If you’re as fascinated as we are with the idea of robots scurrying around and doing your weekly grocery shop, Kroger and Ocado have some good news for you.
Today the grocery giant announced it would roll out two new Ocado-powered customer fulfillment centers (CFCs) — also called “sheds” — in the Central Florida and Mid-Atlantic regions. This news comes just a few months after Kroger named Monroe, OH (outside of Cincinnati) the location for its first automated robot warehouse.
In May of 2018 Kroger entered into an exclusive partnership with U.K.-based online grocer Ocado, nabbing a 6 percent stake in the company and promising to build twenty automated warehouse facilities across the U.S. over the following three years. We’re seeing that promise come to life.
As resident robo-expert Chris Albrecht pointed out, grocery logistics is hot hot hot right now and big players like Walmart, Target, Amazon, and Kroger are all racing to deliver your groceries as fast as possible.
And that’s just for grocery delivery and curbside pickup. In-store, Kroger also has a number of developments in the works. In this month alone, they partnered with Microsoft to launch two tech-enabled grocery stores (their answer to Amazon Go), and also unveiled new Customize It personalized meal kits. With the company’s brand new innovation lab, which it launched in August in tandem with the University of Cincinnati, Kroger doesn’t seem like it will stop reinventing the grocery space anytime soon.
Curious about how robotics and automation will reshape the grocery business? Join the conversation at ArticulATE, our food robotics summit in San Francisco on April 16th! Early Bird tickets are available now.