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Get recipes at the grocery store

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recipe kioskHow often have you gone shopping without a clear idea of what you need, or without ideas for recipes that you’d like to make? Some supermarkets on the East Coast – namely the Food Lion-owned Bloom markets in Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina – have tried to eliminate this problem with the introduction of a new technology to their stores. ShoptoCook‘s specialty kiosks (a.k.a. Recipe-for-$ales Centers) offer consumers recipe ideas, wine information, price checks and can even direct you to the location of a particular item in the store. Each is located not in the midst of prepackaged foods, but near the produce and meat departments. The way the recipe function works is fairly simple: you scan in an item and the kiosk gives you three recipe suggestions to help plan a meal. Currently, the kiosks get about 25,000 users per week, a number which seems to be increasing.

Overall, the kiosks sound like a great way to get in some extra recipe suggestions, as well as simply improving the shopping experience for Bloom’s consumers. Even if you don’t like the meal that is suggested, it could still inspire you to cook something a little out of the ordinary.

Now if only we could petition them to add some variety to their recipe lineup. I don’t know about you, but I know an awful lot of food bloggers whose recipes would definitely be a big hit in such a setting…

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  • Courtney
    August 7, 2007

    In the SE we have Publix, and while they don’t have an electronic kiosk, they do have printed recipes that are 3 hole punched. It is usually a meat starch, and veggie or salad on one page. They also have a display area set up with a tv playing a video of someone making the featured recipe with all of the ingredients there in one spot. During peak hours, they usually have someone there making the dish and giving out samples.

    While I don’t use it (if I go in without a plan I come out with cheese watermelon ice cream and bread) my MIL has cooked some of them when we were at her house and they were pretty good.

  • Monkey Wrangler
    August 7, 2007

    This sounds kinda creepy and intriguing at the same time. Your mention of blogger recipes being used gave it a positive spin though……….I’ll have to think about it some more.

  • Jen
    August 10, 2007

    I haven’t seen this in Washington State yet, but I’ve used something similar and its proven to be pretty cool. I work with the folks at the online food community Allrecipes.com and they just introduced this new feature not too long ago called Allrecipes.com Mobile. You can access the site’s entire collection of 40,000 user-submitted and rated recipes right from your cell phone. You can also check out scaling and cook times, so you can plan dinner right there at the store.

    If you have a Web-enabled cell phone, you’re in business. I’ve found this pretty helpful since I’m on the go A LOT.

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