Grocery co-op provides delivery, EBT payments via Mercato partnership

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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National Co+op Grocers (NCG) is opening a variety of digital services from grocery e-commerce platform Mercato to its members.

Iowa-based NCG, which represents 148 food co-ops operating over 200 stores in 38 states, is equipping its member retailers with a seamless online ordering and delivery function from Mercato. NCG retailers will also have access to Mercato e-commerce reporting and analytics. For NCG, Mercato is customizing its platform to ensure co-op shoppers can use their member number when shopping online. In addition, Mercato will incorporate payment via EBT for SNAP (i.e., federal food stamps) benefits into its solution for NCG members.

Mercato is providing NCG with a team of dedicated e-commerce specialists who will work with co-ops in the onboarding process and also direct marketing efforts to promote ordering via Mercato to co-op shoppers. The Mercato platform is specifically designed to support e-commerce operations for independent grocers and specialty food stores.

"We have vetted various e-commerce partners in the industry and are confident that Mercato is the best solution for NCG's growing community of cooperative grocers," said Heather Brooks, National Co+op Grocers director of retail business technology. "With their willingness to develop digital solutions specific to our co-ops' needs, Mercato has shown that they're dedicated to servicing grocers in whatever fashion it takes, so long as the customer benefits in the end."

"Co-ops are a true expression of communities coming together around food, and that's at the very root of Mercato's mission,” said Bobby Brannigan, founder and CEO of Mercato. “While we've been fortunate to have a few co-ops on our platform for some time, we are extremely excited to expand this base and to deliver digital capabilities to additional communities across the country."