Samsung fridge offers smart grocery shopping
The Internet of Things (IoT)-enabled retail landscape continues evolving with the launch of what could be called a “fridge commerce” (or “f-commerce”) solution by Samsung.
After months of hype, the Samsung Family Hub connected fridge is officially available. The interactive device includes a number of features that streamline the digital grocery process.
A 21.5-inch LCD touchscreen on the front of the fridge seamlessly connects to a consumer’s smartphone, allowing direct Web access. Three internal cameras positioned inside the fridge can send photos of what’s inside to a smartphone app.
Of particular interest to retailers, Family Hub also directly connects to the Instacart on-demand grocery delivery service. It also comes preloaded with the Groceries by MasterCard app, which allows consumers to share, build, manage and modify their grocery lists and shopping carts throughout the week.
Customers can shop and select items from online grocer and integration partner FreshDirect, and supermarket cooperative ShopRite. Items are added to a cart and the final shopping list is approved with a four-digit pin, providing control over household purchases. Items are then paid for in a single checkout experience that accepts any U.S.-issued credit and debit cards. The Groceries shopping cart will also learn a family’s shopping habits, making personalized suggestions on items and brands. New features will continue to roll out, including recipe and video integration.
Other retail-relevant features include access to the Allrecipes digital recipe platform, as well as cooking advice tips and how-to videos Users can also compile and keep track of their grocery lists, which seamlessly sync between fridge and smartphone. And using the fridge screen or their smartphone, consumers can drag and drop expiration dates to the image of items inside to know what needs to be used, and by when.
Samsung is moving into a smart device-enabled home shopping vertical that is currently dominated by Amazon, through devices such as Dash buttons and the Echo voice-activated device. Although only a few retailers and other online and payment partners are so far integrated into the Family Hub environment, its launch is a sign that Amazon cannot expect to be the only major player in this still-new consumer channel.
“We saw an opportunity to introduce a refrigerator that redefines the category – a refrigerator that goes beyond storage and one that brought the center of your kitchen into the digital age,” said John Herrington, senior VP, general manager of home appliance, Samsung Electronics America. “We’re excited to debut the Family Hub refrigerator and the great new possibilities it brings as part of Samsung’s commitment to deliver meaningful innovations to the home.”
Show and tell in Las Vegas
The National Hardware Show kicked off this week in Las Vegas with all the usual fanfare. Once again, the stars of the show are the products. Here are a few of them.
Portacool Cyclone 1000
Spot cooling is a specialty for the Cyclone 1000 (pictured above), a mobile evaporative cooling unit for outdoor areas or garages. The energy-efficient technology does more than move warm air around without cooling, and it leaves no undesirable mist. (Booth 1254, portacool.com)
Scotch Blue Platinum Painters Tape
The chemistry and physics are aligned in this upgraded 3M painters tape to create sharper lines, one-piece removal and faster projects. A quick rip by hand creates a straight, sharp 90-degree tear. (Booth N234, N236, scotchblue.com)
With BondBuster technology — good for multi-purpose use on anything ranging from desk cleaning to tough automotive grime — Tub-O-Towels manages to combine grit with a friendly formula that’s free of harsh chemicals. (Booth 5529, tubotowels.com)
Channellock Little Champ Pliers
The newly reintroduced line of Little Champ precision tools (now with reshored production in Meadville, Pennsylvania) is back in a slimmer, lighter profile with a better-balanced design. The tools are made with high-carbon steel and come in five plier varieties. (Booth 7226, channellock.com)
Marketed as “the original liquid rubber in a can,” Flex Seal offers a user-friendly solution for coating, sealing and stopping leaks. The formula is designed to fill cracks and holes and dry to a watertight, flexible, rubberized coating. (Booth 5627, flexsealproducts.com)
Gardner Bender DualCheck 2-in-1 Tester
This LED GFCI tester from Gardner Bender offers 360-degree visual indication without requiring any illegible charts. It’s also packed with advanced ground circuit testing capabilities to assure low ground resistances. (Booth 2621, gardnerbender.com)
Mr. LongArm Smart Painter System II
The Smart Painter System isn’t just about getting to the hard-to-reach spots during interior painting projects (though a Twist-lok extension pole certainly helps). It also features a splatter shield to prevent messes, with single-handled operation to quickly rotate the shield. (Booth 5215, mrlongarm.com)
Concrobium Mold Control
Famously endorsed by TV personality and master builder Mike Holmes, Concrobium Mold Control eschews the use of bleach in the battle against mold — and to very effective ends. It not only kills existing mold, it also prevents mold re-growth and eliminates musty odors. (Booth 5024, concrobium.com)
Real Flame Wood Fire Pits
This particular model — the Crestone — is composed of a heat-resistant, powder-coated steel frame with tile top that burns firewood. Alternatively, it can be converted to Real Flame Gel Cans with the addition of Real Flame Outdoor Conversion Log sets. (Booth 10707, Outdr101, realflame.com)
Cashel Utility Sink
A new line of utility sinks range from basic to deluxe, including a metal towel rack and chrome pull-out faucet (shown below). When in Vegas, check out the “Can of Cash” sweepstakes. Havertown, Pennsylvania-based Cashel products will be showcased in the Made in America section. (Booth 8642, cashelllc.com)
Stanley Fatmax Professional Grade Water Hose
This rather technical hose uses PolyFusion technology (a unique combination of polyurethane and PVC) to make the hose more lightweight and manageable. Added bonuses: AntiKink technology for elasticity and a scratch-resistant veneer. (Booth 10621, 10721, N263, bondmfg.com)
BakerStone Pizza Oven Box
Compact and effective, this grill-top oven can match the baking temperatures of wood-fired ovens and bake pizzas in just two to four minutes. That’s all thanks to a combination of a stone-baking chamber with an enameled steel housing. It’s also good for preparing other baked goods and roasting meat, fish and vegetables. (Booth Outdr135, bakerstonebox.com)
Sales soar at Central Garden & Pet Co.
Central Garden & Pet Company reported its highest quarterly revenues in the company's history.
The Walnut Creek, California-based marketer and producer of lawn and garden and pet supplies reported second-quarter sales of $541.2 million, up 8.8% from $497.6 million in the same quarter last year.
Net income increased 40.7% to $32.7 million compared to $23.2 million in the second quarter a year ago.
The company also posted its highest quarterly earnings per share in ten years.
“These results reflect our success in increasing revenues, reducing costs, and positioning our portfolio of businesses for success," said John Ranelli, president and CEO, who is retiring later this year.
Branded product sales increased 6.8% to $432.7 million compared to $405.1 million in the second quarter a year ago. Sales of other manufacturers’ products increased 17.3% to $108.5 million from $92.5 million in the second quarter a year ago.
Second quarter net sales for the Pet segment increased 24.3% to $275.3 million. Acquisitions accounted for approximately two-thirds of the increase with the remaining one-third from organic growth.
Net sales for the Garden segment decreased 3.7% to $265.9 million, a decline of $10.2 million compared to a year ago.
The company also named George C. Roeth president and CEO, effective June 1. Roeth is a Director of the Company and a former Chief Operating Officer of The Clorox Company. He succeeds John R. Ranelli, who will retire from his positions as President and Chief Executive Officer, but will continue to serve as a Senior Advisor to the Company and will remain a member of the Company’s Board of Directors.