Technology/Services

Wakefern Opens ‘The Pantry,’ a Frictionless, AI-Based C-Store

1st in U.S. to try Amazon rival Trigo’s shopping technology
wakefern the pantry
Photograph courtesy of Wakefern Foods

Wakefern Food Corp. held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Jan. 16 for its latest shop—The Pantry, a frictionless convenience store for the workers at its Edison, New Jersey, campus featuring Trigo’s AI-based technology.

The ceremony included Wakefern executives and members as well as representatives from Trigo, an Tel Aviv, Israel-based computer vision and frictionless checkout technology provider that is widely considered the chief competitor to Amazon’s Just Walk Out technology.

Open only to workers from Wakefern office buildings, The Pantry uses computer vision with a series of cameras and shelf sensors to identify products such as snacks, salads, pantry staples, groceries and prepared foods.

Wakefern formed a partnership last year with the tech provider as the cooperative seeks to enhance access to cutting-edge innovation for its members.

“Our Wakefern associates can shop The Pantry at work for groceries they need at home while simultaneously providing helpful feedback for us on the technology. The chance to evolve in the self-service space at retail is important and we hope to learn more about frictionless checkout and how we can potentially provide this cutting-edge and convenient technology to Wakefern member-owned businesses,” said Charles McWeeney, vice president of technology, innovation and strategy at Wakefern.

Wakefern is the first U.S. company to test Trigo’s technology, which is already deployed in several locations around Europe and the U.K., Keasbey, New Jersey-based Wakefern Foods said.

“Trigo is proud to work with some of the largest grocery retailers in the world, so teaming up now with Wakefern to deploy and test important technology is a natural step,” said Michael Gabay, Trigo’s co-founder and CEO. “We can help them accelerate their growth within the market and pave the way for frictionless shopping in the future.”

Wakefern Food is the largest retailer-owned cooperative in the United States, with its members operating more than 300 stores under the ShopRite, Price Rite Marketplace, The Fresh Grocer, Dearborn Market, Gourmet Garage and Fairway Market banners throughout the mid-Atlantic and New England.

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