Speed and convenience are key consumer benefits and motivators for using on-premise technology due to increasingly time-pressed lifestyles, according to a new Mintel report. Nearly three in five consumers who use kiosks and would like to use them again do so to bypass the line (57%) or for a faster ordering process (55%). Over two-fifths of kiosk consumers say they do so because of the ability to customize their order (43%) and it offers better accuracy than ordering with a person (38%).
And while most consumers aren’t specifically looking to avoid human interaction when they use a kiosk, three in 10 (29%) say they are, including 34% of 18-34-year-olds.
Along these lines, Stop & Shop, headquartered in Quincy, Massachusetts, is getting into the robotic bread-making game.
The company says it has teamed with Wilkinson Baking Company to install one of its Breadbot units in its Milford, Massachusetts location. Stop & Shop is billing it The Mini Bakery and says it's the only grocer on the East Coast with one.
“We know that our customers want fresh, tasty and healthy food that’s good for them and for their families,” says Michael Vachon, category manager for Stop & Shop. “With The Mini Bakery, shoppers can see exactly what goes into their bread and feel confident that it’s made with wholesome ingredients.”
The Breadbot mixes, forms, proofs, bakes and cools 10 loaves of artisan bread per hour. The breads come in a variety of flavor, like white, wheat, nine grain, sourdough and honey oat. Availability will vary based on demand.
The Mini Bakery is located in the bakery department, with each loaf retailing for $3.99. Stop & Shop says it plans to install additional units at other stores across the region.
“Making the bread locally, right in the store with The Mini Bakery, has a very positive environmental effect,” says Randall Wilkinson, CEO of Wilkinson Baking Company. “The fleets of delivery trucks and the fuel they use are reduced, since only dry ingredients need to be shipped. And, because The Mini Bakery keeps track of its production, it’s able to predict how much bread it should bake in order to meet demand. Everything it bakes sells within hours. Nothing goes to waste.”