March 22, 2018

Kroger announces new commercial technology venture

In a bid to combat the technological disruption the grocery industry is undergoing and become a disruptor itself, Kroger announced the establishment of a division called Sunrise Technologies at the ShopTalk conference in Las Vegas.

Sunshine will look to commercialize the technologies and intellectual property the company has developed in recent years ranging from digital shelf-edge and automated temperature monitoring systems to functions that allow for shorter checkout lines, Food Dive reported.  

The company will offer several technologies to interested parties, including its interactive shelf edge system; its remote-monitor temperature control system, known as Food at Safe Temperatures (FAST); an employee management technology called RAD; and Zooter, a camera that can help employees track merchandising programs and inventory.

Annette Franke, Kroger VP of customer experience network and Sunrise COO, said, “Kroger has already begun piloting its Kroger Edge system abroad. We’re piloting this technology in multiple countries and on multiple continents.”

Franke said the seed for Sunrise Technologies was planted at an awards ceremony recognizing the company’s technology where companies approached Kroger and asked if it would consider commercializing any of its innovations.

“That was when we started to have serious conversations about, ‘should we become a technology company that sells groceries, and really figure out how to leverage the technology that we’re developing and have [intellectual property] on for others in the industry,” Franke said.

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