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Whole Foods Store to Feature 'Robotic Barista'

Whole Foods Store to Feature 'Robot Barista'
The Houston-Midtown Whole Foods store opening in November will feature a Briggo Coffee Haus, which harnesses robotic technology to craft its beverages

The new Houston-Midtown Whole Foods Market store, slated to open Nov. 7, will be the inaugural supermarket location for Briggo, which bills itself as the “creator of the world’s first gourmet robotic barista.” The company will offer shoppers an in-store coffee service, Briggo Coffee Haus, featuring Whole Foods’ artisan house brand, Allegro Coffee.

Houston-Midtown Whole Foods customers will be able to order their morning brew in advance with the Briggo mobile app or at various touchscreen kiosks inside the store. Customers can choose from among coffees, cappuccinos, seasonal lattes, and other gourmet hot and iced coffee and tea beverages. Briggo’s robotic technology enables drinks to be created in minutes from Briggo and Allegro beans, fresh dairy and gourmet syrups. Further, customers will be able to buy Briggo Blend, featuring high-altitude Arabica beans from Guatemala, El Salvador and Brazil, as a packaged product for in-home brewing, at the Houston-Midtown location and online.

“We are always looking to deliver fresh convenient experiences for our shoppers,” noted Jessica Johnson-Keller, Whole Foods’ southwest regional VP. “Briggo aligns with our Friends of Whole Foods Market mission and quality standards, and we’re thrilled to have such an innovative local partner.”

The Friends of Whole Foods Market program provides an opportunity for businesses and entrepreneurs to operate independent retail spaces within the chain’s stores.

“We’re honored to be selected by Whole Foods Market to deliver a transformative in-store coffee experience,” said Kevin Nater, CEO of Briggo, which, like Whole Foods, is based in Austin, Texas. “Briggo uniquely offers premium quality and consistency to on-the-go customers, and we couldn’t be more excited to serve the Houston community with such a beloved grocery retail partner.”

The Midtown-Houston store will be Briggo’s second Houston location and is one of several openings planned for Q4 2019. The company’s Coffee Hauses are currently found in airports, convention centers, corporate offices and hospitals in AustinHoustonDallas-Fort Worth and San Francisco.

"Grocery stores are a very attractive vertical for the brand, and Briggo expects to expand its in-store grocery presence of Coffee Hauses," a company spokeswoman told Progressive Grocer. "The company is also exploring partnerships with national coffee brands."

Regarding potential Coffee Hauses in other countries, "there currently aren’t any international locations, but there is a real opportunity for expansion in the company’s future," the spokeswoman said.

Under its Whole Foods Market banner, Seattle-based Amazon is No. 10 on PG’s 2019 Super 50 list of the top grocers in the United States.

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