Smart phones are changing how we shop.
Smart phones are changing how we shop. From bargain hunting programs like Save Benjis to the coupon service Cellfire, and everything in between, consumers can take their pick of applications to help them organize their lists, price compare, research and save time and money in seconds flat.
There’s a shopping application out there for just about anything, and everyone’s getting in the mix. Last year, Target launched their gift application that tailors selections for loved ones. Burger King recently introduced an application that allows their customers to place orders via their phones. Now, Kraft is entering the market with iFood Assistant, a multi-purpose shopping and recipe app.
Whereas other grocery apps, like Shopper and Grocery Gadget, operate primarily as customized to-do lists, iFood acts as more of an overall shopping assistant. Consumers can browse over 7,000 recipes complete with step-by-step directions, shortcuts and shopping lists – all at the tap of a finger.
“Unlike similar iPhone applications that link to external Web sites, iFood Assistant is a program that becomes a seamless part of the device,” says Ed Kaczmarek, Director of Innovation, New Services for Kraft. “It represents the latest in Kraft Foods’ commitment to providing innovative solutions for consumers’ busy lifestyles.”
Designed to streamline the shopping and food preparation experience, iFood offers the ease of meal suggestions and how-to videos, along with list and recipe organizers to make grocery trips more efficient. The experience can be communal too. Users can review comments on recipes and share their cooking ideas with others.
One of the most useful tools is iFood’s aisle assistance feature, which places ingredients into specific aisles for faster recovery. The grocery GPS section is also practical, helping consumers locate the nearest stores, and then further pointing them in the direction of specials and promotions.
“Certainly convenience of the application is an important factor, but we also see this as an opportunity for people to work within their budget, which may be tightening. For example, they may spot chicken breasts on sale in a store and they can use iFood Assistant to find the perfect recipe and put together a shopping list for that dish,” says Kaczmarek.
People’s lives are becoming increasingly complex, and one of their biggest challenges is finding the time to make meal shopping and preparation a priority, Kaczmarek says. As more and more consumers turn to smart phones – Apple sold approximately 11.1 million units of the iPhone in 2008 – they will be increasingly looking to applications like the iFood Assistant to help them make the cooking process more convenient, delicious and enjoyable.
Kaczmarek says that there is definitely a role here for the retailer as well. The iFood application has been designed with the flexibility to evolve with partners joining to provide relevant content and solutions that can be integrated into the platform – a win-win for retailers and consumers alike.
“People are certainly leading increasingly wireless lives – and they’re looking for inspiration anytime, anywhere,” he adds. “iFood Assistant enables our users to tap into our content and tools anytime and anywhere it’s convenient for them.”
For more information and for Guided Tour Videos of the iFood Assistant, please go to http://www.iFoodAssistant.com.