Target tests food transparency

Target's (NYSE:TGT) new test into food transparency has begun in Edina, Minnesota, and already the retailer is ready to expand the program to additional locations.

It's part of Target's "Food + Future coLab" experiment to better determine shopper response to healthy food initiatives. The program was announced in March and included a new store brand called Good & Gather that lists ingredients and nutritional information on the front of the package rather than the back.

The company is moving quickly to identify and incorporate new technology. "In a short period of time, we've already developed a pipeline of concepts ready for testing, we're building disruptive technologies and – most important – we're closer than ever to helping people know more about what's in their food," said Greg Shewmaker, one of Target's entrepreneurs-in-residence.

Produce is a particular area of focus here, with signs clearly indicating the date of an item's arrival, complete with lower prices for older pieces. Smart scales display nutritional information, whether it's organic and how the produce was grown.

The point is to find out more about what types of information shoppers are interested in. The effort is already being tweaked and prepped to roll out to stores in Minnetonka, Minnesota, Boston and San Francisco.

Target is also testing a technology called spectroscopy to scan food items in two warehouses, in order to develop what the company is calling the "world's first food fingerprint database," according to the Star Tribune.

Target has made fresh, organic and healthy food options a priority as the company makes adjustments to its grocery department and reconfigures checkout offerings to include more healthy snacks.

For more:
- see this Star Tribune story
- see this Target blog post

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