- 3 years ago


Canadians love to shop, and collect loyalty points, through lucrative loyalty programs. That’s why Toronto-based FreshPoints, which launched a few weeks ago, is betting that Canadian consumers want to keep collecting points in grocery stores.

As it stands, 94% of us are already part of a loyalty program like Club Sobeys. Founder Chris Bryson says his startup is Canada’s first mobile rewards program for groceries. The company wants to rethink how you earn and redeem points.

Emulating US examples such as Checkpoints and Shopkick, users of FreshPoints can check-in, to the grocery store nearest to them. That’s because Bryson’s team geo-fenced 4,000 grocery stores in Canada. With FreshPoints, it does not matter which grocery store or loyalty program you are loyal to.

Earn 50 points for downloading the app and making an account. Then receive an extra 20 points every time you check into a listed grocery store. In-store specials will allow you to accumulate points, by completing offers. In addition, one can rate and review any grocery item, via the in-app barcode scanner, for one point. Users even get bonus points for scanning product QR codes. Shoppers will have to self-identify products, via the app, to create grocery lists.

Once enough points are collected, consumers will be able to redeem rewards. FreshPoints is partnered with Amazon, Air Canada, Petro-Canada, Cineplex, Esso, Subway, Jack Astor’s, Swiss Chalet, Kelsey’s, Milestones, Harvey’s, and Montana’s. If gift cards don’t satisfy users, FreshPoints users can redeem for experiences instead. Those include shared plates, wine tours, discovery adventures, and golfing.

Users will also get personalized recommendations, that are based on past purchases, targeted offers, and be able to build lists from the full product inventory of their grocery store.

Unata is the parent company behind FreshPoints. Unata’s shopper marketing platform allows retailers to use customer data, including transaction history, to deliver an instantly personalized experience to shoppers. This is how the retailer will target special FreshPoints, and discount offers, to the consumer’s mobile app. It includes both transactional and non-transactional events. That allows stores to engage customers inside, and outside the store.

The company is financially backed by Mantella Venture Partners, a $20 million dollar early stage fund. The firm invests up to $500,000 in market-altering internet, and mobile software businesses. Other Canadian recipients of funding from Mantella include Flixel, Shopcaster, Google-acquired PushLife, and Rogers-acquired Brave Commerce.