Case studies Plzeňský Prazdroj, a.s.

Beer is placed where the customer expects it

How do we display goods in stores as efficiently as possible? Adastra's smart shelves help Plzeňský Prazdroj place beer where the customer is looking for it.  

Where to display new products? Which secondary displays are worthwhile and which ones don't work? How high do you need to stack a carton of cans to make it sell as quickly as possible? How does the weather affect the appetite to buy drinks? And why does it change from store to store?

Plzeňský Prazdroj has implemented smart shelves from Adastra in its stores, which track what influences customers' buying behavior.  


unique measuring devices


stores in the Czech Republic and Slovakia map customer experience in detail

Adastra's smart shelves measure what retail displays work

To simplify and speed up people's shopping experience, the brewery decided to map precisely and in detail where shoppers are looking for beer in the store, and even where they prefer to find products within their fridges or pallets.


We wanted to see what we could do better to sell our beverages. Simply put - we can brew good beer and also need to offer it in the right place, which is where the customer is looking for it. So we've been educating ourselves on how to meet consumer demands. For example, we were interested in what sells better on shelves, what sells better on pallets or in fridges. So we said: let's measure what display works best within retail.

Pavel Císař, Commercial Excellence Manager, Plzeňský Prazdroj

How do smart shelves work in practice?

  • Smart sensors and scales placed in fridges, racks and pallets monitor each shelf's load over time.
  • Whenever a customer picks up a product, the shelf recognizes this, records the information and sends it to the app.
  • It can make quick decisions about restocking and analyze sales trends.

For example, Prazdroj knows which brand in its product portfolio sells the most and which secondary placement campaign works best. In layman's terms, which product is selling best and where.

In addition, smart shelves help to evaluate campaigns better, plan new ones and tailor an utterly bespoke offer to the customers of a particular store. In addition, they enable Prazdroj better to optimize inventory at individual stores and plan logistics more efficiently.  

Plzeňský Prazdroj on the road to digitalisation

The most important and at the same time the most challenging phase of implementing the smart shelves project was changing the setup in the company. Plzeňský Prazdroj is a huge company, a colossus that has been around for 180 years. So the first thing they had to do was to change their mindset - trust in new technologies that had not been used before.  

This process took almost a year.

Plzeňský Prazdroj needed to clearly define precisely what data they wanted to collect and what they would do with it at the end. What kind of change they will bring. For this reason, they also had to connect most of the departments internally.   

Collaboration and data sharing across the company were so complex at first that they built two new business intelligence departments. And they created the basis for the future digitalization of Prazdroj.   

Smart shelves from Adastra: Data instead of feelings


Prazdroj now combines data from smart shelves with knowledge of the specific environment. Each supermarket is in a different region with other consumers preferring different products, brands, and packaging. To this they add data from research.   

Previously, they used to replace data with sensemaking. Then, they used to process research results based on longtime experience and know-how.  

If you are researching, say, flavored Birell, which sells better in the summer months, and if it's raining the week you're doing the research, sales are very affected. Even the appetite to buy these products is very much affected. With the continuity of measurement through smart shelves - over summer, off summer, in seasons, we have linked data to weather as well - we can eliminate fluctuations and errors.

Pavel Císař, Commercial Excellence Manager, Plzeňský Prazdroj

Plzeňský Prazdroj: Predicting market trends is now significantly more accessible thanks to smart palettes

What happens next with the data at Prazdroj?

Whatever happens on the market, they use data to evaluate whether it is a sudden change or a trend. The more data, the more accurate the prediction of market developments.   

Another challenge of how to use the data is one-to-one marketing. For example, if a customer needs to buy beer, they want to find it where it is, in the package they need, and at the price they need. That's where Plzeňský Prazdroj is trying to get.  


Once you have the data and it's structured in some way, you can always use it to answer other business use cases.

Pavel Císař, Commercial Excellence Manager, Plzeňský Prazdroj

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