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Rosie’s New Platform Caters to Independents' Specialty Prepared Foods

Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Rosie’s New Platform Caters to Independents' Specialty Prepared Foods
Cater lets independent retailers sell meal options and catering solutions to online shoppers.

With demand for convenient meal solutions increasing, Rosie has launched the Cater platform for independent retailers to sell their unique prepared offerings (salads or sandwiches, ready-to-eat meals, party platters, etc.) online and provide consumers the flexibility to customize their options.  

The Rosie technology partners with independent grocers and their wholesalers to provide e-commerce, delivery opportunities, omnichannel marketing and deep data services. Cater seamlessly integrates with Rosie’s online shop, allowing retailers to add the Cater module to their existing site, create a separate Cater micro site or use both.

“Rosie recognizes that some of the most unique products are crafted by local retailers, and we wanted to bring those specialty prepared foods online,” explained Nick Nickitas, founder and CEO of Rosie, which is based in Ithaca, New York. “With Cater, retailers can sell and shoppers can easily customize items like sandwiches, party platters and birthday cakes so they get exactly what they want at home or on the go.”

Cater has two features that help independents serve their customers and differentiate from the competition: product modifiers and custom lead-time capabilities. Product modifiers enable customers to select from retailer-controlled options that match their personal tastes and preferences, from choice of cheese and deli meat for a sandwich to flavors for a dozen cupcakes. Optional allotment of additional time allows for store planning, preparing and packaging, so orders are ready in a timely manner. 

“One of the reasons our customers choose to shop with us is our prepared food options and the flexibility to mix and match their meals,” said Corry Lankford, director of e-commerce at Lufkin, Texas-based Brookshire Brothers. “With Cater, customers now have the ability to completely customize their meal online, exactly as they would in our store. Plus, with additional lead times, we can ensure that hot meals are the perfect temperature by the time their groceries are ready for pickup.”

This isn’t the first time the online grocery shopping platform has helped retailers make the online omnichannel experience more efficient. In October, Rosie joined fellow e-commerce companies ShoptoCook and App Card to help independent retailers integrate all omnichannel touch points, including in-store, mobile and web platforms, for a seamless shopping experience.

The combined solution integrates ShoptoCook’s website and kiosk offering with AppCard’s personalized marketing and digital coupons program and Rosie’s e-commerce platform to enable shoppers to easily sign up and receive digital receipts, loyalty pricing, points and rewards, single-sign on across all three platforms, clip and redeem digital coupons, and promotions at their preferred touch point. The personalized program is available at independents such as Schiel's, Gerrity's Supermarkets and Stauffers of Kissel Hill.

Since the company’s inception in 2013, Rosie has built relationships with hundreds of retailers nationwide. In addition, Rosie has partnerships with Associated Food Stores, Associated Grocers of New England, Associated Wholesale Grocers, Bozzuto’s, CERTCO, C&S Wholesale Grocers, and Piggly Wiggly Alabama Distributing Co.

Rosie recently more than doubled its employees during the COVID-19 pandemic to keep up with increased demand. The online grocery shopping platform said that it has seen a 900% increase in stores signed during the pandemic versus before COVID-19.

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