Robot Employees are the Latest Grocery Store Technology

2019 is proving to be an innovative year for the foodservice industry. Technological advances such as cashless stores and apps that help fill more restaurant seats with hungry diners aren’t the only latest trends.

Some of the latest innovations we’ve seen at Foodable are introducing technological advances, like robots, to the grocery store space.

Grocery chain Stop and Shop, is partnering with mobile market startup Robomart to bring a new method of grocery delivery to Boston this Spring. Instead of having customers order their groceries and deliver them to the door, customers will be able to order a remote-operated Robomart vehicle to their door via an app and pick out their own produce from a pre-stocked vehicle.

The Robomart app utilizes a patent-pending RFID “check-out free” system, charging customers automatically for items.

Another way technology is becoming more prevalent in the grocery store space is shown by Giant Food Stores.

Recently, the chain introduced a robot named Marty to its 172 United States stores. Marty is  built to roam around the store, looking for spills and trip hazards, which are reported to store employees. But that’s not all Marty can do, the robot can scan shelves for items that are out of stock, and perform price checks, looking for discrepancies between the shelf and the store’s scanning system.

Watch the video above to learn about other technological advances in the grocery store industry, and what companies are employing robots.

Produced by:

Rachel Brill

Rachel Brill

Social Producer


Whole Foods to Officially Exit Instacart Marketplace

Whole Foods

Whole Foods

Back in 2014, the organic grocery store Whole Foods partnered with Instacart to offer customers grocery delivery.

When the grocery chain was acquired about a year ago by the tech and logistics giant Amazon, it was only a matter of time until the grocery chain was going to exit the partnership.

Whole Food deliveries will no longer be available on the Instacart app starting February 10.

According to a recent “Tech Crunch” report, Amazon, which has its own grocery service Amazon Fresh, has negotiated to end the partnership with Instacart earlier than the company expected.

“A person familiar with the matter told TechCrunch that significant developments over the last 18 months forced Instacart to wind down its relationship earlier than planned. Whole Foods didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment,” writes “Tech Crunch.”

Instacart currently employs 70,000 people to shop and delivery grocery items for its customers. The service has grown wildly popular and has over 300 retailers on its marketplace including big-box retailers like Walmart and Kroger.

Its success has made it especially attractive to investors.

“The company raised $600 million at a $7.6 billion valuation in October, just six months after it brought in a $150 million round and roughly eight months after a $200 million financing that valued the business at $4.2 billion,” writes “Tech Crunch.”

However, this announcement means there will be layoffs. Instacart has said that 75 percent of 1,415 workers impacted have been given new roles. But there are 350 or so expected layoffs.

In a blog post, Apoorva Mehta, Instacart’s co-founder and CEO said that company is offering transfer bonuses to their Whole Foods shopping couriers and those that are being layoff will be given a separation package.

“We’re committed to taking care of all impacted in-store Whole Foods shoppers who choose not to, or cannot, be placed in a new role. For those shoppers, we’ll be providing a minimum of 3-months separation package based on your maximum monthly pay in 2018, as well as additional tenure-based compensation,” writes Mehta.

Do you think this is a fatal blow to Instacart? Will Amazon Fresh ultimately conquer the grocery delivery market? Or will consumers be more interested in using a service with many retail partners to choose from?

Read more about Instacart and Whole Foods parting ways at “Tech Crunch” now.

Amazon’s announcement to acquire Whole Foods rocked the food industry. Besides getting into the organic grocery market, Amazon has started to roll out Amazon Go stores. These convenience stores cater to the on-the-go consumer and are cashier-less. Many of which offer grab-and-go food options. These stores have become the most popular during the workweek, especially at lunchtime.

On this recent episode of The Barron Report, Host Paul Barron discusses how these stores are a threat to restaurants, especially fast casual.