Żabka Group, the leading Polish convenience ecosystem with nearly 3 million customers daily, is looking for startups that will help embrace positive change and foster innovation, to further transform convenience shopping. Applications are now open for Żabka Future Lab, an accelerator program for startups that want to grow with Żabka Group and test their products and services at scale, using its infrastructure and resources.
The program is open for early-stage startups, who can help Żabka Group with enhancing its customer experience, improving the logistics, optimizing operations, and transforming it into a leading global retailer. Up to 5 startups from all around the Europe and Middle East, who will apply to the program, will take part in workshops and mentoring sessions with industry experts that will help them improve business models, learn how to communicate with potential customers or develop the right product/market fit.
Startups will also have a chance to test their product and services at scale, within Żabka Group’s infrastructure. Being the leading convenience ecosystem in Poland, the company has over 9,000 stores, over 50 Żabka Nano autonomous stores, and over 6 million users of its mobile app. In addition, the PoC and commercial pilots can be held within logistics facilities, with Żabka Group’s partners, and even conduct sensory tests in company’s own lab.
Żabka Future Lab is one of three acceleration programs run by Żabka Group, and an example of a whole variety of endeavours by Venture Studio, a division of Żabka Future that specifically seeks for startups and tech companies, to foster innovation that could further expand and improve the convenience ecosystem and create additional value to for Żabka Group.
„We work closely with startups to bring innovative solutions to retail. We support companies that are designing unconventional solutions for e-commerce, q-commerce, and D2C. We share our expertise to help young entrepreneurs test their ideas, reduce the risk of failure, and bring their products to market. The work of our team is all about supporting innovators, searching for new business opportunities, and building relationships within the startup community”, says Karol Gajewicz, Head of Venture Studio.
Venture Studio on the lookout for startups
In 2022 alone, Venture Studio analysed applications from 1335 startups, meet with over 100 of them and invited 13 companies for the pilot program of their products or service. The team has also organised 4 acceleration programmes, aimed at working with different companies, that solve different issues. The list includes the first edition of Żabka Future Lab, Foodtech Lab aiming at fostering innovation innovation in the food industry, and 2 editions of the Startup Impact Program, seeking for startups that create a positive impact on the world around them.
The winning projects in the 2nd edition of the Startup Impact Program are the development of energy-free fast beverage cooling (E-ice); biopolymer production (Seasoil); the development of intelligent composters suitable for use in urban and even office environments (Vermico).
The winners of the 1st edition of Foodtech Lab include SERio Vegetable cheese – vegan cheeses made from lupin, BIO COOLS – cryogenic, vegan ice cream, NewGranny – functional coffee drinks with high protein content, Small Giants – healthy insect-based protein snacks, and Fermentful – fermented plant-based drinks for gut health.
Startup success stories in the convenience ecosystem
Żabka’s Venture Studio has already seen successful pilots, tests, and implementations. Including Virbe and Omniaz.
Virbe is a startup that creates 3D virtual assistants using conversational AI, used to help stores improve customer experience. They can be present both in digital channels as well as in physical locations, serving as brands ambassadors that are brand always available. Żabka Group tests them in the autonomous stores, to provide customers guidance and personalised product recommendations, as well as make the checkout process a breeze.
Omniaz is an end-to-end augmented reality solution for retail, uses AR to merge online and offline shopping experience. The first pilot, conducted in 2022, resulted in an NPS of 90%. The second pilot, with a larger customer base, is planned for 2023.
“As a technology-driven company, we’re able to quickly test and validate new ideas. And with our large-scale operations, we’re able to do it in a real environment, always listening to customer feedback. That’s how we’ve introduced new payment methods, q-commerce services, and made investments in AI. And as a result, Żabka Nano is the largest chain of autonomous stores in Europe. But innovation is a constant process, not a single project. We’re always open for bold ideas that could help us respond to consumer needs, invent new categories and stay ahead of the market”, says Karol Gajewicz.
The applications for the 2nd edition of Żabka Future Lab program are open till the 15th March. Selected companies will take part in the acceleration from April till June.
The Żabka Group wants to build partnerships for positive change and support innovation and is therefore actively looking for cooperation with entities offering solutions supporting the transformation of the convenience ecosystem. It does this through Venture Studio, a unit that searches for startups based on current business needs but also based on consumer trends and insights. This is supported by the acceleration programs Foodtech Lab, Startup Impact Program, and Żabka Future Lab, the second edition of which has just started.
– The Żabka Group is working with startups that create innovative solutions for retail trade, especially in the areas of e-commerce, q-commerce, and Direct to Consumer (D2C). To reach the widest possible range of innovators, we have joined forces with local startup organizations and international accelerator programs. We have also created three proprietary programs: Żabka Future Lab for startups creating solutions of the future, Startup Impact Program for startups of positive impact, and Foodtech Lab for startups creating innovations in the area of food – says Karol Gajewicz, Head of Venture Studio, Żabka Group.
Thanks to the strength of the convenience ecosystem it creates, the Żabka Group offers young businesses the opportunity to deploy a product or solution on a large scale. In 2022, the Venture Studio team analyzed 1,335 startup applications, met more than 100 entities, and invited 13 of them to pilot a product or solution.
– By mapping innovations in the Żabka Group through Venture Studio, we identify challenges that individual business areas face. In this way, we identify priority directions to the search for solutions on the market, in the spirit of open innovation. When choosing startups, we are guided by their alignment with our strategy and potential for development, taking into account market trends– stresses Karol Gajewicz.
For the best startups that the Group invites to cooperate, there will be consumer tests, commercial piloting, and even financial support for further development. In addition, startups can count on access to a sensory laboratory, expert support, and numerous opportunities to establish relationships crucial for business development. The invitation to further cooperation by Venture Studio means for startups the opportunity to cooperate with all entities of the Żabka Group and the opportunity to test their solutions in the fastest-growing chain of convenience stores in Poland.
Last year Venture Studio carried out 4 acceleration programs, each aimed at a different group of young enterprises – including Żabka Future Lab, Foodtech Lab, and as many as 2 editions of the Startup Impact Program
Żabka Future Lab
On February 6, the 2nd edition of Żabka Future Lab was launched – the flagship acceleration program of the Żabka Group, which seeks innovative companies that will help develop the convenience ecosystem, offer new services to customers, improve logistics, optimize operations, and contribute to the transformation of the Group into a global leader in the retail industry.
The startups selected as part of the Żabka Future Lab have a chance to test their products and services not only in over 9 thousand stores of the chain, including the autonomous Żabka Nano outlets but also in logistics centers. They can also access the infrastructure of the Group’s partners.
Among the winners of the 1st edition of the Żabka Future Lab program is Virbe – a platform that allows creating of interactive 3D avatars and using them in customer service. Żabka tests them in the Żabka Nano autonomous stores to make shopping easier and bring customer experience to a new level.
Startup Impact Program
Big changes consist of small decisions made daily. That is why the Żabka Group, through Venture Studio, is also actively looking for startups working on solutions that help consumers change their daily shopping habits for the better for themselves and the Earth. This purpose is served by the Startup Impact Program. The Group carries out it together with Kozminski Business Hub – an organization dedicated to searching for and supporting startups at Kozminski Academy. The program is aimed at young companies whose goal is to have a positive impact on the environment, i.e. those working in ecology, health, or entrepreneurship. So far, KBH and Grupa Żabka have jointly implemented 2 editions of the program.
Startups with solutions in four areas can participate in the Startup Impact Program: reducing the environmental footprint, future packaging, developing entrepreneurship, and welfare and equal opportunities. The winning projects in the 2nd edition of the competition are: the development of technology for fast cooling of beverages without the use of electricity (E-ice), the production of biopolymers (Seasoil), and the development of intelligent composters suitable for use in urban and even office environments (Vermico).
The Żabka Group also wants to give young entrepreneurs the chance to develop together innovative food products that can help consumers make informed choices about good nutrition and sustainable lifestyles. The Foodtech Lab acceleration program, the first edition of which was launched in October last year, serves this purpose.
The project targets startups from all over Europe. It has been approached by solutions providers in areas such as innovative food products, alternative sources of protein, functional foods, or solutions supporting recycling and reuse.
140 startups from 20 countries participated in the 1st edition of Foodtech Lab. Among the winners were: SERio Vegetable cheese – vegan cheese with lupine, BIO COOLS – cryogenic, vegan ice cream, NewGranny – functional coffee drinks with high protein content, Small Giants – protein, healthy snacks with insects and Fermentful – plant kefir taking care of the proper intestinal flora. The winning startups will be able to implement their solutions in the Żabka Group ecosystem.
For its search for innovation and contribution to the development of the Polish startup system, the Żabka Group was awarded in the second edition of the ranking of “CREATORS OF THE POLISH STARTUP SCENE”, created by MamStartup in cooperation with PFR Ventures. The Group was awarded a prize in the category “Organizations and Innovation”, and the judges appreciated it for its strategy of supporting home startups through acceleration programs.
Żabka Group is joining Microsoft at NRF 2023: Retail’s Big Show, the world’s largest convention and expo for retail companies, in New York City. Żabka Nano, an autonomous store concept that has been developed under the umbrella of Żabka Future for over a year and a half, will be featured at the Microsoft Booth (#4503). The NRF conference is held in New York from January 15 to 17, 2023.
NRF: Retail’s Big Show is one of the industry’s most important events. The sessions, with the participation of speakers and supplemented by the expo, provide a platform for the exchange of information and experiences related to the latest trends affecting the development of the global retail industry. This year, the event will feature over 175 sessions, 350+ speakers, and more than 800 exhibitors.
“Participation in this prestigious event is not only an opportunity for us to establish new partnerships but also an opportunity to present Żabka as one of the world’s most innovative companies in the retail industry. Warsaw, thanks to our concept, has become the world capital of autonomous stores, so I am glad that we have the opportunity to present this project to a global audience. We want to show you how our new technologies, created in cooperation with our partners, make life easier and free up our customers’ time,”said Tomasz Blicharski, EVP, Managing Director of Żabka Future.
The autonomous Żabka Nano store showcase presented during the NRF conference is available for registered attendees to tour from January 15 to 17. The Żabka Nano is a globally unique project that combines a physical and digital store. The innovative concept, allowing for quick shopping without checkout clerks, queues, and cash, is precisely adapted to the nature of the location and the profile of customers. Stores operate in several formats, such as standalone container vending machines, traditional brick-and-mortar outlets, or store-in-the-store. Each uses technology developed in close cooperation with American technology company AiFi and leverages Microsoft Azure. The first Żabka Nano store was established in June 2021 in Poznań. Currently, the Żabka Group manages the largest chain of autonomous stores in Europe with more than 50 outlets.
“We’re thrilled to be working with Microsoft and Żabka Group at the world’s largest retail event. Having surpassed more than 50 AiFi-powered Żabka stores recently, the demand for autonomous checkout in convenience stores is quickly rising, and we’re proud to have proven our ability to deploy autonomous stores at record speed in partnership with Żabka,” said Steve Carlin, CEO of AiFi.
Representatives of the Żabka Group discussed the digital transformation that has been going within the chain since 2016, also during the substantive part of the event. On January 15, Tomasz Blicharski talked about the concept of Żabka Nano during the NRF BIG Ideas session “Resilient retail. Achieve more with Microsoft Cloud for Retail”. The session was led by Shelley Bransten, Global Corporate Vice President, Retail & Consumer Goods Industries at Microsoft.
“Digital technology that enables experiences like autonomous stores is what will make the difference between retailers that thrive and those that get left behind,” said Shelley Bransten, Global Corporate Vice President, Retail & Consumer Goods Industries, Microsoft. “In collaboration with Microsoft partner AiFi, we’re pleased to bring the Zabka Nano store checkout-free solution to life at NRF 2023 and to show the global retail industry what’s possible for autonomous stores through Zabka’s successful deployment.”
Eice, Seasoil, Vermico, winners of the 2nd Startup Impact Program. The startups awarded in the competition will continue to develop over the next few months under the supervision of experts from the Żabka Group and Kozminski Business Hub. Participation in the acceleration is also an opportunity to cooperate with entities of the Group and to test their solutions in the fastest-growing chain of convenience stores in Poland.
Żabka Group is constantly looking for innovative solutions, the implementation of which is aimed at accelerating the development of the convenience ecosystem. It does this through Venture Studio, whose task is to search for and attract to the organization modern solutions giving a new perspective to the whole Group. Projects are selected according to current business needs, taking into account the most important trends that stimulate the development of the retail industry not only in Poland but also in the world. The acceleration programs run by the Żabka Group – Foodtech Lab, the Startup Impact Program, and the Żabka Future Lab – provide significant support in this process.
Developmental acceleration for winning startups
The Startup Impact Program focuses on supporting young companies that are committed to positive change. This is the second time that startups whose operations deliver on selected UN Sustainable Development Goals have been recruited.
The winning projects in the second edition of the competition are the development of energy-free fast beverage cooling (E-ice); biopolymer production (Seasoil); the development of intelligent composters suitable for use in urban and even office environments (Vermico).
– For the three winning startups, the acceleration phase begins – the winners of the program will receive substantial support from Kozminski Business Hub experts and the opportunity to test their solutions in the environment of the Żabka Group. The test path will be tailored to the individual needs of each project. This will allow each of the young companies to maximize their business potential – says Karol Gajewicz, Head of Venture Studio, Żabka Group.
Support for innovative entrepreneurs
The organizers were looking for solutions in the field of reducing the carbon footprint, among others through the realization of innovative projects and low-carbon cooling of food; packaging of the future, adapted for recycling or composting. Another group of projects focused on: entrepreneurial development – skills and competencies facilitating entrepreneurship in the modern economy. Attention was also drawn to projects aimed at improving the well-being of children and young people and facilitating their empowerment and start-up in the labor market, with a particular focus on young people at risk of social exclusion.
The Startup Impact Program evaluated product prototypes or service concepts. The MVP, i.e. the minimum version of the product that can be tested, was also considered.
More about the winners of the 2nd Startup Impact Program
E-ice is an eco-friendly startup solution that allows you to cool any drink in a very short time, using carbon dioxide and without using electricity. Seasoil is a company that manufactures biopolymers, which are used to make packaging, but not only packaging. Novel biopolymers allow packaging to be decomposed under all environmental conditions. Vermico creates intelligent composters suitable for use in urban and even office environments. Composters based on the work of California earthworms contain systems that monitor and support the decomposition process.
Winners of the 1st edition of the Startup Impact Program
The recently completed Startup Impact Program is already the second edition of the acceleration program organized by the Żabka Group together with Kozminski Business Hub. The winners of the first edition were: Hempeat – a startup producing meat substitutes based on hemp grains; Epicer – the developer of an application using artificial intelligence to create personalized recipes, allowing for food waste reduction; Res Solution – a system enabling efficient management of energy, water, gas, heat, and automation of processes and operation of devices.
Żabka Nano, the largest chain of autonomous stores in Europe, launched an image campaign under the slogan “Buy as you like”. It aims to build brand awareness and encourage new customers to take advantage of the possibility of making quick and convenient purchases in autonomous stores and thus freeing their time. The campaign message is in line with the new positioning of the Żabka brand. The campaign is accompanied by a promotion for users of the Żappka app, thanks to which you can receive up to PLN 200 for daily purchases in the facilities of the Żabka Nano.
– The Żabka Nano is based on innovative technological solutions such as advanced imaging models, artificial intelligence, and innovative methods of authorization and payment for purchases. Thanks to them, the customer can shop in the simplest way possible – simply by taking products off the shelves, without having to scan and pay for them at the checkout. Shopping in Żabka Nano is a moment – the shopping process can take up to 1 minute. And it’s these advantages – 7×24 availability, speed, product matching, and innovation – that we show in the “Buy as You Like” campaign – says Andrzej Popławski, Nano Sales & Marketing Lead in Żabka Future.
“Buy it as you like” campaign
The campaign is implemented in the formula of 360 degrees (without TV) in Warsaw, in which the largest number of outlets of Żabka Nano is located. In other cities – Poznań, Kraków, Wrocław, Katowice, Gdańsk, Gdynia, and Sopot – local communication is carried out, based on geotargeted digital and OOH. The campaign uses a variety of media, including citylight, digital citylight, billboards, parcel machines, and ATMs. There will also be advertisements in the capital’s subway stations, as well as on buses with dedicated paint schemes. Warsaw residents will also see murals in 4 locations in November and December, in the following streets: Waryńskiego, Rozbrat, Woronicza, and Dobra.
Advertising spots show funnily the stories of two people who buy as they like. The first, “Buy as you like, whether you’re on a match break or at work” is set in the context of the upcoming World Cup, and its protagonist is a supporter who takes a break in a football match and swings by to Żabka Nano for quick shopping. The second, “Buy as you like, whether you’re a night owl… or Martha”, shows a person sleepwalking and shopping at night, taking advantage of the fact that Żabka Nano stores are open around the clock.
Only in Żabka Nano up to PLN 200 for shopping
The campaign is accompanied by a promotional campaign for users of the Żappka mobile app, under which you can receive 40 vouchers worth PLN 5 each, i.e. a total of PLN 200 for daily purchases in Żabka Nano. The first voucher – PLN 5 at the start – the customer receives immediately after activating the promotion in the application. Each subsequent voucher will be granted to the customer after shopping worth the total amount of PLN 15. The promotion works cumulatively – the required PLN 15 can consist of more than one purchase (e.g. transaction for PLN 5 and the second one for PLN 10). The voucher is generated after the funds are debited from the card and the receipt is generated. The customer receives a push message about granting the voucher. The promotion can be activated until December 6 and used for 40 days. Promotional rules are described at: https://zabka-nano.pl/
The Żappla mobile app is available for free on Google Play, App Store, and Huawei AppGallery.
Europe’s largest chain of autonomous stores
The Żabka Nano is an innovative concept that changes and shapes the perception of consumer experiences. The first store started its activity in June 2021 in Poznań. Today, Żabka Nano is the largest chain of autonomous stores in Europe. It has nearly 50 of these facilities, and there are plans to open several dozen more. The Żabka Nano stores are located, among other places, in places where – due to limited space or legal requirements – the standard facility of the Żabka chain would not fit, for example, in office buildings, fitness clubs, or dormitories. They are also an important part of the urban fabric – they are present on important city streets or subway stations.
More about Żabka Nano: zabkagroup.com/pl/convenience/nano/ i zabka.pl/zabka-nano
Innovative food products, alternative sources of protein, or solutions supporting recycling and multiple use of packaging. These are just some of the areas of the Foodtech Lab acceleration program launched by Grupa Żabka on October 18th. The project is aimed at startups from all over Europe, and the most innovative companies will be able to carry out pilot implementations of their solutions within the Żabka Group ecosystem.
Żabka Group wants to build partnerships for positive change and to support innovation, which is why it is actively looking for partners offering solutions transforming the convenience ecosystem. It does this through Venture Studio, which operates within it, and looks for solutions that provide new development perspectives for the entire Żabka Group. Venture Studio searches for startups based on the current needs of the business, but also on the basis of consumer trends and insights. This is supported by acceleration programs – on October 18th, Foodtech Lab was launched, another initiative after the Startup Impact Program and Żabka Future Lab, addressed to young companies.
– Leading a healthy and sustainable lifestyle, preventing food waste or optimal use of resources are challenges in line with the Responsibility Strategy of Żabka Group. That is why we have established the Foodtech Lab acceleration program to give the creators of such solutions a chance to develop their products or services in the Group’s ecosystem. We want them to help our clients change their daily habits for the better – says Karol Gajewicz, Head of Venture Studio, Grupa Żabka.
The project is dedicated to startups offering solutions such as:
- Innovative food products – New food products using innovative ingredients and protein sources
- Alternative Protein Sources – Plant substitutes, proteins from fermentation, microorganisms and insects
- Lab-grown meat – In vitro meat, farmed meat, cruelty-free meat, tissue engineering
- Functional food – Products enriched with innovative, functional ingredients
- Packaging – Solutions supporting recycling and reusability, intelligent and ecological packaging
- Food waste management – Waste management and processing, expiry date monitoring
- Food processing technologies – Innovative technological solutions in food processing
- Food production – Innovative technological solutions in food production
- Consumer applications – Applications that modify the way consumers interact with the food industry
Benefits of cooperation
Żabka Group makes it possible to implement a product or solution on a large scale, thanks to the strength of the ecosystem it creates. For the best startups the Group offers cooperation, consumer tests, commercial pilots, and even financial support for further development. In addition, startups can recieve access to a sensory laboratory, expert support and personal opportunities to navigate key relationships in this industry.
Applications for the program can be submitted by November 30 at foodtechlabprogram.com.
Żabka Nano, currently the largest chain of autonomous shops in Europe, has recently been awarded twice for its innovative concept. The chain was recognized by the jury and participants of a conference organized by the DWBW University in Heilbronn, Germany, receiving the Smart Stores award.
The Żabka Nano was one of 18 concepts nominated in the Smart Stores category of the Innovation Leader 2022 competition, of which 5 were selected by the Jury for the strict final. On September 13, this year, 300 participants of the “Retail Innovation Days” congress, after hearing the presentation of the final projects, in a live vote, selected the winner – Żabka Nano.
– Żabka Nano was chosen by the jury and our participants for its great achievements. With more than 50 autonomous stores in Europe, Żabka Nano is the European leader and idol for other retailers in Europe in this field – said Professor Dr. Stephan Rüschen, Head of the Retailing Faculty at DWBW University in Heilbronn.
– We are very pleased with the next award for the Żabka Nano concept. It is a proof for us that our ambitious project is a good investment, noticed and appreciated not only by customers but also by the industry and scientific community. I hope that we will continue to surprise the market with more innovative solutions – commented Tomasz Blicharski, EVP, Managing Director of Żabka Futu
The “Retail Innovation Days” Congress was organized by the Duale Hochschule Baden Württemberg in Heilbronn (DHBW Heilbronn), the largest retailing university in Germany, where about 900 students are studying for a degree in retailing and the city of Heilbronn is the brains and heart of retail in Germany.
Żabka Nano – a project of the Żabka chain, whose mission is to simplify purchases thanks to technologies, hopes for a change in the retail market and is currently the largest operator of autonomous stores in Europe with already 50 facilities and ambitions to become the largest operator of this type in the world. Stores are already located, among others, in gyms, office buildings, and soon also in dormitories or hospitals.
There are already 50 innovative stores supported by artificial intelligence company AiFi,, under the Żabka Nano label, making Żabka Group the largest chain of autonomous stores in Europe. The 50th facility is located in atmospheric spaces of the Norblin Factory in Warsaw. The area at Żelazna Street in Warsaw is more than two centuries of history, which wrote various scenarios for the place. Today, the Norblin Factory delights with its historical buildings, which incorporate modern architecture, and its original offer with distinctive cultural, entertainment and catering, as well as service concepts.
– The Żabka Group is currently the largest chain of autonomous shops in Europe. This innovative concept, allowing for quick purchases without checkout clerks, queues, and cash, is precisely adapted to the nature of the location and the profile of customers. This proposal fits perfectly into the atmosphere of the multifunctional complex of the Norblin Factory, where among the historic buildings there is not only modern architecture but also innovative services and solutions. We are pleased that the 50th Żabka Nano store has been opened to customers right here – says Tomasz Blicharski, EVP, Managing Director of Żabka Future.
The Norblin factory is a multi-purpose complex in the heart of the Warsaw district of Wola. After a long process of revitalization of the former Norblin, Buch, and T. Werner factories, carried out by the Capital Park Group, the complex reopened to the city, delighting with the historical buildings into which modern architecture was incorporated. The Norblin factory is now over 65 thousand square meters of which 41 thousand square meters are modern A+ class offices and 24 thousand square meters were adapted for entertainment, cultural, catering, and commercial-service space. The Norblin Factory offers the boutique cinema KinoGram, BioBazar ecological market, the capital’s largest food town catering area, and a Piano Bar with live music in one of the oldest buildings of the complex, the Museum of the Norblin Factory and the Immersive Art Box Experience. There are two historic streets within the complex, Ludwig Norblin and Theodore Werner streets, which are available for visits 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The launch of the unmanned Żabka Nano store has expanded the range of features and facilities, which can be used daily by users and visitors of the complex. The product range of the Żabka Nano store in the Norblin Factory has approx. 400 products. It includes, among others Żabka private label products, such as Shamamm ready dishes, Tomcio Paluch sandwiches, Foodini liquid snacks, Wycisk juices and lemonades, and freshly ground and brewed coffee from the coffee machine.
The facility uses an innovative method of authorization and payment for purchases, implemented in cooperation with Adyen. Access to the store is possible by utilizing a payment card – the customer approaches it near the terminal before entering the Żabka Nano store. Once it is done, the door will open automatically. On the first visit, the customer will provide a phone number to receive a text message confirming the purchase. When inside, the shopping will only take a moment – a client just needs to take selected products off the shelf and leave. The camera system installed in the Żabka Nano, using algorithms including machine learning, will recognize the products removed from the shelves, charge the appropriate amount, and then automatically finalize the payment using the payment card presented at the entry. The system does not identify customers or remember their image, which guarantees complete privacy and security.
The autonomous Żabka stores are created as part of the Żabka Future Business Incubator initiative, which combines three elements: managing and searching for innovations, transforming them into new products and services, and commercializing them. The project also fits perfectly within the strategy of the Żabka Group, which assumes the implementation of actions aimed at maintaining climate neutrality – the Żabka Nano store uses only the equivalent of green energy for its activities.
Currently there are 50 Żabka Nano stores, which are located in Gdańsk, Katowice, Kraków, Piaseczno, Plewiska, Poznań, Sopot, Warsaw and Wrocław. The first Żabka Nano opened a year ago – at the Poznań International Fair in Poznań. The stores operate in several formats, such as standalone container vending machines, traditional brick-and-mortar outlets, or store-in-the-store. Each uses technology developed in close cooperation with the American technology company AiFi. Recently, in one of Warsaw’s Żabka Nano, at 54 Dobra Street, a Robbie robot was installed, created specifically for the Żabka Nano concept by VeloxAlpha, and based on artificial intelligence solutions. In its first 10 days, it served customers over 1,500 hot dogs.
Żabka Nano, one of the newest concepts of the Żabka chain, has launched another innovative solution – a robot called Robbie, that will serve customers the already iconic hot dogs. The first such robot has been operating recently in Żabka Nano at 54 Dobra Street in Warsaw. It prepares hot dogs in three easy steps, according to the customer’s order. The device was created in cooperation between Żabka and VeloxAlpha S.A.
Żabka Nano, an innovative concept of Żabka that changes and shapes the perception of consumer experiences, started its activity in June 2021. The launch of the first store in Poznań gave rise to the largest chain of autonomous stores in Europe today. So far, a total of 44 Żabka Nano stores have been opened, among others in Poznań, Warsaw, Kraków, Wrocław, and Gdańsk. Żabka Future, responsible for the Żabka Nano concept, is constantly looking for new solutions aimed at continuously improving the experience of customers of autonomous stores. One such solution is a robot serving a hot dish. The first Robbie robot was installed in an autonomous store in Warsaw at 54 Dobra Street. In addition to quick shopping without a queue or hot freshly brewed coffee, this has recently allowed customers to order a hot dog.
– Hot-dog is an iconic hot snack from Żabka. Hence the idea to make them also available in our unmanned facilities. In cooperation with the team of VeloxAlpha S.A., we created the Robbie robot, which automatically and fully hygienically prepares for customers of Żabka Nano hot dogs with their favorite toppings. It is the first of its kind on the market. We’re excited that Żabka Nano is leading the way by offering customers the latest in the market – says Paweł Grabowski, Head of unmanned solutions at Żabka Future.
Żabka Nano stores attract customers with their modern look – they are small but visually spacious; they look clean, elegant, and neat, and the display looks very encouraging. Customers believe that Żabka Nano is the perfect place to drop in for a cup of favorite coffee on the way to work, and in the evening after work or while traveling – for quick shopping. Robbie robot fits perfectly into the concept and complements its offer – the device has a futuristic appearance and was created especially for the concept of Żabka Nano based on artificial intelligence solutions. The robot weighs 1,500 kg and is over 2.5 m high and over 2 m wide.
Robbie’s design and software were createdby VeloxAlpha S.A., which has implemented this pioneering project for Żabka. The concept was developed by 12 people, with 6 working on the design and 6 on the software. Their solution makes life easier for customers, works 24/7, and is easy and intuitive to use. Innovation plays a key role here – providing the attractiveness of a fast, contactless meal.
– The main stimulus for the creation of our product was the currency used by man today – time. Our products should make life easier, be user-friendly, and be available 24/7 for everyone. Technology plays a key role in guaranteeing quality, increasing food preparation safety, and ensuring constant availability – said Łukasz Drewnowski, CEO & CoFounder at VeloxAlpha S.A.
How to order a hot dog? The customer enters the store using the Żappka app, a smartwatch, bank card or Apple Pay or Google Pay app, and then goes to the screen at the machine and places an order in three steps – choosing the size of the hot dog, a kind of sausage and sauce and then confirms the order. The customer can track the status of her/his order on the screen at the top of the robot. A hot dog is ready to be collected within 40 seconds. The customer shall be informed of this by a message on the horizontal screen at the top of the robot and by a voice message. Artificial Intelligence (AI) allows you to add products from the “hotdogomat” to the customer’s account.
Żabka has been awarded the “Sustainable Economy Diamonds” in the category of Technology Leader for Sustainable Development. The project of autonomous Żabka Nano stores was awarded; the project fits perfectly into the strategy of the Żabka Group, which assumes the implementation of actions aimed at maintaining climate neutrality – all Żabk Nano stores are powered exclusively by renewable energy sources. The award was received at the gala crowning the conference Sustainable Economy Summit, which took place on May 30 in Warsaw.
Żabka Nano is a unique unmanned store concept developed by Żabka Future – the entity responsible for creating and developing business and technological tools in the Żabka Group. The first facility in an innovative format – allowing you to shop in seconds, without queues, without cash or contact with shop attendants – was launched in June 2021. Żabka Nano stores operate in several formats, such as standalone container vending machines, traditional brick-and-mortar outlets, and store-in-the-store. Each of them uses technology developed in close cooperation with American technology company AiFi. Currently there are over 40 Żabka Nano stores, which are located in Gdańsk, Katowice, Kraków, Piaseczno, Plewiska, Poznań, Sopot, Warsaw and Wrocław. This makes Żabka the largest chain of autonomous stores in Europe.
The “Sustainable Economy Diamonds” competition aims to present and honor companies with outstanding achievements in sustainable development activities and to build employee engagement, loyalty, and satisfaction. The statuettes are awarded to companies and entrepreneurs who carry out investments following the highest environmental and social standards. The competition jury distinguishes entities that promote ethical activities daily, being a model for their co-workers, customers, and contractors. The “Sustainable Economy Diamonds” award gala is the culmination of the Sustainable Economy Summit.
Żabka Polska was among the leaders of the Polish economy distinguished by the editors of money.pl. The company won the money.pl award in the Technology of the Year category for the project of autonomous Żabka Nano stores. The award was received by Paweł Grabowski, director of unmanned solutions at Żabka Future, at the final gala which took place on May 11 during Impact’22 in Poznań.
Żabka Polska was awarded by the jury of the competition for the design of Żabka Nano autonomous stores. The first outlet in an innovative format – allowing you to make purchases in seconds, without queues, without cash or contact with the staff – was launched in June 2021. Żabka Nano stores operate in several formats, such as stand-alone container vending machines, traditional brick-and-mortar, or store-in-the-store facilities. Each of them uses technology developed in close cooperation with the American technology company AiFi. Currently, there are 41 Żabka Nano stores, which are located in Gdańsk, Katowice, Kraków, Piaseczno, Plewiska, Poznań, Sopot, Warsaw and Wrocław. This makes Żabka the largest chain of autonomous stores in Europe.
The editors of money.pl awarded the leaders of the Polish economy for the fourth time. Money.pl awards went to the most innovative companies and people who look at business in an unconventional and modern way, setting trends. In addition to the Technology of the Year, for which Żabka Polska was awarded, the Start-up of the Year and Entrepreneur of the Year was selected. This year, the editorial office also awarded a special prize, which was awarded – symbolically – to all Ukrainian entrepreneurs.
This year’s winners were selected by a jury composed of the presidents of the largest Polish companies, experienced managers, as well as representatives of the editorial office of money.pl and Wirtualna Polska. This prestigious prize has been awarded since 2019.
Żabka has partnered with Globalworth, the owner and manager of the largest portfolio of office properties in Central and Eastern Europe, in which in 2022 the company will open several unmanned Żabka Nano stores in the largest Polish cities. The first facilities were opened in the B and D buildings of the modern Quattro Business Park office complex in Kraków. The opening of Żabka Nano stores in office spaces is another step in the development of Europe’s largest chain of unmanned stores, which already has 41 outlets.
– The fully autonomous and self-service Żabka Nano store is an ideal offer for investors who want to offer modern services and innovative solutions to their tenants in their properties. We are pleased that together with Globalworth we will be able to develop the concept of Żabka Nano in new locations – in office buildings and shortly also in shopping centers. Our goal is to simplify the life of our customers and offer to them convenient solutions using the latest technologies – says Paweł Grabowski, Head of Unmanned Solutions at Żabka Future.
Quattro Business Park is a modern office complex comprising five buildings (A, B, C, D, and FIVE) with a total area of 66 thousand square meters. It is located in the northeastern part of Kraków, at 25 Gen. Bora-Komorowskiego Avenue, one of the main communication arteries of the city. The launch of two unmanned Żabka Nano stores will expand the range of functionalities and amenities that users and visitors of the complex can use daily. These are also the first unmanned Żabka outlets in Kraków office buildings.
– Innovation is part of our DNA, so we have established a partnership with Żabka Future for our entire property portfolio in Poland. We are proud that our office buildings are among the first in the country to offer their users a modern format of self-service Żabka Nano stores. This partnership is also the result of our proactive approach to tenants and their needs – we talk to them, take their opinions into account and introduce solutions that make our office buildings even more attractive places to work –says Weronika Maria Kuna, Asset Management and Leasing Manager, responsible for the commercialization of commercial and service space in Globalworth office buildings.
The product mix of Żabka Nano stores in Quattro Business Park comprises approx. 400 products. It includes, among others, Żabka private label products, such as Szamamm ready dishes, Tomcio Paluch sandwiches, Foodini liquid snacks, Wycisk juices and lemonades and freshly ground coffee from a coffee machine.
The Żabka Nano stores in the Kraków office complex use an innovative method of authorization and payment for purchases, implemented in cooperation with Adyen. Access to these is possible using a payment card – the client holds it in front of the terminal before entering the Żabka Nano store. Once the process is completed, the door will open automatically. On the first visit, the customer will provide a phone number to receive a text message confirming the purchase. Once the customer is inside, the shopping will only take a moment – it suffices to take selected products off the shelf and leave. A system of cameras installed in the stores, using algorithms including machine learning, will recognize the products removed from the shelves, charge the appropriate amount, and then automatically finalize the payment using the payment card used at the entrance to the Żabka Nano store. The system does not identify customers, nor does it remember the image, which guarantees full privacy and security.
Unmanned Żabka stores are part of the Żabka Future Business Incubator initiative, which combines three elements: managing and searching for innovations, transforming them into new products and services, and commercializing them. The project also fits perfectly with the strategy of the Żabka Group, which assumes the implementation of actions aimed at maintaining climate neutrality – the Żabka Nano uses only the equivalent of green energy for its activities.
Currently, there are 41 Żabka Nano stores, which are located in Gdańsk, Katowice, Kraków, Piaseczno, Plewiska, Poznań, Sopot, Warsaw and Wrocław.