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Festival_Foods_store-Holmen_WI.jpg Festival Foods
'As we grow, we’re committed to doing so in a way that leverages leading-edge technologies with AI and machine learning, while staying true to our customer-focused culture,' said Jeff Main, vice president information technology, Festival Foods.

Festival Foods turns to tech to improve retail promotions

Midwest grocer teams with Symphony RetailAI to optimize technology and improve productivity

Midwest regional grocer Festival Foods has selected the Symphony RetailAI Master Data Management solution to establish a data foundation to sustain the retailer’s growth before executing on its end-to-end technology roadmap, beginning with Symphony RetailAI Promotions Optimization.

Now with nearly 40 stores, Wisconsin-based Festival Foods recognized that it had outgrown its current technology, according to the company, whose initial goal was to run more effective and cost-efficient retail promotions. But Festival Foods recognized it needed a more analytical approach, where it could apply science to promotional decisions instead of trusting gut-intuition and determined it needed to replace its underlying system before adding new capabilities. In doing so, Festival Foods knew it could also centralize store-level responsibilities so that teams could focus less on tactics and more on creating an exceptional guest environment.

“As we grow, we’re committed to doing so in a way that leverages leading-edge technologies with AI and machine learning, while staying true to our customer-focused culture,” said Jeff Main, vice president information technology, Festival Foods. “In fact, culture was our No. 1 priority and Symphony RetailAI certainly fit that requirement with its roots in grocery. Plus, the breadth of Symphony RetailAI’s offering was exactly what we were looking for, covering everything a grocery retailer needs today. Furthermore, because Symphony RetailAI’s platform is cloud-based, it’s going to eliminate IT management headaches you’d typically have with an on-premise solution. Instead, we’ll have a more reliable system across the board, with less downtime and more confidence in the integrity of our data.”

Retailers using a single master data management solution can achieve on average a 50% reduction in data maintenance costs and a 100X faster time to market, according to Symphony RetailAI. Its Master Data Management solution is expected to be a productivity driver for Festival Foods, with simplified vendor onboarding and the ability for suppliers to manage their data and collaborate within the shared insights platform. Festival Foods’ data input workflow will be streamlined, with enforced requirements and formatting standards to ensure accuracy and eliminate errors. The grocer will also be able to capture more data attributes than before.

“Our initial goal of improving promotions led us to a broader understanding of the importance of a data foundation,” said Rick Baranczyk, business analytics senior director, Festival Foods. “The confidence in our analytics will drive better decision making and allow us to be nimbler as we grow the business. We’re confident that with this master data management solution in place, we’ll soon be able to optimize our promotional spend to promote the right products at the right time in the right markets. That single version of the truth will also eventually allow us to ensure the best assortments are on the shelf in each market.”

Festival Foods will also be well-positioned to integrate additional capabilities from Symphony RetailAI, including Assortment Optimization, Demand ForecastingAI, Replenishment Planning and Allocation.

“A solid data foundation feeds the entire retail value chain, and it is critically important to have in place to support strategic growth,” said Chris Koziol, CEO, Symphony RetailAI. “We know that one of Festival Foods’ driving forces is customer satisfaction and providing an amazing guest experience. With a newfound mastery of its data and resulting downstream system efficiencies, Festival Foods will be able to deliver on that commitment even more than before. We’re excited that the team has invited us to be its partner in continued innovation as we help Festival Foods create an integrated retail value chain that delivers actionable insights across marketing, merchandising and supply chain.”

De Pere, Wis.-based Festival Foods operates 36 stores throughout Wisconsin and was founded as Skogen's IGA by Paul and Jane Skogen in 1946 in Onalaska, Wis.

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