Wegmans Grocery Chain Doing Kiosk Trial Limited To Berries

The $5 billion 72-store grocery chain Wegmans is trying a very focused trial this Fall. It will offer a kiosk at one store that will offer to scan one specific type of fruit--berries--from one distributor. The point of the kiosk is to tell consumers--via a barcode scan--the exact farm that the berries are from.

A spokesperson for the chain, Jo Natalie, was quoted in The Packer as saying that the trial "will ensure confidence in product safety." But it's not clear why such data would be of any value to consumers. At best, consumers may hear something on the news about avoiding produce from a particular country, but that would likely be clear on the printed label or the store's signage. What consumer would even know the significance of one farm versus another? It's an interesting trial, but the value to the consumer seems rather amorphous.