BrightDrop just unveiled Trace Grocery, a new temperature-controlled eCart designed to streamline the order fulfillment and pickup process for online grocery purchases. American supermarket company Kroger will be the first to introduce BrightDrop Trace Grocery into its e-commerce operations following a successful product pilot.
GM launched BrightDrop in 2021 as an ecosystem of last-mile delivery solutions, software, and services, offering, among other things, the BrightDrop Trace (previously known as the BrightDrop EP1) electrically assisted cargo pallet. Now, BrightDrop is offering Trace Grocery as a solution for the rapid expansion of online grocery shopping.
According to BrightDrop President and CEO Travis Katz, online grocery shopping saw a significant increase in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, fulfilling online orders can be a challenge for retailers.
“With the Trace Grocery, we saw an opportunity to help companies like Kroger tackle these challenges head on,” Katz said. “As online shopping continues to grow, BrightDrop is committed to developing innovative solutions to help our customers keep pace.”
Based on the BrightDrop Trace Platform, Trace Grocery features temperature management to safely store food for up to four hours, as well as electric propulsion assistance to move as much as 350 pounds at walking speeds up to 3 mph. Trace Grocery also features nine separate storage compartments to organize items by order, temperature, and product type, as well as weatherproofing to suit a variety of temperatures and outdoor elements.
BrightDrop and Kroger recently completed a pilot program for Trace Grocery in Lexington and Versailles, Kentucky. According to BrightDrop, Kroger saw a “noticeable improvement in the customer and associate experience,” and as such, the company will be the first Trace Grocery customer, set to receive the first units later this year.
BrightDrop states that online grocery retail is expected to rapidly expand in the future, reaching $240 billion by 2025.