Festival Foods continues building its tech arsenal as it scales up

The Wisconsin grocer expands its relationship with Engage3, which uses artificial intelligence to price items that determine customer perception of the store.
Festival Foods
The De Pere, Wisconsin-based grocery chain, which operates 40 stores across its home state, has implemented Engage3’s Price Image Management technology. / Image courtesy: Festival Foods

Festival Foods has continued building its tech stack with the Thursday announcement that the grocer is expanding its partnership with price image optimization tech firm Engage3 Powered by Dexi.

The De Pere, Wisconsin-based grocery chain, which operates 40 stores across its home state, has implemented Engage3’s Price Image Management technology, which uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to help retailers set prices on products to drive sales and customer loyalty.  

The Prime Image Management tool analyzes customer data to determine the ideal price for highly competitive products that help determine a shopper’s price perception of the store.  

"Price image is a proprietary measurement that we've created, where we're taking customer perception around your pricing and your value, and we're quantifying it,” Engage3 Powered by Dexi CEO Edris Bemanian told Winsight Grocery Business in an interview.  

That enables Engage3 to show that perception is often not reality in pricing. “So, we're able to look at a particular market and say … you're actually priced at 3% below the market, but you’re perceived to be priced more than 10%,” Bemanian explained. 

He noted in a press release that customers have seen an average 2% increase in traffic and a 5-point increase in margin after adopting the price image tools.   

"The customer is at the heart of everything we do at Festival Foods," said Benjamin Plaza, Festival Foods' manager of business analytics, in a statement. "Engage3's Price Image solution gives us unprecedented insights into customer psychology that help us deliver exceptional customer experiences while growing revenue and trips." 

Festival Foods first teamed up with Davis, California-based Engage3 in 2021, when the grocer adopted the company’s competitive intelligence technology, which provides hyperlocal product pricing data to the chain. That same year, Engage3 also signed on grocery chains Heinen’s and Redner’s Markets. Seven of the top 10 retail operations as ranked by the National Retail Federation now use Engage3, according to the company.  

Its partnership with Engage3 is just part of the tech solution Festival Foods has been building over the last few years, as it works to scale the regional chain. In July, Festival Foods announced a partnership with grocery tech software company Upshop with a focus on its fresh perimeter. 

The relationship with Upshop is aimed at streamlining its ordering processes and integrating disparate workflows in areas such as pricing, ingredients, recipes and more. “This partnership is about removing barriers to execution for our teams and simplifying the complexities of running a fresh department so they can focus on delivering a memorable guest experience,” Festival Foods CEO and President Mark Skogen said in a statement last month. 

Meanwhile, the grocer is moving forward with the opening of its newest store, which will be located in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Festival Foods announced earlier this year that it planned to open the store sometime in 2023.  

A Festival Foods spokesperson could not immediately be reached for comment, but the supermarket chain’s website revealed that the new store may be opening soon. The grocer announced on its website that it is holding a hiring event on Sept. 8 and 9 at the Holiday Inn Express & Suites Eau Claire North at 12858 26th Avenue in Chippewa Falls. The website noted that the new store is expected to open this fall.



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