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tech innovation

Grocery Chains Get Much-Needed Update Thanks to Tech Innovations in the Aisle

Posted by Sheila Shayon on September 9, 2013 06:45 PM

Checking out with the scan of a finger? Having farm fresh produce delivered to your doorstep? These are no longer futuristic ideas but real tech being applied to life's most mundane task: grocery shopping. 

The latest in-aisle innovations include digital price signs, real-time promotions based on the time of day, smart shopping carts and bar code scanners on mobile devices, many of which are already being utilized by some of the world's biggest retailers like Walmart, Target and Tesco. 

"You have an industry that's been kind of stuck in time," Scott Mushkin, an analyst at Wolfe Research, told the Los Angeles Times. "Grocers have to invest. Their business models have been under so much pressure, they're fighting for their lives."

And investing they are. The $518 billion grocery industry has essentially been the last retail sector to take advantage of technological innovations that have come along with the surge of mobile usage. With smarter and more informed customers, grocers are constantly being pushed to be a step ahead, offering more intuitive service and better values.Continue reading...

chew on this

With Farmigo, Local Farmers Take a Better Cut of the Food Commerce Trend

Posted by Sheila Shayon on August 30, 2013 05:13 PM

CEO Benzi Ronen calls them “people powered farmers markets,” but his startup, Farmigo, is actually much more.

The online farmers market is a community supported agriculture company that is quietly disrupting food commerce, though on a smaller, but more unique scale than related operations like Amazon Fresh and Fresh Direct. Instead of just allowing customers to order fresh produce through the online system, Farmigo extends a business opportunity to local farmers, allowing them to sell their harvests to an eager online community, set their own price, and earn a supplementary income. 

“We’re trying to find people who have always been passionate about building a better food system, but they could blog about it and they could cheer about it, but there was nothing material that they could do to take action,” Ronen told Forbes. “Now they are able to be part of the solution. They’re able to do something actionable and make money along the way.”Continue reading...

web watch

Amazon’s Soap.com Entering Grocery Biz

Posted by Mark J. Miller on November 9, 2011 02:10 PM

You don’t think Amazon is dominant enough in the online-retail world? Well, neither did they, so they are getting into the online grocery-delivery service.

Soap.com, an online retailer of health, cleaning and beauty products that happens to be owned by Amazon's Quidsi division, is getting into the grocery business.

Soap.com is adding “more than 10,000 nonperishable food items — including coffee and tea, cereal and pasta — for purchase on its website,” AP notes. Offering free shipping for orders over $39, all deliveries happen within one or two days of order.

The AP points out that Soap.com is entering an already growing field with Fresh Direct and Peapod already doing battle along with such traditional grocers as Safeway that provide online-ordering opportunities, while “Wal-Mart Stores Inc. announced in April that it would test home grocery delivery in San Jose, Calif., with its ‘Walmart To Go’ business.”

health matters

The Big Apple: Less Salt, More Fulfilling

Posted by Sheila Shayon on April 30, 2010 05:15 PM

New York City is leading U.S. cities, states and national organizations making a commitment to the National Salt Reduction Initiative.

Spurred by the support of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, NYC restaurants and packaged food purveyors are signing up to reduce sodium in food by 20 percent over the next five years.

Concerned by medical research that indicates salt's role in increasing blood pressure and thus the odds of a stroke or heart attack, the public-private partnership with the American Heart Association has garnered a groundswell of support in area restaurants and businesses.Continue reading...

tech champs

Fresh Direct Launches New iPhone App

Posted by Sara Zucker on March 3, 2010 03:52 PM

E-grocer Fresh Direct has created an iPhone app especially for New Yorkers. (As if city dwellers needed another reason to stay in their homes for food delivery.) It was designed after executives learned that half of the online grocery store's consumers owned the Apple phone – Blackberry users need not apply.

Available to current Fresh Direct users, the new feature tracks and stores previous purchases made on its website through a company-made database. “We’re using the customer’s own shopping behavior to give them a better experience,” said CEO Rick Braddock.Continue reading...

brand news

Headline Roundup: New, Newer, Newest

Posted by Sara Zucker on March 3, 2010 07:26 AM

With the help of Kenneth Cole, Macy's will launch another lower-priced brand. [Crain's]

Online grocery store Fresh Direct created an iPhone app for New York. [WSJ]

Sony, Intel team up for The Rocket Project, designed for students. [BrandFreak]

Not yet saved from bankrupcy, Christian Lacroix continues to create more lines. [NY Mag]

Akoo Jeans' controversial billboard in Newark will be taken down. [Huffington Post]

NBC's new sitcom 'Parenthood' will be exclusively sponsored by Nissan. [Brandweek]Continue reading...

brand news

Headline Roundup: Banning Together

Posted by Sara Zucker on February 19, 2010 07:27 AM

Looking to save Abbey Road, Beatles fans turn to Facebook. [Bloomberg]

Non-Toyota drivers sigh in relief over their lack of drama. [Adweek]

Despite internal struggles, Playboy sees sales increase in the last quarter. [Daily Finance]

Ben & Jerry's plans on creating another Olympic-themed flavor. [Boston Herald]

As the Latin Music Awards approach, brands look for sponsorship. [Brandweek]

Disney tailors toward a gothic consumer for new 'Alice in Wonderland' products. [WSJ]Continue reading...

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