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SymphonyAI Announces Retail Innovation Award Winners


SymphonyAI has announced that K-VA-T Food Stores, The Kraft Heinz Co. and METRO are the recipients of this year’s CPG Tempo Awards.

The award honorees are being recognized for innovation and excellence in using SymphonyAI solutions to optimize assortments, increase revenue and improve collaboration between brands and retailers in a fast-changing landscape.

K-VA-T Food Stores – retailer category

A regional grocer since 1918 and the parent company of Food City, Virginia-based K-VA-T Food Stores fosters a customer-driven culture and creates an inviting shopper experience. 

The merchandising and marketing teams have pursued multiple priorities with SymphonyAI. These include customer insights, shelf planning and implementing SymphonyAI master data management, supply chain vendor portal and promotion optimization solutions. 

“Using the data that is compiled by SymphonyAI customer analytics keeps us nimble in responding to demand shifts in the price/quality spectrum and customer engagement throughout the store,” said Dan Glei, EVP of merchandising and marketing, K-VA-T. 

“We can easily measure the effectiveness of mass and personalized marketing campaigns. When people begin to identify with that personalization of their stores, that’s when you know you have arrived in terms of experience.”

Kraft Heinz – CPG category

The company won for its use of customer insight solutions to inform data-driven decision making and strengthen collaboration with retailers.

Kraft Heinz leverages its scale and agility by embracing leading customer insight solutions to provide superior service to global customers. 

An example of that philosophy is Kraft Heinz’s adoption of AI-based insights from SymphonyAI to drive strategic engagement with a Tier 1 retailer. The company uses customer analytics, category management and assortment intelligence to garner measurable results and growth with its retailer partner.

Chris Conroy, head of field category leadership for Kraft Heinz, noted the increasing value of AI-based insights over time. 

“Trust is very much at the core of the whole shopper-focused approach, and that applies across the entire team, including the retailer, Kraft Heinz and SymphonyAI,” Conroy said. 

“We all are confident in bringing our findings and recommendations to spotlight what we think is the best decision to achieve those goals, and we’re all equally committed to learning together as shopper behaviors evolve so that we jointly gain more experience on more data.”

METRO – cash-and-carry category

With a flexible retail franchise model for customers operating grocery shops, the German-based international wholesale company sought to automate and speed up planograms and assortment planning for compliance in multiple countries while allowing localization to meet shopper preferences.

After selecting SymphonyAI, the resulting deployment has provided more automated, high-impact shelf planning with assortment optimization that is expected to increase revenues for the franchisees. 

With automated shelf planning that accommodates local market preferences while providing a unifying framework, METRO teams reduced the manual effort required for shelf planning at the franchising shops, freeing team members to focus on other requirements. The customers METRO serves can also rely on a more unified experience across different regions, including online and brick-and-mortar channels.

“We selected SymphonyAI as our preferred partner based on its speed to implementation, proven ROI and ease of use to provide independent shop owners with planograms with recommendations down to the SKU level to enhance their space efficiency, reduce labor, and create a more unified experience across our many locations,” said Dragos Oprisor, digital project manager.

“In addition, our multichannel customers will be able to expedite purchases by placing their orders directly from online platforms. Based on positive initial results within METRO Romania, we moved into expanding to more markets throughout Eastern Europe.”

Manish Choudhary, president and CEO of the Palo Alto, California-based company, said the SymphonyAI Tempo Award winners “truly exemplify the spirit of bold innovation and operational excellence that set the pace for retail and CPG leadership.”

“It’s very gratifying to recognize Kraft Heinz, METRO and K-VA-T for their excellence and accomplishments applying SymphonyAI leading-edge, AI-based technology to deliver powerful business results to their stakeholders and a more engaging experience for shoppers,” he said.

Read more online technology news from The Shelby Report.

About the author

Sommer Stockton

Web Editor

Sommer joined The Shelby Report in January 2022 after graduating from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA with a B.A. and M.A. in Communications and Media Studies. Sommer is excited to learn about the grocery industry and share her findings with The Shelby Report's readers!

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