HEN HOUSE HATCHES WHOLE-HEALTH WEB SOLUTION

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Hen House Markets, a 15-store division of Balls Food Stores here, will follow Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop's lead and sign on to become the second food retailer in the country to offer SmartMouth Technologies' Web-based nutritional resource to its loyalty card members.Stop & Shop debuted its nutritional program with SmartMouth, Watertown, Mass., on Jan. 21.While the retailer

KANSAS CITY, Kan. -- Hen House Markets, a 15-store division of Balls Food Stores here, will follow Quincy, Mass.-based Stop & Shop's lead and sign on to become the second food retailer in the country to offer SmartMouth Technologies' Web-based nutritional resource to its loyalty card members.

Stop & Shop debuted its nutritional program with SmartMouth, Watertown, Mass., on Jan. 21.

While the retailer was unavailable for comment, Balls Food Stores' president, David Ball, said in a statement, "We believe that SmartMouth is, in effect, three strategies in one: First, it creates for us a profitable Web presence -- a compelling reason for our customers to visit our Web site. Secondly, SmartMouth provides a loyalty program that creates a true incentive for customer fidelity. Lastly, we view SmartMouth's breakthrough technology as perhaps the single best whole-health solution on the market today."

With an expected spring rollout, Hen House shoppers will be able to access the retailer's undisclosed Web site or log onto www.smartmouth.com to gain nutritional information, quick meal solutions and shopping history analysis based on previous purchases through the use of their loyalty card number. Randy Fine, chairman and chief executive officer for SmartMouth, said the program will be the foundation of Hen House's Web strategy.

"Hen House is known as a high-end retailer, and it's going to help customers see what they've been buying and help them learn to buy healthier products next time." For Hen House, Fine said, "It will make an already healthy customer base even more loyal."

While the database will be similar in size and structure to Stop & Shop's, Fine said SmartMouth will customize their database of 30,000 branded and private label items to match Hen House's specific product lineup.

In addition, Hen House will roll out the updated, 2.0 version of the program with added nutrition functionality, such as more in-depth ingredients and discounting or pricing tools.

"We've gotten a lot of feedback from users and we're making changes," said Fine.

Since Stop & Shop is the only grocery retailer currently up and running on SmartMouth's Web site, www.smartmouth.com will undergo a few changes, as well. Josh Dare, vice president of SmartMouth's marketing communications, said the homepage will make the necessary changes to accommodate the growing number of retailers who will link with SmartMouth.

"We're poised to bring on more grocery companies fairly quickly," Fine said. "We're excited to have a regional leader [like Hen House], and it evidences the growing excitement in the industry about SmartMouth."

With common retailer goals like customer loyalty, new customers and higher rings, Fine said their first retailer partnership has seen increased Web traffic and "results beyond expectations."

Hen House will advertise their new whole-health-based program in radio spots, in-store signage and in-store circulars, according to Fine.