November 12, 2014

SapientNitro's Second Story Helps Whole Foods Market Innovate the Shopping Experience in New Alpharetta, GA Store

Interactive installations advance the consumer experience with new ways to discover products, access information and make better purchase decisions

ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Second Story, part of SapientNitro (NASDAQ: SAPE), today announced the launch of four interactive experiences it created for Whole Foods Market's new Alpharetta store, in the Avalon planned mixed-use development. The installations, placed in key shopping locations throughout the store, leverage the latest innovations and tools of a responsive environment.

Located across the store's café, produce, Whole Body and specialty wine and cheese departments, the installations create a more informative, entertaining and streamlined shopping experience—including connecting shoppers more closely to the farmers who provide the food they eat, and educating them on the sustainable growing practices that Whole Foods Market uses to rate farms in its new Responsibly Grown produce ratings program.

"The bar on the retail experience is continually being raised, and today's always-on shopper demands a more informative and immersive shopping experience, whether they are in a store, on their couch or on the go," said Donald Chesnut, Chief Experience Officer for SapientNitro. "We used our pioneering approach to blending digital experiences in physical spaces to bring information from outside the store in, empowering shoppers with real-time information that allows them to make better buying decisions and to explore all the store has to offer in an engaging and entertaining way."

"Every Whole Foods Market is filled with these amazing stories about the foods we eat and the local farmers, ranchers, and fishermen who provide them," said Joel Krieger, the Second Story Creative Director who led the program. "We designed the installations to connect shoppers to these stories in a new and meaningful way."

With the entire store as its canvas, Second Story created the following four interactive experiences:


To help Whole Foods Market connect its customers more closely to the real people that provide the food they eat, Second Story created this installation in the store's café. An interactive wall of window panes offers shoppers a glimpse into the lives of the local suppliers.

Each window is dedicated to a different local supplier, displaying real-time images from their Instagram feed, allowing customers a peek into authentic moments — such as hands patting down freshly planted herbs or shots of the farmer's daughter blowing out candles at her birthday party. Additional curated content such as Q&A, maps, and video profiles are displayed for each supplier.


Second Story created "Wise Wood," a 12-foot tall x 2.5-foot wide wooden tower, to tell the story of Whole Foods Market's new "Responsibly Grown" produce rating system. Customers—including families and children—can transform a farm landscape by pulling a series of wooden knobs, to learn more about a specific sustainable farming practice that is part of the program. For example, pulling the "Energy Conservation" knob causes a set of wooden windmills to appear out of the ground and start spinning. It's an innovative demonstration of an "analog interactive" experience that brings stories to life, in an entirely non-digital format.

Wise Wood is designed to help shoppers to use play to learn about pesticide and water use, the treatment of farm workers and waste management, and other issues surrounding the food they eat, so they can make more informed shopping decisions.


Whole Body Mirror is designed to help shoppers discover Whole Body products that match specific needs. Customers see their forms reflected in a "magic mirror" as one of three auras: Refresh, Energize, Relieve. They are prompted to align their whole body by mimicking a pose, such as becoming "zen", flexing your muscles, or hugging yourself. Achieving a pose activates a burst of the shopper's aura and reveals a product within Whole Body related to the pose just completed.


Many shoppers become bewildered by the vast selection of wines, beers and cheeses in the specialty sections of Whole Foods Market. At the junction of these three sections, Second Story created an in-the-round installation of modular stacked crates to help shoppers discover products. On each of the three faces of the installation there is an exposed open crate, revealing one of three interactive touchscreens:

  • "Expand Your Palate" allows shoppers to discover products they might like based on their individual taste preferences. For example, tapping the tile "tastes like dark chocolate," reveals a coffee and wine product recommendation. Tapping the "I like" tile for curry or BBQ ribs, reveals a relevant beer pairing for each.
  • "Celebrate Your Passion" is an Instagram feed of photos of favorite pairings from the Avalon, GA community using #WFMAvalon.
  • "Become a Connoisseur" educates and assists customers by answering questions such as, "I'm having a party, how much wine should I buy?" Or, "How do I make a cheese plate?"

About Second Story

Second Story, part of SapientNitro, is a network of innovation labs pioneering new interactive experiences and pushing the boundaries of storytelling for brands and institutions across digital channels—web, mobile, and installations—to empower audiences to connect and share.

In labs in New York, Atlanta and Portland, Second Story designers collaborate with technologists to explore emerging technologies—such as facial recognition, gestural motion, interactive mapping and sensor technologies—and how they can be used to create innovative consumer experiences. The aim is to enhance, evolve, and expand interactive experiences that reward audience interaction with powerful, personalized pathways through content and the world of ideas.

Second Story's work has been recognized in every major interactive design competition and received hundreds of awards, including the One Show, SXSW and Sundance, and is included in the Smithsonian's permanent research collection on information technology. For more information, visit

About SapientNitro

SapientNitroSM, part of Sapient® (NASDAQ: SAPE), is a new breed of agency redefining storytelling for an always-on world. We're changing the way our clients engage today's connected consumers by uniquely creating integrated, immersive stories across brand communications, digital engagement, and omni-channel commerce. We call it Storyscaping, where art and imagination meet the power and scale of systems thinking. SapientNitro's unique combination of creative, brand and technology expertise results in one global team collaborating across disciplines, perspectives and continents to create game-changing success for our Global 1000 clients, such as Chrysler, Citi, The Coca-Cola Company, Lufthansa, Target, and Vodafone, in 31 cities across The Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific. For more information, visit

Sapient is a registered service mark of Sapient Corporation.

Rachel Frey, +1 212-710-4889

Source: SapientNitro

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