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    Pokémon Go and Your Supermarket

    No limit to imagination in today's food world

    There's been a lot of press about Pokémon Go and restaurants – the McDonald’s in Japan are all PokeStops where players can purchase items for their characters, and Munchies reports that its U.S. stores are about to do the same. SweetFrog, a leading national frozen yogurt franchise, hosted a Pokémon GO takeover from coast to coast and went one better, and smarter, by offering a discount according to the level they’ve reached in the game and encouraged players to share photos or screenshots of Pokémon that they’ve caught at sweetFrog shops using the hashtag #sweetfrogpokemon. 

    And in Chicago, over 8,000 people signed up for the first ever Pokémon Go trainers “meet up” on July 17th in Millennium Park and also received, according to the Chicago Tribune, food and drink deals and freebies at such eateries as Emporium in Logan Square, Fatso’s, Eli’s Cheesecake Café, Pastoral, Godfrey Hotel and the Aire at the Hyatt Hotel. Its success then spawned Pokémon Go Pub Crawls starting in mid-August. 

    Whatever you might think of this latest craze and the predictions of just how fast it will fade, it is important to note that with the exception of McDonald’s – the majority of these events are adult-centric. 

    We’ve seen before how technologies start with our kids and then move more mainstream and this might just be one of those – and one to bring some new customers and excitement to your supermarket. It’s time to get past those headlines of people walking into a cemetery, or across the Canadian boarder by mistake, or walking into a lamppost.  

    PokéStops and PokéGyms are real-life locations, and businesses or landmarks that have been stampeded by players hoping to advance in the game. One lesson learned from social media is that creating excitement doesn’t have to cost a lot. For example, PokeCoins can be bought through the iTunes or Google Play stores. A Lure Module costs 100 coins cost 99 cents, 550 PokeCoins are$4.99 and 1,200 coins will set you back $9.99. A Lure Module will set you back 100 Poke Coins and will attract visitors for 30 minutes to your store.

    Eli’s Cheesecake Café gave free slices of cheesecake to players who checked into their PokeStop, while the upscale Pastoral cheese shop offered discounts ranging from 10-20 percent, based on a player's Pokedex (the database of all the creatures they have collected).

    In today’s supermarket world, there is no limit to the imagination of what we can do with Pokémon Go. What’s your Food Poké Idea?

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