Digital Menu Boards at Whole Foods

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The installation occurred at Whole Foods Market Kahala in Honolulu, Hawaii. It included a massive install of 13 digital menu screens throughout the store plus new menu artwork to blend the unique design and style of the new store design in Honolulu with their global brand elements.

Nominating Company: WAND Corporation, Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Venue: Whole Foods Market Kahala, Honolulu, Hawaii
Project: 13 digital menu screens throughout Whole Foods Market Kahala
Category: Food & Beverage

BACKGROUND
Whole Foods Market, a supermarket chain specializing in organic and healthy food with more than 360 locations globally, was looking for a digital menu board partner that could deliver top technology while also creating excellent creative design and ensuring brand and menu integrity while making the switch from static to digital menus. With 13 unique menus and a market-leading brand with a non-traditional store design and experience, Whole Foods needed the combination of both reliable, cutting-edge technology and advanced creative digital design skills. The installation occurred at Whole Foods Market Kahala in Honolulu, Hawaii. The WAND team (from the frozen tundra of Minnesota) was more than happy to fly out the week of March 5th, 2015 to complete the installation. The final installation included 13 LG screens, 13 WAND media players and 13 digital menus designed by WAND’s creative team in collaboration with Whole Foods.

CHALLENGES
There were two big challenges with the Whole Foods Market installation: the size of the install and the unique creative design required. The first challenge was simply the massive size of the install itself. A typical digital menu board installation contains four to six digital menu screens, and Whole Foods was looking for a solution with 13 screens. Thus, challenges arose regarding mounting, cable issues, angling to avoid glare and ensuring optimal electric and internet service. The second challenge was the design of 13 digital menus and ensuring brand integrity was maintained as the switch from static to digital was made. Other challenges arose with menu design including creating animation/motion graphics not used with Whole Foods current static menus, quality assurance/menu proofing for so many menus and ensuring the design would captivate customers while featuring highly profitable items.

SOLUTIONS
To solve the first challenge, the technical teams focused on careful planning. An infrastructure assessment was completed to verify power and data, internet reliability, network connectivity and air flow for the electronic equipment. A display assessment followed confirming height, orientation (vertical or horizontal; portrait or landscape), position for optimal viewing angles and confirming structural integrity for mounting brackets to hold the weight of the displays and media players. Both assessments resulted in a detailed project plan for the technical team to follow. To solve the second challenge, Whole Foods and WAND worked closely to develop a menu strategy. Whole Foods shared brand guidelines, signage specifications, brand vision and strategic direction. WAND created the digital menus and used its proprietary Total Restaurant Management (TRM) software to first test the menus in its “Digital Kitchen” housed at its corporate headquarters and subsequently deploy the menus using TRM on site in Honolulu.

WAND digital signage at Whole FoodsRESULTS
As a result of careful planning and design meetings over several weeks and months, the installation went off without a hitch. No major technical issues occurred during or after installation, and the menu boards continue to display with maximum uptime. The creative design met Whole Food brand standard,s and quality assurance checks ensured no major issues (typos, grammar, etc.) in the menus. Post-install, the team at Whole Foods has seen an increase in ticket prices, a reduction in perceived wait times, customers more engaged in menus and increased impulse buys. In addition, the menus comply with Whole Foods brand standards, ensure the right content is playing at all times and reduce the time, labor and cost of printing and hanging static menus throughout the store. The digital menus also help Whole Foods further embrace its sustainable strategy and goal to provide a unique grocery shopping experience like no other.

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