Merryfield, Cornerstone Partner to Enhance In-Store Consumer Education with Digital Incentives At-Shelf

Closeup - Woman shopping in supermarket and reading product information. Costumer buying food at the market.

Boston, MA—Merryfield PBC announced a partnership with Cornerstone for Natural to create an in-store consumer education, incentives, and rewards program, called Learn & Earn. The program, powered by the Merryfield Rewards app and Cornerstone’s Smart Shelf Tag technology, is designed to influence consumers’ point-of-purchase decisions through in-aisle branded digital content and exclusive incentives and rewards unlocked with any smartphone, according to the announcement.

Smart Shelf Tags are equipped with advanced QR code technology: When scanned by a smartphone, digital content such as videos, web content, images, product ingredients and nutritional attributes is displayed to engage and educate in-store shoppers. Smart Shelf Tags are proven to help increase sales and build brand loyalty. Based on SPINS retail sales data for Fresh Thyme Market (WholeFoods Magazine’s 2022 Retailer of the Year) released in 2022, products merchandised with Smart Shelf Tags outperformed their respective categories by more than three times.

Merryfield Learn & Earn app for rewards at retail.
Courtesy of Merryfield.

Starting in 2023, shoppers at participating Learn & Earn retailers will see Learn & Earn in-store signage and QR codes displayed at-shelf for participating brands. Scanning the QR code with their smartphone camera will reveal the added content, and now the Merryfield app, shoppers can unlock exclusive incentives to buy that product on that trip.

David Williams, EVP of Business Development at Cornerstone for Natural, explained to WholeFoods Magazine that suppliers will be able to easily and inexpensively add shopper-facing digital offers to their Smart Shelf Tags. “Combining great product information with digital promotions (incentives), we can help retailers (and brands) engage, educate, and incentivize their shoppers to drive incremental sales.”

Related: 7 Challenges Impacting Independent Retailers & Solutions in 2023

In the announcement, David Mayer, Founder and CEO of Merryfield, noted, “Today, natural food stores, food co-ops and independent grocery stores are inherently at a disadvantage compared to big chain and big-box stores. We created Learn & Earn with the needs of the tens of thousands of local and regional independent retailers across the U.S. in mind. We wanted to help elevate the in-store experience with a differentiating new consumer facing program, engaging digital in-store experiences and additional new savings exclusively for Learn & Earn retailer shoppers. Learn & Earn is a super-easy to implement way to deliver digital in-store education paired with powerful at-shelf digital promotion tools that are usually just the domain of the biggest chains.”

Zooey Deschanel, Merryfield Co-founder and Chief Creative Officer, added, “It’s much harder than it should be for people to find accurate and trustworthy information about food and other everyday products they want to buy for their families. With Merryfield’s new Learn & Earn program, we can bring honest, on-demand information to people right in store aisles and pair it with new digital product incentives. Inflation is impacting what people can buy and where they shop. Every bit of savings will help people.”

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