When it comes to grocery shopping, we haven’t quite gone 100% high tech yet (though we do like these grocery list apps!). But that’s already changing at Kroger stores.
What’s the new technology?
Looking to make grocery shopping more high tech, Kroger and Microsoft are piloting EDGE (Enhanced Display for Grocery Environment) Shelf technology at a supermarket near each of the companies’ headquarters: one in Monroe, Ohio, and the other in Redmond, Washington. This system incorporates digital screens where you’d see paper pricing at a typical store. These screens, powered by Microsoft Azure, display nutritional information, pricing, video ads and even coupons.
How does it work?
The technology is being tested using handheld devices, but smartphone communication is on the horizon. Once fully integrated, this technology can help shoppers as they move throughout the store. (Here’s another cool new Kroger app you need to check out.)
“If you are standing in front of nutrition bars and you are gluten-free, we would highlight for you, in your color of choice, which of the gluten-free bars are good for you,” Kroger Chief Information Officer Chris Hjelm told Business Insider.
EDGE shelves have the ability to communicate between a shopping list stored on your device and the shelf, which lights up underneath the product you need while you browse the aisles. That way, you spend less time looking for, for example, the peanut butter brand you prefer. (Find out which peanut butter we liked best.)
Where will we see EDGE shelves?
If the pilot program is a success, Kroger will launch EDGE Shelf technology in 200 more stores, according to Supermarket News.
Not located near a Kroger? Kroger is marketing and selling the technology to other grocery stores globally, so you may find it in a local store soon.
“We are identifying partners through Restock Kroger who will help us reinvent the customer experience,” Rodney McMullen, Kroger chairman and CEO, said in a press release. “We are excited to collaborate with Microsoft to redefine grocery retail.”
Until this update rolls out in a store near us, we’ll rely on these tips for super fast grocery shopping.