News Briefs


The Honest Company Launches One-Click Checkout

Honest company website

The Honest Company has updated its e-commerce site, now allowing consumers to check out with one click. 

Using technology from online checkout company Fast, the Honest Company is providing consumers with the ability to purchase its products directly from online articles, display ads, emails, and QR codes via one step. The partnership was announced during ShopTalk, and will allow Honest consumers to quickly replenish their products by inputting their payment and shipping information once. 

Honest will also be adding QR codes to its product packaging to allow consumers to more easily reorder their preferred items. 

Fast Checkout is directly embedded on product detail pages on the company’s website, allowing buyers to bypass the shopping cart and subsequent checkout flow. If consumers wish to make additional purchases, they will have an opportunity to do so during the Fast Checkout process. These items are added to the original order, eliminating packaging waste and extra shipping costs. 

Pete Gerstberger, chief digital and strategy officer at The Honest Company, said that the company is evolving to meet the needs and preferences of its consumers. 

[Related: Pete Gerstberger Named Chief Digital & Strategy Officer at The Honest Company]

"Our goal every day is to make it as easy as possible for consumers to discover and purchase our products, while delivering the experience they know and expect from us,” he added. “By implementing Fast's one-click checkout, we're providing consumers another way to shop with us at the click of a button, no matter where they are."

Domm Holland, co-founder and CEO at Fast, said the tech upgrade makes it easier for the Honest Company consumers to order and reorder products, whether via the e-commerce store or a QR scan. 

This article first appeared on the site of sister publication CGT. 


Giant Eagle Taps IoT to Boost Food Safety

giant eagle

Giant Eagle, Inc. has expanded its partnership with SmartSense by Digi, part of Digi International, provider of Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity solutions.

SmartSense protects Giant Eagle’s 215 pharmacies and provides digital task management for its 175 grocery properties and 92 convenience stores. With the latest phase of IoT deployment including 32,000 new SmartSense digital temperature monitoring devices to remotely, automatically and continuously monitor its critical food assets, Giant Eagle reaffirms its commitment to providing customers with the highest levels of food safety and quality.

“We have been continually impressed with SmartSense’s innovative and intelligent solutions, which have allowed us to strengthen our unwavering commitment to maintaining the highest levels of food safety for the communities we serve,” said Giant Eagle VP of risk and chief compliance officer, Vic Vercammen. “Specifically, capturing detailed data insights and prescriptive analytics via SmartSense’s advanced technologies will enhance our team members’ ability to monitor product freshness in real time.”

“We are proud to serve as an IoT partner for Giant Eagle,” says SmartSense president Guy Yehiav. “Our experience, easily solving compliance requirements of pharmacy and healthcare, empowers us to keep providing critical solutions for food safety and equipment optimization. With paper and manual checks a thing of the past, we help customers such as Giant Eagle advance their operations and move from physical logs to digital insights that inform their teams on the ground, with efficiency and effectiveness. We work with customers over the long-term—evolving and developing prescriptive analytics from our scalable systems that distill operational data into clear actions that improve safety, quality and sustainability.”

Founded in 1931, Giant Eagle is one of the nation’s largest food retailers and distributors, with approximately $10 billion in annual sales. Recognizing the competitive and cost-saving advantage of utilizing digital technology, its walk-ins, chillers and refrigerators across all applicable supermarkets now include the SmartSense system which, installing in minutes, combines wireless sensors, food probes, digital checklists and remote monitoring software and analytics tools. All features and functions are accessible via a single compliance monitoring dashboard and mobile app to give a holistic view of operations at every level. The results are actionable insights that drive quality control, employee productivity and food safety compliance.


Kroger Co Reimagining Shopping Experience with AI Applications

Kroger's store front

Nationwide grocer Kroger Co,. is looking to build out its shopping experience, leveraging AI in order to improve shipping logistics and expand freshness capabilities. 

In order to do so, the company has tapped NVIDIA, which will utilize digital twin simulations — virtual models that reflect store layouts and other operations — to build an AI lab and demonstration center at Kroger’s Cincinnati-based headquarters.

[Read more: Walmart, Kroger Choose Locations for New Fulfillment Facilities in 2022]

Kroger will be using several platforms — including NVIDIA DGX™ A100 systems, NVIDIA InfiniBand networking, and NVIDIA RTX™ workstations — in order to gain insights across the company’s 2,800 stores. 

Through this tech, Kroger can identify early indicators of deteriorating freshness using computer vision and analytics, leverage dynamic routing for last-mile delivery to bolster freshness efforts, and optimize store efficiency and processes with digital twin store simulation.

“Our collaboration with NVIDIA supports Kroger’s ‘Fresh for Everyone’ commitment,” said Wesley Rhodes, vice president of technology transformation and research and development at Kroger. “We look forward to learning more about how AI and data analytics will further our journey to provide our customers with anything, anytime, anywhere.”

Azita Martin, vice president and general manager of Retail at NVIDIA, said that by leveraging AI, shoppers gain a more personalized experience, both in physical stores and online. 

Several grocery brands have jumped on digital and sustainability initiatives in order to improve freshness and fortify the consumer experience. According to RIS News, more than half (54%) of grocers are increasing their YoY tech spend, focusing on advancing digital and mobile capabilities, analytics-driven decision making, personalized marketing, and click-and-connect.

[Related: Grocery Tech Trends Study 2021]

Walmart, for example, is investing in vertical farming, looking for new ways to deliver quality and freshness while reinforcing earth-friendly strategies. Last September, Albertson’s launched shoppable video experiences that allows consumers to engage with retailers in a short-form video ecosystem. 

A few years ago, Kroger announced it would be more strategic with its spending, cutting on some areas while continuing to focus on digitizing the shopping experience


Sephora Delivers Next Level Payment Experience

a store front at day

Sephora USA, Inc. has partnered with  FreedomPay to integrate FreedomPay’s data-driven commerce technology platform in Sephora’s 500-plus stores across the Americas. 

The partnership allows for a next-level mobile POS consumer experience for shoppers with FreedomPay. The new touchless capable payment system enables Sephora clients to have complete control over their checkout experience, giving consumers the option to pay via contactless payment methods and digital wallets all on their own device, including Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay.

“Now more than ever, it is critical for us at Sephora to be able to adapt to the quickly changing retail environment and that’s especially important at the point of sale,” said Sree Sreedhararaj, SVP and CTO at Sephora. “Our clients desire a seamless experience in every step of the shopping journey, and our partnership with FreedomPay allows us to maximize efficiencies and capabilities at checkout.”

“FreedomPay is proud to announce the agreement with Sephora, to provide a world class experience to its millions of customers across the Americas,” said Chris Kronenthal, president at FreedomPay. “Our suite of touchless commerce and data solutions will enable Sephora to provide customers a fast, frictionless, and innovative consumer experience.”



Chipotle Tests Autonomous AI Kitchen Assistant


Chipotle Mexican Grill will soon employ an autonomous kitchen assistant with artificial intelligence to make tortilla chips.

"We are always exploring opportunities to enhance our employee and guest experience. Our goal is to drive efficiencies through collaborative robotics that will enable Chipotle's crew members to focus on other tasks in the restaurant," said Curt Garner, chief technology officer, Chipotle.

Chipotle's culinary and technology teams called on MISO ROBOTICS to customize its latest robotic solution, named Chippy, to cook and freshly season Chipotle's tortilla chips.Chipotle's culinary team guided Miso in tailoring its technology to maintain the culinary integrity of the brand.

Leveraging artificial intelligence, Chippy is trained to replicate Chipotle's exact recipe – using corn masa flour, water and sunflower oil – to cook chips to perfection, season with a dusting of salt, and finish with a hint of fresh lime juice.  It was imperative that the technique remained the same.

"Everyone loves finding a chip with a little more salt or an extra hint of lime," said Nevielle Panthaky, VP of Culinary, Chipotle. "To ensure we didn't lose the humanity behind our culinary experience, we trained Chippy extensively to ensure the output mirrored our current product, delivering some subtle variations in flavor that our guests expect."

Chippy is currently being tested at the Chipotle Cultivate Center, Chipotle's innovation hub in Irvine, CA, and will be integrated into a Chipotle restaurant in Southern California later this year. The company is leveraging its stage-gate process to listen, test and learn from crew and guest feedback before deciding on a national implementation strategy.

"When Chipotle challenged us to see if our technology could meet the brand's high standards for culinary quality, we couldn't wait to flex our engineering and design muscles," said Mike Bell, CEO, Miso Robotics. "This partnership will allow us to move into new territory to help improve back-of-house functions and assist team members with their day-to-day responsibilities."  

An innovator in restaurant technology, Chipotle continues to invest in emerging solutions to support its growing digital business and reduce friction in its restaurants. The company believes technology deployed consistently and correctly can improve the human experience. Chipotle already leverages artificial intelligence with its concierge chat bot, Pepper. Pepper ensures guests have an exceptional experience on the Chipotle app and Chipotle customers can select from frequently asked questions or ask their own questions to get a response quickly. Chippy joins Pepper in Chipotle's artificial intelligence suite to improve Chipotle's overall guest and employee experience.


Zebra Technologies Expands Portfolio with Automation Firm Acquisition

Robotics being used in supply chain

Zebra Technologies is acquiring Matrox Imaging for $875 million, bringing into the fold automation and vision technology. Recent IT investments also include robotics and machine learning. 

[Related: Boosting Supply Chain Challenges Through Advanced Technologies: Up Close with Zebra Technologies' Guy Yehiav]

Matrox Imaging’s software development kits, smart cameras, 3D sensors, vision controllers, input/output cards, and frame grabbers are used to capture, inspect, assess, and record data from industrial vision systems in factory automation, electronics and pharmaceutical packaging, semiconductor inspection, and more. 

Anders Gustafsson, chief executive officer of Zebra Technologies, said the acquisition will enable them to meet evolving consumer needs across the automation journey, including production and the movement of goods and materials. 

According to the company, the purchase will expand Zebra’s recently launched fixed industrial scanning and machine vision portfolio and grow its focus in software, machine learning, and deep learning.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approval and is expected to close in 2022.