Giant, the grocery store chain, has begun piloting an augmented reality game called Snowflake Search in select Pennsylvania stores. What started out as an interactive game to entertain children while their parents roamed the aisles of the grocery store has turned into a popular feature for all ages. Giant’s manager of digital strategy and media, Kim Mack remarks:

We developed this program to bring technology and innovation to our customers and really bring some excitement and fun to their shopping experience.

How does it work?

Located at the entrances and on signs throughout each test store are QR codes which users may scan to join the game. As players move throughout the store, they look for snowflakes which also have QR codes. Scanning the snowflake QR codes reveal virtual “buddies” related to each section of the store – such as a fruit-juggling polar bear in the produce section, or gingerbread men in the baking aisle. Customers then may earn Rewards points from what they find in the game:

For each experience they find, shoppers earn 50 points through the chain’s recently revamped Giant Choice Reward program, for up to a total of 300 points. Customers can earn those points up to five times during the duration of the game.

AR in the grocery industry

The Snowflake Search is Giant’s first foray into the AR world – and it is not likely to be their last. Mack remarked:

If this is successful you’ll definitely see more experiences rolling out [next] year, certainly around major initiatives we have and around major seasons that are exciting.

While other grocery stores have introduced in-store QR codes and AR experiences for pricing and product information, Giant is one of the first to introduce AR games of this kind.