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On paper, shoppable recipes are everything I want in a technology. They are, in some respects, the quintessential combination of discovery + action + convenience. Find a recipe you like then click a couple buttons to buy all the ingredients and have them delivered (in some cases on the same day).
Despite all that potential awesomeness, I have never once used a shoppable recipe. Part of that could be that I’m not coming across that many shoppable recipes, or if I am, it’s not abundantly clear that the recipe is shoppable. The point is, I write about and am an early adopter of this stuff and I haven’t done it. And I’ll bet dollars to donuts most of you haven’t, either.
But given certain market forces as well a bunch of recent announcements, shoppable recipes could be on the verge of having their moment.
First, the COVID-19 pandemic is still very very much in full swing, and dining in at restaurants is still very much limited. As a result, people are still, for the most part stuck and home, a situation that will only intensify because, you know, winter is coming. So there’s an audience on the lookout for meals to make at home.
And since people have been stuck at home for seven months now, more of them are taking to online grocery shopping. That trend isn’t going away anytime soon: grocery e-commerce is expected to grow to $250 billion by 2025. So this available market is getting more used to the idea of buying their food online — a defining trait of shoppable recipes.
Obviously, I’m not the only person paying attention to these trends. Recent announcements indicate that shoppable recipe companies are gearing up for some growth of their own. Consider these headlines from The Spoon just since June of this year (when it became abundantly clear the pandemic would be with us for the long haul):
- Shoppable Recipe Service Northfork Raises $1.1MInnit Teams With SPINS to Add Personalization, Guided Cooking and Shoppable Recipes to Grocer Websites
- Thermomix Users Can Now Order Ingredients With Launch of Shoppable Recipes on Cookidoo
- Fexy Media’s Cliff Sharples Talks Serious Eats Sale and Getting Out of the Editorial Business
- Whisk Launches B2B Content Management Tool to Structure and Organize Recipe Data
- SideChef Now Offers Shoppable Recipes Through Walmart
That SideChef headline is from yesterday and it’s worth noting Walmart, a massive player in grocery, getting deeper into the shoppable grocery game. What is particularly interesting is that nearly 90 percent of the U.S. population lives within 10 miles of a Walmart. Walmart just launched its own premium service, Walmart+, which offers same-day grocery delivery. Taken altogether in that scenario, the path from meal discovery to dinner on your plate is just a few clicks away.
While I may have avoided shoppable recipes up until now, something tells me that they may soon become inescapable.
(Cooler) Screen Time
Speaking of things that are about to become inescapable. There’s a good chance that no matter where you look in the near future, there will be some sort of digital screen trying to grab your attention. I’m not saying this with disdain, just as a matter of fact.
Consider that Cooler Screens announced this week that it has raised $80 million.
Cooler Screens replaces those boring old clear glass doors found on in-store coolers with big, always-on digital screens. It might seem counterintuitive to replace a transparent piece of glass that you can easily look through to see the contents behind it with a screen that reports what’s inside. But unlike that inert piece of glass, the Cooler Screen serves up dynamic full-motion ads and promotions as well as upselling opportunities.
The company is in 50 Chicago-area Walgreens now and has plans to roll out to 2,500 of its locations.
And they aren’t the only company bringing screens to the store. AWM Smart Shelf does a similar type of digital display advertising, just on standard store shelves.
With the allure of eye-catching ads and a potential bump in sales, there’s more than a good chance that even while grocery shopping we’ll have to monitor our screen time.
I Tried Planeteer’s IncrEdible Spoon and Ate the Whole Thing – The spoons come in a variety of both sweet and savory flavors, including chocolate, vanilla, black pepper, masala, oregano chili, and plain.
Picnic Raises $3M for its Robot-Powered Pizza Assembly – This brings the total amount raised by Picnic to $20.7 million.
Grubhub Partners With Lyft to Offer Lyft Pink Members Delivery Perks – Grubhub announced today it has inked an exclusive partnership with rideshare service Lyft to offer the latter’s Lyft Pink members complimentary access to Grubhub+.
HWY Haul Brings AI to Automate Fresh Produce Freight and Fight Food Waste – The company’s cloud-based platform allows farms (or stores or other suppliers) to schedule a vetted driver, determine the cost for each trip, monitor their route in real-time, and keep constant temperature checks (to ensure the food stays cold).