Why bother knocking on your neighbor’s door to borrow that cup of sugar you need to complete your batch of chocolate chip cookies when you can order sweetener, flour or even tasty morsels of cocoa right from your recipe. That is a) if your recipe is online and b) if you are taking advantage of a new technological wonder, shoppable recipes.

A shoppable recipe allows the home cook to click on a “buy” button alongside the list of ingredients in each recipe and add those to a shopping cart. Depending on the vendor and its partners, that list can be sent to a virtual grocery cart which is then sent to a supermarket where the items are assembled and delivered to the consumer. In cases where the store is part of the August Access program, those goods can be placed inside your home if you are not around.

As with any emerging application of technology, the shoppable recipe concept is being approached from many different angles. As you might expect, Amazon has been on this idea for several years, filing a patent in 2015 for “automatic item selection and ordering based on recipe.” In Nov. 2017, the Seattle retailing giant teamed up with Fexy, a content aggregator which has Roadfood and Serious Eats under its umbrella. Weeks later, Amazon partnered up with Allrecipes to integrate Amazon Fresh shopping into some of the online recipe goliath’s recipes.

This brings us to Myxx, which uses a proprietary algorithm to convert individual recipes into shopping lists that can be taken to a partner store and morph into an aisle-by-aisle selection guide, a deliverable bundle of goods or a curbside pickup box (or bag as the case may be). CPG companies and retailers can promote specific products (no doubt for some promotional fee) with a key differentiator for Myxx being its ability to adapt its more than 50,000 recipes to suit special dietary needs such as gluten-free, low carb, vegetarian, paleo, and low sugar. The application also can filter out recipes that include soy, peanut or lactose.

Last week Myxx announced a partnership with Kroger’s to bring their shoppable recipe platform to Kroger’s and Harris Teeter stores (at the time of announcement, the company indicated their platform is available today to Krogers customers in 17 states with more to follow). The company has a clear roadmap for its future and one area it knows is should approach is that of coupons. “Coupons are not currently a feature in the Myxx platform, however, we are developing the ability to offer promotional discounts to users based on certain brand selection and users’ actions,” a company spokesperson said. “This is exciting for both brands and retailers as it provides a new incentive channel based on user engagement but also helps minimize the effort involved in the coupon redemption process.  Today, print and digital coupons can be used at the point of transaction – either at the store or via their loyalty card.”

It will take a powerful vision and understanding of consumer behavior to win in this shoppable recipe game, especially with Amazon holding a powerful position. In addition to Myxx, others such as Chicory, Whisk, and Avocando all are looking to grab market share in this nascent space.

The link between content and commerce is a holy grail that has been elusive. T-commerce, that is buying products that are shown during an on-air TV show, has yet to take off (the technology is tough) and scanning embedded ads in print have had limited success. Capturing the hot lead is a mantra taught to salespeople the first day on the job; how it translates to big success in the tech world remains a mystery.

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Allen Weiner is an Austin-based freelance writer focusing on applications of new technology in the areas of food, media and education. In his 17-year career as a vice president and analyst with Gartner, Inc., the world’s largest IT research and advisory firm, Allen was a frequent speaker at company and industry events as well as one of the most-quoted analysts in the area of new media. With an extensive background in publishing and publishing technology, Allen is noted as the founder of The Gate (sfgate.com), the nation’s first daily newspaper on the web. Born in Philadelphia, Allen is a graduate of Muhlenberg College and Temple University.

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