By Ted Mason, Retail Technology Consultant
Too often, retailers would like to implement a SNAP produce incentive program for the benefit of their SNAP shoppers, but their POS system is incapable of conducting electronic incentive transactions.
Thankfully for SNAP shoppers in Greensburg, Pa., Tom Charley, co-owner of the Charley Family Shop ‘n Save Supermarket, persisted in finding a solution that allows his POS system to conduct these transactions.
The NGA Foundation Technical Assistance Center (NGAF TA Center) connected Tom with a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit organization, The Food Trust (TFT), which had funding available for a SNAP produce incentive program in Tom’s area. After speaking with the Food Trust and learning more about the program, Tom then turned to the NGAF TA Center for advice on possible ways to conduct incentive transactions on his older POS system. Unfortunately, Tom’s POS system had no capability to conduct an automated incentive transaction that did not involve cashier intervention or decision making.
Enter AppCard, the shopper loyalty platform provider for Tom’s store. “AppCard really stepped up to the plate and created a great solution for our store that allows an efficient and automated incentive transaction for SNAP shoppers at the checkouts,” Tom said of his relationship with the provider.
The AppCard solution allows SNAP shoppers to have $2 added to their loyalty account for every $5 in eligible fresh produce purchases, up to a $10 maximum earning. Although the earned incentive is printed as a POS receipt, it is actually a digital offer within the AppCard platform, with the paper receipt serving as a physical “reminder” of the incentive amount received. Customers do not have to physically present the paper coupon to redeem their incentive. Simply swiping their loyalty card or entering their loyalty account phone number will prompt the use of any earned incentives in the system. The incentives are redeemable for up to six weeks, allowing SNAP shoppers ample time to plan use of them.
The AppCard incentive solution also provides Tom with reporting required by The Food Trust in order for the store to be reimbursed for the value of incentives redeemed.
“This system is very efficient and easy for cashiers and SNAP shoppers to understand and use,” said Emily Schmidlapp, project manager for The Food Trust. “We appreciate Tom and AppCard for working diligently to develop this capability.”
Situations such as Tom’s show that, with determination and resourcefulness, it is possible to successfully run a nutrition incentive program, even when it seems the chips are stacked against you. In fact, thanks to the new AppCard solution developed at Shop ‘n Save, incentive program opportunities will be possible for other stores across the country with older POS systems previously incapable of conducting these transactions.
To learn more about implementing a SNAP produce incentive program in your store, contact the NGAF TA Center at email@example.com
View the video below featuring Tom and Emily discussing the Shop ‘n Save SNAP produce incentive program.
*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.