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09/23/2021

Albertsons further innovates in digital, adding 2 new video components

Grocery giant Albertsons became the first U.S. grocer to launch a short-form video program through Firework and expanded its Pinterest partnership.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Albertsons has yet again upped the way shoppers can digitally engage with its own brand products and retail experience.

The family of Albertsons, which includes Safeway, Vons and more grocery chains, is partnering with social media network Pinterest and the video platform Firework to create two new and different ways for consumers to better shop for products, including Albertsons store brands. The two new partnerships follow Albertsons’ venture into the grocery delivery world with Uber Eats and DoorDash.

Firework, the short-form video platform designed to bring a shoppable, livestream video experience to any website, announced a new partnership with Albertsons, making the company the first U.S. grocer to utilize the Firework platform. 

Firework presents a brand new opportunity for Albertsons brands to better connect with their customers and, beyond that, to inspire them,” Firework president Jason Holland told Store Brands. “Albertsons' portfolio of owned brands will allow them to showcase innovation as a first-to-market adopter of shoppable video and livestream in cooking, health and wellness across the entire owned suite, unlike any grocery retailer has ever attempted before.”

Firework allows the customers to easily create, host and curate immersive short-form and livestream video on any site on the open web. It lets any retailer, direct-to-consumer brand, media publisher or business of any size to own, engage and monetize a community around short-form video. 

Swipeable, shoppable interactivity lets consumers engage directly with brand and product videos, and on-site hosting provides businesses with direct access to consumer data and monetization opportunities of their shoppable video content.

“Albertsons' portfolio of owned brands will allow them to showcase innovation as a first-to-market adopter of shoppable video and livestream in cooking, health and wellness across the entire owned suite, unlike any grocery retailer has ever attempted before.”
Fireworks president Jason Holland told Store Brands

Firework also gives retailers the opportunity to sell “digital shelf space” to brands they carry in the form of video ad placement, providing additional sources of revenue. Firework, which has over 600 clients, aims to bring the customer back from social networks, by using a “Web 3.0” approach which gives brands autonomy and control over TikTok-like, immersive video-based experiences. 

The implementation will consist of three distinct phases. In the first phase, Albertsons will use Firework to deploy short video content and cooking experiences on the Albertsons website, where owned brand products could get highlighted.

Phase two will expand upon the first with shoppable videos and livestream experiences. Phase three will incorporate a retail media monetization and ad sales suite, and will go into effect in early 2022.

“This partnership is the important first step in Albertsons’ journey to redefine digital customer engagement in the grocery retail space,” said Chris Rupp, CCO at Albertsons. “This isn’t just about new ways to feature our products. This is about becoming a cooking and food entertainment destination, the Pinterest for grocery. With Firework, we found the first platform capable of digitally recreating the tangible sense of freshness, discovery and community that you previously could only find within our brick-and-mortar stores, all using the short video and livestream formats that our digital shoppers love the most.”

graphical user interface, application

In addition to working with Firework, the Boise, Idaho-based grocery chain is working with Pinterest on another digital partnership. A new multi-year agreement will bring innovative AI and API technology to help grocery shoppers plan inspired, fresh meals. The collaboration also uses Pinterest’s growing creator network to find forward looking trends and new formats like Idea Pins, Pinterest’s video format. 

The new technology that Albertsons customers will be able to use employs three new innovations to grocery shopping. The meal planning API will make recipes shoppable by integrating saved ‘pins’ straight into Albertsons Companies’ banner app. Shoppers add all of the ingredients to their cart in one click, and the technology will also recommend what consumers should make based on searches, saves, and purchase history. 

Albertsons Cos. employee ambassadors will serve as Pinterest Creators. Across ACI’s massive workforce of 300,000 associates, the company turned 20 talented associates into Pinterest Creators, including a master meat griller, a certified sommelier, a patisserie expert, and a mom who has mastered meal prepping. Experienced associates will inspire and engage customers leveraging their store’s food inventory and Pinterest search trends with the Idea Pins format. This program allows ACI’s workforce to use Pinterest’s creation tools in an exclusive way to reflect their knowledge, inspiration and pride. 

Finally, AI-powered shoppable tablescapes will create interactive shoppable tablescapes to show Pinners how a single ingredient can be leveraged for multiple recipes and/or able to meet specific dietary restrictions.

“At 4:00pm every day, the number one food search on Pinterest is what’s for dinner, and Albertsons Cos. is delivering with inspiring and intuitive experiences that help our Pinners answer that question every day,” said Pinterest chief revenue officer Jon Kaplan. “Albertson’s forward-looking use of Pinterest only solidifies the critical role that online grocery inspiration will continue to play in the consumer journey. We’re thrilled to see how the team is creating quality content through multiple channels, from our API and AI innovations, to our burgeoning Creator ecosystem.”