It's another ag-tech innovation from St. Louis. Schnucks is believed to be the first American supermarket to use its app to let you know the moment that fresh, local produce has been placed in the case at your store.
This is the result of an expanding partnership between the grocer and start-up Foodshed.io, which runs a marketplace platform connecting small farmers with customers for their crops. Schnucks has become a very large customer, but it's now also helping brainstorm new features for the platform.
That means the next time your Schnucks Rewards app sounds off, it might be because fresh peaches, peppers, or cantaloupe have just been placed in the produce case at your usual store.
"If they're signed up in the Rewards app and the store they're shopping at has received some of the product with the traceability, it will notify them that the product has arrived," Mike Tipton, Vice President of Produce, tells KMOX.
The feature, called "Fresh Produce Now," will even provide background on locally-procured produce, like the time it was harvested and from what farm.
"People love to have that kind of granular information, but it's not necessarily been available, especially with this kind of product," KMOX's Michael Calhoun said, Tipton responded, "This is new. We're testing the waters with it and continuing to learn from it."
To that end, "Fresh Produce Now" is a pilot test and not available at all stores. Tipton expects shoppers will become more interested -- and, of course, the availability of seasonal produce will be greater -- after the winter.
In 2019, Creve Coeur ag-tech accelerator firm The Yield Lab announced Foodshed.io as part of its 2019 investment and mentorship cohort. Foodshed.io is now listed as headquartered in Livingston, Montana.
The start-up describes itself as "a mobile market and logistics platform connecting small-scale farmers to chefs, supermarkets and institutional buyers within a 250 mile radius." Many of its customers are restaurants in the New York area. But Schnucks has embraced the wholesale marketplace.
Hear more Thursday during Total Information PM at 5 on KMOX.