BetterBasket - Pricing for grocers with competitive data

The Future of Grocery Merchandising: Insights from BetterBasket

What Is BetterBasket?

BetterBasket is an innovative start-up dedicated to transforming the pricing strategies of grocery stores through the intelligent use of competitive data. Founded in 2023 and based in San Francisco, BetterBasket is helmed by a team of four experienced professionals who have a shared vision of leveraging data analytics to drive better business outcomes for grocers. The company’s primary mission is to help grocery retailers navigate the increasingly complex landscape of pricing and product assortment, thereby enhancing their competitiveness and profitability in a rapidly evolving market.

Who Are the Founders of BetterBasket?

The founding team of BetterBasket boasts a remarkable pedigree, particularly from their collective experience at Uber Eats, where they played a pivotal role in scaling the dark store business in Asia to an impressive $100 million in revenue. Leon Zhang, the CEO, brings a robust background in both finance and technology. He previously worked at PIMCO, one of the world’s largest investment management firms, and also attended the prestigious Wharton MBA program before deciding to drop out to pursue entrepreneurial ventures full-time. Leon holds a Bachelor's degree in Science from the University of Chicago, which further underscores his analytical prowess.

Vagelis Viskadouros, a co-founder and the brains behind BetterBasket’s data science initiatives, has an extensive background in data analytics. He served as a data scientist at Uber Eats and holds a Master's degree in Data Science for Business from Ecole Polytechnique. Together, Leon and Vagelis combine their extensive experience and knowledge to drive BetterBasket’s mission forward, supported by their fellow team members who share their vision and dedication.

What Problem Does BetterBasket Address?

The grocery industry, a massive $800 billion market in the United States alone, is currently facing significant challenges due to unprecedented price volatility and changing consumer behaviors. Recent surveys indicate that 95% of American consumers have altered their grocery shopping habits in response to fluctuating prices. This volatility has created a pressing need for grocers and food & beverage brands to adopt data-driven strategies to stay competitive and meet customer expectations.

The challenges faced by the grocery industry are multifaceted. Macroeconomic impacts, such as price volatility and supply chain disruptions, have forced grocers to seek more localized selection to satisfy consumer demands. Additionally, the shrinking of pricing zones due to local supply chain impacts complicates the ability to maintain consistent pricing strategies. For established enterprises, the task of analyzing data across hundreds of thousands of Stock Keeping Units (SKUs), monitoring daily price movements, and balancing multiple margin targets while ensuring sell-through and profitability has become increasingly daunting. This complexity is exacerbated by the public scrutiny and accusations of "greedflation," which further pressure grocers to adopt transparent and effective pricing strategies.

How Does BetterBasket Provide a Solution?

BetterBasket offers a comprehensive, end-to-end solution for merchandising teams at grocery stores. This solution encompasses three primary components: competitive data, visualizations, and actionable recommendations. By integrating these elements, BetterBasket enables grocers to make informed, data-driven decisions that enhance their operational efficiency and profitability.

The platform’s competitive data component involves the continuous scraping of websites and flyers to gather up-to-date pricing and product information for both in-store and online offerings. This data is then processed using a sophisticated matching algorithm that employs natural language processing (NLP) and computer vision techniques. The result is a centralized product repository that accurately describes items and the relationships between them across various merchants, geographies, and categories.

The visualizations provided by BetterBasket include detailed historical price changes, geographical pricing zone maps, and Venn diagrams showcasing item overlap with competitors. These visual tools allow grocers to easily interpret complex data and gain actionable insights into market trends and competitive dynamics.

What Makes BetterBasket's Technology Stand Out?

The cornerstone of BetterBasket's technology is its advanced matching algorithm, which integrates competitive intelligence with the unique strategies and targets of its customers. This algorithm generates pricing recommendations and has the capability to automate pricing for both online stores and physical stores that utilize digital price tags. Furthermore, it offers assortment recommendations, helping grocers decide which products to acquire or remove to optimize their offerings.

The algorithm continuously analyzes a variety of external variables, such as market trends, competitor actions, and regional supply chain dynamics. This real-time analysis ensures that the recommendations provided by BetterBasket are always aligned with current market conditions, enabling grocers to adapt swiftly and effectively.

How Did BetterBasket Come to Be?

The inception of BetterBasket can be traced back to the founders' experiences at Uber Eats, where they were responsible for launching and scaling the grocery delivery platform’s dark store footprint in Taiwan and Japan. This endeavor highlighted a critical gap in the market: the need for advanced merchandising analytics tailored to the unique challenges faced by pricing and procurement teams. Recognizing this opportunity, Leon Zhang and Vagelis Viskadouros decided to leverage their expertise to create BetterBasket, a solution designed to address these specific challenges on a broader scale.

Why Is Competitive Data Crucial for Grocers?

In the current retail environment, competitive data has become indispensable for grocers aiming to stay ahead. It provides the necessary insights to make informed decisions about pricing and product assortment, directly impacting a grocer’s profitability and customer satisfaction. With BetterBasket's sophisticated tools, grocers can analyze data across hundreds of thousands of SKUs, monitor daily price movements, and balance multiple margin targets, all while responding quickly to market changes.

What Are the Benefits of Using BetterBasket?

Adopting BetterBasket brings numerous benefits to grocery retailers. Firstly, the platform significantly enhances pricing strategies by providing data-driven insights that are crucial for maintaining competitiveness in a volatile market. Secondly, it improves operational efficiency by eliminating the need for manual data collection and analysis, thus saving time and labor. Thirdly, it elevates the level of sophistication with which managers can operate, enabling them to make better-informed decisions that improve sell-through rates, profitability, and customer satisfaction.

Moreover, BetterBasket helps grocers maintain transparency and build consumer trust in an era where accusations of "greedflation" are rampant. By offering a clear, data-backed rationale for pricing decisions, grocers can demonstrate their commitment to fair pricing practices and customer-centric strategies.

How Does BetterBasket Support Grocers in Adapting to Market Changes?

BetterBasket’s algorithms are designed to continuously monitor and analyze a wide range of external variables, including market trends, competitor actions, and regional supply chain dynamics. This real-time analysis allows grocers to swiftly adapt their pricing and product assortment strategies to current market conditions. By providing insights into geographical pricing differences and item overlap with competitors, BetterBasket helps grocers optimize their offerings to meet local demand and maximize revenue.

Additionally, the platform's ability to automate pricing for digital price tags in physical stores and online platforms ensures that grocers can implement changes quickly and efficiently, further enhancing their ability to respond to market fluctuations.

What Is the Future Vision for BetterBasket?

Looking ahead, BetterBasket aims to solidify its position as the go-to platform for grocers seeking to leverage competitive data for enhanced pricing and product assortment strategies. The company plans to expand its capabilities by incorporating more advanced features, such as predictive analytics and machine learning, to further enhance its value proposition.

BetterBasket’s ultimate goal is to empower grocers with the tools they need to thrive in an increasingly complex and competitive market landscape. By continuously innovating and adapting to the evolving needs of the grocery industry, BetterBasket is poised to drive significant improvements in how grocers approach pricing and product assortment, ensuring sustainable growth and success for its clients.


In summary, BetterBasket stands out as a revolutionary start-up that is transforming the way grocers approach pricing and product assortment. With its cutting-edge technology and data-driven insights, BetterBasket provides a comprehensive solution that addresses the complex challenges faced by the grocery industry. The company’s focus on leveraging competitive data, coupled with its sophisticated algorithms and actionable recommendations, positions BetterBasket as a key player in helping grocers navigate the modern retail environment and achieve sustainable growth. As the grocery industry continues to evolve, BetterBasket's innovative approach ensures that grocers are well-equipped to stay competitive and meet the demands of an increasingly dynamic market.