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Fresh Thyme Market to offer product descriptions in a scan

Enhanced QR code technology to be added to shelf tags.

Russell Redman

October 26, 2020

2 Min Read
Fresh Thyme produce department
Fresh Thyme Market

Specialty grocer Fresh Thyme Market is leveraging QR code-based technology to enable shoppers in the aisles to call up product information using their smartphones.

Starting in early November, Fresh Thyme plans to add ELI Codes from business management software provider Cornerstone for Natural to shelf tags in its stores’ Natural Living department. When scanned, the codes display key product information—including content from the IX-ONE product data and image exchange—on their mobile phones.

Fresh Thyme brand products shopping cart

Fresh Thyme associates also will use the ELI Codes to learn more about the products they sell. (Photo courtesy of Fresh Thyme)

ELI Codes were introduced to the natural product channel in partnership with The Data Council (IX-ONE) by Tampa, Florida-based Cornerstone for Natural. Described as product-based QR codes, the ELI Codes can be read natively by most modern smartphones without requiring an app.

“By adding ELI Codes to our shelf tags, we will be helping our shoppers make better informed buying decisions in-store while allowing our supplier partners to provide digital content to best present their products to our shoppers,” according to Jonathan Lawrence, senior director of grocery and natural living at Fresh Thyme.

In addition, Fresh Thyme’s staff plans to use ELI Codes to learn more about the products they sell and better explain the items and their benefits to shoppers, Cornerstone reported. The Downers Grove, Illinois-based grocery chain—which recently changed its banner name from Fresh Thyme Farmers Market—operates 73 stores in 11 states across the Midwest. 

Fresh Thyme’s suppliers are being requested to work directly with Cornerstone for Natural to enhance the content displayed by upgrading their ELI Codes to include videos, PDF files, images, URL links and other items.

“We are excited to see Fresh Thyme leading the charge to enhance the in-store shopper experience at retail,” David Williams, executive vice president of business development at Cornerstone, said in a statement. “Fresh Thyme is providing an online-type shopping experience in-store. This is a game changer.”

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This piece originally appeared on Supermarket News, a New Hope Network sister website. Visit the site for more grocery trends and insights.

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