. Our program is also supported by research and development, technical and regulatory teams that solely support food retail. This allows us to ensure that you have the correct products that work for your stores, employees are properly trained, and that you have the information you need to be proactive in addressing critical food safety risks before they occur. With Ecolab’s Food Retail Program your customers, brand, and bottom line are protected. +MORE

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Food Equipment and Services

Hobart

While running a business you constantly have a million things going on in your operation every day and any one of them can go wrong without notice. You’ve been around the block enough to know how to work-around many of them, but your mission critical foodservice equipment is a completely different story. If that fails, you have to scramble to keep your front doors open.  At Hobart Service, we know that every minute you are down means, is not only a disruption, but also lost money and a potentially bad customer experience. Our expert team of OEM factory trained Technicians are here to help – where you are.  Hobart Service is your trusted partner to identify and resolve problems with Food Equipment Group brands of foodservice equipment (and other brands) and we do it with a high commitment to safety. Not only do we use our technology, training and OEM parts to fix your issues quickly but we also partner with you to prevent future downtime.  +MORE

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SmartSense by Digi

SmartSense by Digi

Quickly deploy remote monitoring to improve productivity, compliance, and quality control.  SmartSense for Operational Excellence  - Food Service, Education, Healthcare, Transportation & Logistics, Retail EQUIPMENT MONITORING Proactively detect temperature excursions and efficiently manage compliance logging and incident management workflows. LEARN MORE > DIGITAL CHECKLISTS Replace paper checklists with an intuitive task management system that provides visibility across all your sites. LEARN MORE > SUPPLY CHAIN VISIBILITY Gain insight into product temperature through an end-to-end system for quality control and incident management. +MORE

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Apeel

Apeel Sciences

What is Apeel Sciences? Apeel Sciences is a company that’s fighting the global food waste crisis by utilizing nature’s approach to preventing waste in the first place — a sustainable approach to the world’s growing food demands. Apeel’s plant-derived products help USDA Organic Certified and conventional fresh food growers, suppliers and retailers improve produce quality and slow spoilage, which minimizes food waste from the farm to the kitchen. What is Apeel? Apeel is a family of plant-derived coatings that fresh food growers, suppliers and retailers use to keep produce fresh. Produce with Apeel stays fresh two to three times longer, which promotes more sustainable growing practices, better quality food, and less food waste for everyone. For growers, suppliers and retailers, Apeel is the only postharvest solution that creates an optimal microclimate inside of every piece of produce, which leads to extended shelf life and transportability — without requiring refrigeration, controlled atmosphere, or preservatives.  How does Apeel improve the quality of produce? When produce is fresh, it not only looks better, but more importantly it tastes better and contains a higher density of nutrients. Apeel makes it possible for growers to optimize their practices and avoid harvesting before ripeness, allowing fruits and vegetables to develop full quality (from nutrition and delicious flavor to appearance and texture) before they embark on the journey to the grocery store. What is Apeel made of? Apeel is made of plant-derived materials — lipids and glycerolipids — that naturally exist in the peels, seeds and pulp of all the fruits and vegetables we already eat. Apeel is edible, safe to eat, and fully compliant with all U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulations. Because Apeel is made of widely used plant-derived materials — lipids and glycerolipids — that are commonly and naturally found in foods, it is designated FDA GRAS or “Generally Recognized As Safe.” Apeel is colorless, odorless, and tasteless on produce. +MORE

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Where Food Comes From

Where Food Comes From, Inc.

Where Food Comes From, Inc., is the ​number one provider of certification and verification services to the food industry.  We all deserve to know what we’re putting into our mouths and serving our friends and families. And, we all deserve to trust that the information we’re getting is authentic, accurate, and unbiased. That’s where third-party verification comes in. This unbiased and expert process enables us all to trust in the claims being made about the products we purchase because accredited, independent audits of farms, ranches, and/or processing facilities were performed, all of the data collected on-site was turned over to a reviewer free of any conflict of interest, and a second level of assessment was undertaken to substantiate the product claims made on package labels. We do all of this work for you– and for us – because we also care about where our food comes from, how it was produced, and whether claims being made about it are in fact real and authentic.  The type of product you are growing, raising or packaging will impact what kind of verification and certification programs are available to you and most appropriate for your needs.  As you can probably imagine, programs that work well for a cattle producer or beef processor may not fit the needs of an asparagus farmer or orange juice purveyor.  Similarly, the demand for specific product attributes varies greatly between commodities – which is exactly why you’ve come to the right place! Our team can help determine what programs may or may not fit best for your operation and your marketing needs, and answer any questions you have on the process, expectations, standards and estimated audit schedule. Contact us today to learn more or search for some common programs by a specific area of focus below.​ Claims and Programs We Work With We offer third-party verification services to literally hundreds of claims, programs and markets. These include Process Verified Programs, Safe Quality Food initiatives, Organic Certification, Non-GMO Project Verification, and many more. No matter what you produce or how you produce it, there’s likely a program—or programs—that fit your needs perfectly. USDA Process Verified Programs (USDA PVP): Multiple divisions of Where Food Comes From, Inc. carry USDA PVP accreditation, which means that we offer verification services to a wide variety of “points” or “claims” that are tied to processes and procedures the USDA has reviewed and approved. We conduct the audits, determine compliance to the claims requested, and issue certificates of approval for our customers. You can learn more about USDA Process Verified Programs here. A few examples of these programs would be: Source Verification – Identification and traceability are the cornerstones of this claim. To know an animal’s birthplace, we must to be able to review records that identify the animal in a unique way tied to that source of origin. This is most often done with the use of individual, electronic ear tags that the animals wear, which are then cross referenced to specific records maintained on the farm or ranch. Similarly, source can be tracked in fruits, vegetables, grains, and all types of agricultural products. If you want the story behind your food, you must first know where it came from! That is why nearly 100% of our verification programs and services start with Source Verification as their base. Age Verification – Age verification of cattle remains a valuable and viable market-driven program for the U.S. beef industry. Not only does it prevent cattle from falling out of EV programs where dentition is the common means for age determination, but coupled with Source Verification it is considered the base value-add program for the cattle industry. Non-Hormone Treated Cattle (NHTC) – The NHTC program was specifically developed in 1999 to facilitate beef trade between the U.S. and the European Union (EU). Since that time, exporting U.S. beef to any of the 27 countries within the EU requires the product must come from cattle verified by a third-party to have never received any hormone growth promotants during their lifecycle. Visit the USDA NHTC website here. View the IMI Global NHTC program flier here. Contact us to enroll today! Saudia Arabia EV – The Saudi Arabia market was closed to U.S. beef in 2012. Since that time, the beef industry has been working with the U.S. government to re-open that market, which officially happened in the fall of 2016. At a minimum, cattle must be traceable to the ranch of origin and under 30 months of age. In addition, there are specific feeding restrictions at the backgrounding and feedlot level, which is why cattle approved for the Verified Natural program (referenced below) are automatically in compliance. Additional programs offered within the Process Verified umbrella are: Never-Fed Beta Agonists, Verified Grass-Fed Beef, Vegetarian Fed, Flax Fed, SO100 Feed Claims, and Pork for the European Union. Validus Certified Programs: Consumers are increasingly interested in purchasing products that meet specific criteria, whether regarding animal welfare, environmental integrity, on-farm security, worker care, or other important aspects of production. ​The marketplace is witnessing strengthened demand for food produced using socially responsible practices. You can learn more about Validus Certified programs here. A brief summary of each program is below. Animal Welfare Review:  Farms receiving animal welfare certification undergo a detailed assessment and audit of their ​on-farm practices. Certification is awarded to farms that demonstrate compliance with specified criteria and standards, including: proper animal handling and management, herd health procedures and care, food and water quality standards, housing that promotes animal comfort and cleanliness, on-farm security procedures, proper care of special needs animals. Environmental Review: Through the Validus Environmental Review program, farmers undergo a detailed assessment and audit of their environmental management practices. Certification is awarded to farms that demonstrate compliance with the environmental criteria established.  Criteria is based on general site management and conditions, livestock living and production areas, outdoor manure and storm water storage, manure use and land application, animal mortality management, waste water plans, treatments and controls. On-Farm Security Review: Farmers must demonstrate compliance with a stringent set of on-farm security procedures. Certification is awarded to farmers who meet these standards.  Validus On-Farm Security Review Certification is based on animal traceability and record keeping, facility management, feed quality and management, animal management and disease prevention. Worker Care Review:  This program includes a comprehensive pre-audit of worker care practices including worker eligibility, worker safety and worker compensation. This audit will focus on many areas, including federal and state labor laws, employee and worker health and safety requirements, transportation requirements, non-discrimination practices, employee and worker wages and benefits, employment records, applicable housing provisions and on-site working condition observations. Certified Responsible Producer: This is the most prestigious certification offered by Validus. Becoming a Validus Certified Responsible Producer requires certification in three programs offered by Validus, including Animal Welfare Review, Environmental Review and On-Farm Security Review. National Organic Program (NOP): National Organic Program – USDA National Organic Program (NOP) Certification is required by law in the U.S. to market products as Organic. Organic is a labeling term for food or other agricultural products that have been produced using practices that support the cycling of on-farm resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity in accordance with the USDA organic regulations. Synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, irradiation, and genetic engineering are a few examples of products or processes that are prohibited. Visit the NOP website here. View the ICS Organic website here. View the A Bee Organic website here. Contact us to enroll today! Third-Party & Private Label Programs: One of the unique aspects of Where Food Comes From, Inc. is our ability to provide verification and certification services to a broad range of programs and standards. In addition to our USDA accreditation, we are also an approved third-party verifier for 50+ additional programs and organizations, and have highlighted many of them below. Global Animal Partnership 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating (GAP) – Required for all beef, pork, chicken and turkey products sold in Whole Foods Market stores, the GAP 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating is a private standard focused on farm-animal handling practices. The program is designed to promote and facilitate continuous improvement, and better inform consumers about the production systems they choose to support. Visit the GAP website here. View the IMI Global GAP program flier here. Contact us to enroll today! Verified Natural Beef (VNB) – The VNB  program allows cattle to be eligible for buyers and brands seeking specialty markets requiring natural beef. The standard incorporates three prohibited aspects of production – hormone growth promotants, antibiotics, and animal by-products. View the IMI Global VNB program flier here. Contact us to enroll today! Non-GMO Project Verified – The Non-GMO Project is North America’s leading third-party verification and labeling program for non-GMO food and products. GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses, and/or other animals and plants. The standard requires the auditing of processes, procedures and facilities and the use of testing protocols for food products to confirm the absence of GMOs. Visit the Non-GMO Project website here. Download our Non-GMO Project Pricing Sheet here. Fill out our Non-GMO Project Questionnaire here. Contact us with any questions! Gluten Free Certification – The Certified ICS Gluten-Free Standard is based on a combination of quantitative analysis of ingredients and products, along with required management practices aimed at minimizing the introduction (accidental or otherwise) of gluten proteins in the production stream. Visit the ICS website to learn more. Download our Gluten-Free flier here. Contact us to enroll today! Verified Grass-Fed – This standard requires grass and forage to be the sole feed source consumed for the lifetime of the animal, with the exception of milk consumed prior to weaning. Mineral and vitamin supplementation from non-grain sources is also permitted. Contact us to enroll today! American Grass-Fed Association (AGA) – The American Grass-Fed Association is a private industry standard. AGA defines grass-fed animals as those that have eaten nothing but grass and forage from weaning to harvest, have not been raised in confinement, and have never been fed antibiotics or growth hormones. In addition, all AGA-Certified Producers are American farms and their livestock is born and raised in the U.S. Visit the AGA website here. Contact us to enroll today! Safe Quality Food (SQF) – Safe Quality Food (SQF) is a certification benchmarked by the Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI). SQF is recognized worldwide and is requested more and more frequently by customers of food processors and manufacturers. Our Validus division is licensed and accredited to perform SQF audits both on farm and in plants processing raw agricultural goods for many different SQF Food Sector Categories: livestock and game animals, animal feed, slaughterhouse operations, meat and poultry processing, seafood processing, dairy food processing, egg processing, manufacture of preserved foods, manufacture of pet food, and manufacture of animal feed. Visit the SQF website here. Visit the Validus website to get started. Feed Verified – Feed Verified is a resource for livestock producers, feed companies, and food brands alike to confirm a particular feed product meets the requirements for specific verification or certification programs. Our IMI Global division assures that segregation and traceability practices are in place at the manufacturer and products are verified to meet the requirements of the programs selected. Visit the IMI Global website to learn more. View the IMI Global Feed Verified flier here. Contact us to enroll today! Certified American Grown Flowers – This program is designed to help retailers, wholesalers and florists connect their customers with flowers grown right here in the United States. Whether you are an emerging micro farm or an established large farm, adding the Certified American grown logo to your marketing, packaging and messaging ensures consumers that your flowers are grown in the US by American farmers.  If you are a flower farmer that would like to become Certified American Grown for your flowers or greens, this program is for you! If you don’t see a program or service you’re looking for, contact us! We offer services for 50+ programs and organizations, so it is likely that we can help. +MORE

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Green Fence

Free platform for everyone, anywhere, anytime. Take greenfence everywhere with you.  Remote digital auditing for the 21st century.  Build and verify trust across your enterprise and supply chain.  Now everyone has a scorecard.  Differentiate performance with ratings, rankings and reviews. Gain deep performance and competitive analysis and insights.  The food industry’s only comprehensive authentication gateway. Verification. Simplified.  Harmonizing teams, systems and communications.  Transforming how teams and systems work together. One platform. All data. All customers. All reporting. All engaged. Fully interoperable.  No more duplication. Reporting simplified. One click automated reporting to all customers.  Raising human performance. The greenfence academy provides education, training and competency assessment for everyone.  IoT and Big Data. Simplified. Leading the convergence of IoT with big data and automation.  Farmer’s banking network. Providing primary producers with banking services anytime and anywhere. +MORE

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