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How Stop Waste Together Gives Back in Times of Uncertainty

How Stop Waste Together Gives Back in Times of Uncertainty 800 495 Natalie Tatum

Did you know that $165 billion worth of food is wasted each year in the US, or that 40% of the food produced in the US goes uneaten? Food waste happens at home and various stages of the supply chain. Unfortunately, some of it also comes from food expiring on the shelves of grocery stores. 

Stop Waste Together is a non-profit initiative sponsored by Pinpoint Software. When paired with our expiration date management software, Date Check Pro, retailers are able to proactively track inventory expiration dates and work together with their shoppers to minimize food waste and maximize savings for everyone.

Our focus is on helping retailers promote the sale of soon-to-expire items and raising awareness of their efforts to shoppers. In this partnership between retailers and shoppers, we can maximize both food waste prevention and shopper savings. But it doesn’t end there. Every year, Stop Waste Together donates 100% of the profits earned from the sale of coupons and aisle signage our grocery partners use to promote the sale of these soon-to-expire items. 

Blessings in a Backpack is a non-profit organization that feeds school children in the United States who currently are fed during the week on the federally funded Free and Reduced Meal Program and are at risk of going hungry on the weekends

In 2019, Stop Waste Together raised $2,620, which we are proud to be donating to Blessings in a Backpack, a great organization working even harder right now to support children in need while school lunch programs are not as readily available.

To further support our local communities, Pinpoint issued a challenge to our small team to make individual donations, which would be matched dollar for dollar by Pinpoint. The team raised $575 dollars, which combined with the company match and 2019 SWT profits brings our total donation to $3,770.

To learn more about Stop Waste Together, please visit our site here.

What Grocers Can Learn from Fashion and Beauty Leaders About Micro-Experiences

What Grocers Can Learn from Fashion and Beauty Leaders About Micro-Experiences 768 512 Natalie Tatum

Immersive shopping has been on the rise in the retail industry for the better part of the last half decade. With more consumers opting to shop online, retailers are having to pull out the stops to encourage their customers to visit their brick-and-mortar stores again. While it’s hard to beat the comfort of the couch, leading retailers have figured out the solution to bringing back traditional retail: Micro-Experiences. 

Retailers like Foot Locker, Matches Fashion, Glossier, and Canada Goose are shaping the way that consumers shop in-store. By immersing the senses and heightening the value of customer experience, these retailers have entered the hearts and minds of their shoppers. Let’s dive into what makes each of these unique retailers leaders in the fashion and beauty industries. 

Foot Locker:

Foot Locker’s “Power Store” debuted in late spring of 2019 with the Nike Plus “Unlock Box.” The box, a fashion-forward vending machine, allows loyal Nike Plus shoppers to redeem free and exclusive items as a thank you for maintaining a strong relationship with the brand. The Power Store also features “Nike Plus at Retail,” which provides personalized content, exclusive access to products, and services like Nike Scan to learn and check inventory, and reserve online and pickup in-store. 

MATCHES Fashion:

MATCHES Fashion, a high-end fashion retailer for men and women, partnered with Frieze, an art that became one of the art world’s best-known brands, encompassing an empire of four international art fairs, three publications, events and course programming, and frieze.com, an essential online destination for art lovers. In their partnership, Matches Fashion and Frieze created immersive art projects and films, pop-ups from creative enterprises, non-profits, magazines, restaurants and bars, hosted guests in two Private Shopping suites and invited visitors to browse its curated-for-the-fair store. They even hosted panel talks, live recordings of The Collector’s House podcast and live installations. Panel guests included tattoo artist Dr. Woo, The Elder Statesman designer Greg Chait, filmmaker, artist and writer Liz Goldwyn, jewellery designer Daniela Villegas, florist and perfumer Eric Buterbaugh, film producer Jenn Nkiru and celebrity and costume designer Arianne Phillips. ‘We want 5 Carlos Place at Frieze to feel like you are being invited to the ultimate collector’s house where we can host and entertain you, have original conversations and create memorable experiences,’ says Jess Christie, chief brand officer of MATCHES FASHION. 

Glossier:

As arguably the most well-known and respected newcomer in the beauty industry, Glossier’s famous millennial pink storefront is a breeding ground for selfies galore. Although known for their pop up stores, their traditional brick-and-mortar locations steal the show with their pink walls, selfie stations, pampering services to try products, and overall virality. 

Canada Goose:

Canada Goose, an extreme weather outfitter famous for their puffer jackets, recently opened a new storefront in New Jersey that features their “Cold Room.” Shoppers are encouraged to step into the -13° room to test various Canada Goose styles and accessories.

While these brands are paving the way for the fashion and beauty industries, the grocery industry can still learn a lot from them. Here are some key takeaways from each retailer with a twist positioned for the grocery industry:

Foot Locker:

The Nike Plus “Unlock Box” meant to encourage brand loyalty with a hyper-local personalized twist is a great example of a way to showcase your local communities tastes in a way that makes them feel exclusive. Consider ways that you can reward shoppers while still supporting your local community – perhaps by giving away free, full-sized samples from local farmers once shoppers reach a certain reward threshold. 

MATCHES Fashion:

MATCHES and Frieze created the art fanatic’s dream by hosting a series of events and opportunities to better understand the brand’s mission and intent. Consider taking a page from Metcalfe’s Market’s book and hosting a series of  in-store events aimed at what foods are in season like their Battle of the Salsas, or something more personal like an event where shoppers can put together a box of food that will be donated to a local food bank or pantry. 

Glossier:

While it isn’t practical to completely redesign your store to look more trendy and Instagram worthy, consider showcasing artwork from local artists or hiring a local painter to create a beautiful mural outside of your store. 

Canada Goose:

Most grocers already have a “cold room” (aka, the beer fridge), so consider taking the settings of your food up a notch. You could redesign an artisan cheese section to feel like a dairy farm in rural Wisconsin, create an in-store garden to show how farmers grow your local produce, or make your floral section feel like a jungle with plants and petals galore. 

Creating an immersive shopping experience is easy once you let yourself open up to the idea of turning a functional grocery store into an experiential playground. Micro-Experiences exist to elevate and delight the shopping experience. What will your next one be?

2020’s Biggest Trend: Micro-Experiences

2020’s Biggest Trend: Micro-Experiences 988 610 Natalie Tatum

With big box department stores and national retailers struggling to get customers through their doors, the retail industry is in desperate need of a new fad. 

Following the so-called “Retail Apocalypse,” American consumers have shifted their buying habits toward experience-spending and casual fashion, mostly shopping online versus in store and from new age retail giants like Amazon. While strong retailers have been able to make the digital switch, others are having to take to the drawing board to create ways to encourage shoppers to come experience the store in-person instead of online. While it may be challenging, those headlining the creative in-store experience are experiencing infallible success; but how are they doing it? 

The answer is simple: with Micro-Experiences. 

What is a Micro-Experience?

FRCH Nelson Vice President Robyn Novak says that Micro-Experiences are the top retail trend for 2020, citing their ability to engage the consumer deeper than a traditional in-store experience as their key to success. By providing an emotional element to a sale, the experience with the brand becomes much more than a standard transaction. 

Novak defines a Micro-Experience as a small-format, in-store activation that engages consumers in a meaningful brand extension that can not be replicated online. With experimentation on the rise, Micro-Experience’s small footprint provides retailers with a trial-and-error opportunity to engage with their consumers without worrying about major financial setbacks. They allow retailers a chance to cater the experience to each persona in the most impactful, efficient way. 

What makes a Micro-Experience different from an event? A Micro-Experience must be small scale, physical by nature, authentic & ownable, a brand extension, must augment the core transaction, be executable & scalable, and must be supported by data. They embrace the emotional connection between a brand and consumer by providing experiential bliss – remember how we mentioned consumer shifting from buying material goods to experiences? 

Micro-Experiences must also be revenue generators while still being functional and providing a trial-by basis for retailers to really get it right. The perfect combination of digital meets analog, retailers should prioritize hyper-hospitable service to ensure that their traditional retail standards are boding well with the futuristic nature of the experience. 

Most importantly, Micro-Experiences must be personalized for the consumer. The deeper the personalization goes, the more meaningful sensorial reaction you can produce for shoppers. 

What Can a Micro-Experience Do for My Business?

Micro-Experiences provide consumers with an opportunity to enhance their relationship with retailers. Take Nordstrom Local, for example. An extension of retail giant Nordstrom, Nordstrom Local is a small scale brick and mortar storefront designed to provide fittings, detailing, online order pickup, returns and more on a more intimate, personalized level. This experience makes Nordstrom feel a lot smaller to the consumer and allows for personalized care from store associates. All of their services provide some sort of act of service, further associating Nordstrom Local with efficiency, helpfulness, and maximizing on their already foolproof customer service reputation. 

Micro-Experiences also get new customers through the door. When potential customers hear about an exciting new event, product, or experience, they want to be involved in the conversation. We’ve all struggled with FOMO, and nobody wants to be the odd one out of a conversation where everyone is talking about the hottest new spot in town. With everyone snapping pictures and posting to social platforms, potential new customers are sure to come across your Micro-Experience online and want to see it for themselves in person. 

Micro-Experience Ideas for Grocers:

Even though the number of shoppers buying their groceries online is rising, around 90% of grocery sales are still done in-store. Because of this, Micro-Experiences have a sure-fire way of positively impacting the in-store shopping experience. Below are three ideas for grocery Micro-Experiences. 

Celebrity Chef Demos 

What better way to showcase a new product than by having your favorite chef show you and your shoppers how to whip it up? Booking a celebrity or local chef to come show their favorite ways to spice up a meal encourages customers to engage with the special guest and stock up on an item they might not have known about otherwise. 

Live Music 

Are you tired of playing the same grocery radio station through your store? Are the same acoustic covers of pop-radio songs getting tiring? Look no further! Providing in-store live music is a great way to switch things up and provide an entertaining shopping experience for your customers. Consider setting up the band in your cafe or sitting area, or if you don’t have one, rent a few park benches and picnic tables and have them set up outside on a nice, warm day. 

Charitable Donations 

We’re all familiar with check out charities, but how can you provide a personalized twist to your charitable contributions? Consider what Lucky’s Market’s Columbia, MO location does. When guests bring their own grocery bags, provide them with a token that they can then drop into one of three designated local charity bins. Allot a dollar amount to each token, count up how many tokens has been dropped into each charity bin, and then donate that amount every month. 

Micro-Experiences may seem challenging, but they’re quite easy to accomplish. What will your store’s next Micro-Experience be? 

How Agricycle Global is Reducing Food Waste and Empowering Local Communities

How Agricycle Global is Reducing Food Waste and Empowering Local Communities 200 200 Natalie Tatum

In 2015, college student Josh Shefner attended a school trip to Jamaica’s Blue Mountains to construct a fruit dehydrator for the local population. Now in 2020, Shefner is the Founder and CEO of Agricycle Global Inc., a vertically-integrated supply chain with three internal brands aimed at eliminating extreme rural poverty by reducing food loss and empowering rural women. 

Shefner’s first trip to Jamaica back in 2015 was led with high hopes and good intentions; constructing the fruit dehydrator would stimulate the local economy and also provide jobs for community members. However, the dried fruits struggled to sell in local markets and the farmers lacked the resources to export, brand, market and sell internationally. 

The concept soon evolved to address a more prescient problem: global economic opportunity.This catalyst led to Josh fighting with the global community gap for years to transform a school project into Agricycle Global Inc., empowering thousands of locals along the way. 

As a vertically integrated portfolio of ethically sourced and upcycled CPG brands, Agricycle manufactures and sells food-grade, zero-electricity passive solar dehydrators to preserve natural fruit abundances from remote communities in Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin American and the Caribbean.

Agricycle was first supported by accelerators like gener8tor and Target Incubator, and now has sales across the United States through ecommerce websites like jalifruit.co and in retail stores.

Since its founding, 35,000 farmers have been added to Agricycle’s global network of 7 countries, and over 3,000 empowered women-led cooperative members lead initiatives alongside the 21 Agricycle corporate team members around the world. The women who work in the Agricycle cooperatives make around $15 per day, up to 7x more than the average daily wage. 

Agricycle consists of three brands: The Jali Fruit Co., Tropicoal Ignition and What the Fruit

The Jali Fruit Co.:

Jali Fruit Co. sells high-quality, premium products from around the world through directly trading with smallholder farmers. By working directly with farmers, they cut out the middleman and make sure every batch of dried fruit is ethically-sourced with quality top of mind.

The average local daily wage in most of our cooperatives is $2/day. Jali ensures that their farmers make $15/day that goes directly to their own bank accounts, allowing them economic freedom to improve their overall livelihood. Additionally, Agricycle and Jali ensure that their farmers not only create bank accounts, but also establish a credit history.

Jali partners with nonprofits and local governments to provide additional training to the cooperative members in farming and agriculture. Learning food-safe manufacturing, market practices and financial literacy builds transferable skills for future employment.

Tropicoal Ignition:

Tropicoal Ignition provides better-for-everyone charcoal made using 100% coconut and palm from West Africa. 

Instead of slashing and burning trees, Tropicoal uses the shells of fruit that would have otherwise gone to waste. They then take the shells and mix it with cassava starch (another wasted byproduct) to transform these valueless waste products into premium charcoal briquettes.

Tropicoal burns hotter and lasts longer than traditional wood charcoal, saving the environment and your wallet.

What the Fruit?!:

Flour doesn’t have to only come from wheat. Made from 100% fruit, What the Fruit flour is gluten free, nutrient dense and has a low glycemic index.

Breadfruit has been cultivated by people of the Pacific Islands for thousands of years as a dietary stable. Not only is it gluten free and incredibly nutrient dense, it is high in vitamin C, fiber, iron and potassium. It contains pro-vitamin A carotenoids, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin and other vitamins.

What the Fruit sources their flour from Jamaica through their ethical supply chain. Cooperatives of women are employed to harvest, process, and package the fruits into flour.

 

You can stay up to date with Agricycle Global Inc. brands by following their LinkedIn page here.