By Pat Jones, NGAF TA Center Project Coordinator
The Gus Schumacher Nutrition Incentive Program (or GusNIP) offers retailers a chance to provide extra food dollars to help low-income shoppers include more healthy fruits and vegetables in their diet.
While GusNIP has been widely successful (when properly implemented), the ability of a store to conduct nutrition incentives on their existing point-of-sale (POS) system has been challenging. The primary technical hurdle is the inability of POS systems to “trigger” discounts or promotions within a current transaction based on the type of payment tender, in this case, SNAP EBT.
This led to the formation of a POS Nutrition Incentive Workgroup, composed of individuals from 23 nonprofit or government agencies across the country, working to implement nutrition incentive projects. This workgroup successfully created a core functionality document for efficient and accurate nutrition incentive POS solutions. But what does this mean/require for the retail technology community?
The National Grocers Association hosted a recent webinar designed for the Retail Solutions Providers Association (RSPA) to share the functionality document, the underlying ask for the tech community and more.
Leading the discussion on this workgroup, the creation of this core functionality document and the future of incentive technology was Ted Mason, retail technology consultant for the National Grocers Association Foundation Technical Assistance Center (NGAF TA Center) team.
Here are some key takeaways from the discussion:
A chance for uniformity. SNAP produce incentive program transaction functionalities and parameters allow POS developers to create solutions one time for broad distribution to retail food stores.
A standard is not a standard unless it is broadly adopted. There must be concerted adherence to the NGAF POS Functionalities and Parameters documentation in instances where a grantee strays far from defined functionalities and parameters. Put simply, tech providers will be able to create an incentive solution based on the guidance of the Nutrition Incentive Hub grantee community. It is the responsibility of the nonprofit or government agency to follow suit.
We need your help! POS system manufacturers are encouraged to include SNAP produce incentive functionality & parameterization as a standard component of all new POS systems and as enhancements/patches to existing systems.
For more information, please visit the NGAF TA Center website at ngaftacenter.org or contact the team at email@example.com.
Click here to view a recording of this webinar.
*The NGAF TA Center addresses the challenges grocers and supermarket operators face in establishing nutrition incentive programs and is a proud partner of the Nutrition Incentive Hub. The Nutrition Incentive Hub, funded through a cooperative agreement from the United States Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture, is a new resource that provides training, technical assistance, reporting\ and evaluation for those working to launch or expand SNAP incentives or produce prescription programs. The Nutrition Incentive Hub is led by Gretchen Swanson Center for Nutrition in partnership with Fair Food Network along with a coalition of evaluators, researchers, practitioners, and grocery and farmers market experts from across the country dedicated to strengthening and uniting the best thinking in the field to increase access to affordable, healthy food to those who need it most.