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Mondelez picks four Canadian startups to shake up grocery shopping

Shopper Futures program asks startups to solve shopper challenges

shopping cart aisles-0114

Mondelēz International has picked eight startups to participate in its Shopper Futures program, which invited tech startups to pitch ideas on how to solve shopper challenges in the snack category.

After evaluating hundreds of applications, 18 startups from the U.S. and Canada were invited to a pitch day to present their ideas. The eight selected startups, including four Canadian shops, will now work with retailers and brand marketers from Mondelēz to build programs to pilot within 90 days.

The Canadian startups on the list, all based in Toronto, are:

  • Aislelabs, collaborating with Metro and Triscuit (Canada)
  • Freckle IoT, collaborating with 7-Eleven and Oreo/belVita (U.S.)
  • Sampler, collaborating with Albertsons and Ritz (U.S.)
  • Turnstyle Solutions, collaborating with Mac’s Convenience Stores (Ontario Division) and Cadbury (Canada); and QuickChek and Swedish Fish (U.S.)

The other startups in the program are:

  • Shelfbucks collaborating with Meijer and Oreo; and Wakefern and Halls (U.S.)
  • Strap collaborating with Kum & Go and Trident (U.S.)
  • Earshot collaborating with 7-Eleven Canada & Dentyne (Canada)
  • Aisle411 collaborating with Halls (Canada)

Mondelēz was looking for a variety of tech solutions to facilitate a higher level of engagement with consumers, said Corey Sherwood, associate brand manager at Mondelēz Canada. But one of the big themes of the pitch day was beacon technology.

“Beacon technology allows us to know exactly where our consumers are and give them a hyper-contextualized message of our brand,” said Sherwood. “It allows us to be much more efficient with our media spend in targeting consumers we want to speak to, with the message of our choosing, as opposed to something more broader in nature such as TV.”

Aside from targeted messaging, the startups had a keen understanding of the importance of utility for consumers, said Sherwood. For example, Sampler provides targeted samples to shoppers via Facebook. “We want to be able to provide samples to our target consumers as opposed to a broad audience, and obviously the utility to the consumer is getting a free sample,” said Sherwood.

Another example is Turnstyle Solutions, which helps businesses monetize their wifi by enabling location-based marketing. Through the offering of free wifi, a retailer or brand can deliver a targeted offer, such as a coupon, to consumers.

After the 90-day collaboration phase, the solutions will go into test markets. Depending on the results, the idea is to roll the program out across other brands and retailers, said Kristi Karens, director, media and consumer engagement at Mondelez Canada.

“We want to be smart as a company to customize solutions that provide more relevancy to the consumer,” she said. “The benefit to the consumer is more relevant messaging, closer proximity to where they’re making a purchase decision, and a message that is targeted and much more customized for them.”

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