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5 things: Amazon’s bet on palm payment in grocery

Here's 5 things you may have missed in grocery

Palm pay, way or no way? Amazon announced recently that its palm recognition biometric authentication service, Amazon One, will rollout within 500 Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh locations across the U.S. by the end of this year. But perhaps the bigger question is: will shoppers use it? According to this op-ed from Forbes contributor David G.W. Birch, the people want convenience, and if services like Amazon One can bring the convenience factor, then we’re likely to see them start to catch on en masse. Birch points to travel as leading the way in consumers preference for biometrics — a recent survey showed that three-quarters of passengers want to use biometrics instead of a passport and boarding pass and of the third who have already used it, nine in ten were happy with the results. —Chloe Riley

Beef. It’s what’s for Costco: You’ve heard of Costco’s effin’ hot dog…well, make way for the bleepin’ beef. Yes, the warehouse retailer now has a food item that might rival the famous frankfurter…the Roast Beef Sandwich. Topped with onion relish, a mayo/mustard blend, lettuce, roasted cherry tomatoes and red onions, some are saying this roast beef spectacle is as good as the hot dog. “Oh, my gosh, this is my new fixation,” wrote one reviewer. The price — $9.99 — didn’t sit well with others, and it’s a far cry from the $1.99 hot dog. The roast beef sammich is not the only new arrival. Costco also now offers a berry smoothie and strawberry soft-serve ice cream. Even if the beef doesn’t beat the dog, Costco still has what it takes to fill that appetite after a serious calorie-burn shopping the floor. —Bill Wilson

Publix wants your styrofoam: A Reddit shopper was recently “stunned” by a styrofoam recycling receptacle at a local Publix store. While most recycling bins are dedicated to cardboard, plastic, or cans — this one is dedicated to foam. Another Reddit commenter was impressed by the “good signage” on the receptacle, saying it was helpful to have actual photos of what’s allowed in that bin. The Publix sustainability team then shared what happens to the foam once it’s placed in the bins: The foam is loaded into trucks and sent to return centers. From there, they are co-mingled with similar materials and picked up to be processed into other materials like low-maintenance fencing, composite deck boards, or building and construction products. While the initiative is good for the environment, the updated signage success proves “a picture is worth a thousand words,” or at least it gets the point across. —Alarice Rajagopal

‘Big on quality, Lidl on price’: Wonder who wrote Lidl’s successful slogan? That would be none other than Ant Jackson, a creative director and brand consultant who has worked at some of the UK’s biggest advertising agencies for clients like Amazon, Ikea, Dove and Honda. In 2017, she penned the tagline “Big on quality, Lidl on price” for the discount supermarket company. The marketing has paid off in spades, with the supermarket increasing its UK market share by two-thirds over that time. So how do you write a great slogan? According to Jackson, you need to “understand the ask, the audience and the why.” From there, she says, think in bite-sized nuggets of six words or so, and don’t be afraid to lean into the puns if it’s a fit for your company’s brand. Lidl did we know. —CR 

Un-free samples: Please, keep your mouths to yourself. A former Whole Foods employee is spilling some terrible tea about the store’s hot bar on TikTok. The former employee posted a video of customers taking in some free sampling sips from the hot bar — and by sips we mean putting their mouth to the ladle and then putting the ladle back in the, gulp, soup. The offenders also often appear to be “super wealthy,” the former employee said. These shoppers also did not reserve their sampling behavior to just the hot bar — some would simply grab muffins or doughnuts and eat them right there in the store and not pay for them. The comments ran wild with employees claiming to have similar experiences, some even involving pets. “Don’t get me started with the dogs,” said a poster. So maybe the hot bars need to have paper, disposable ladles to protect public health? Just a thought. —BW

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