Digital tool provides culinary inspiration
BOISE, Idaho — Albertsons Cos is updating its Meal Plans digital tool to provide grocery shoppers with culinary inspiration and to help them save time and money.
The tool, accessed through the retailer’s app and websites, provides features such as a budget tracker, an expanded library of more than 8,000 recipes (many developed by professional chefs and dieticians), shoppable ingredient lists and a hands-free cooking mode with a step-by-step timer, according to the company.
“This all-in-one tool empowers the everyday home cook to plan, shop and prepare inspiring recipes without the added expense or commitment of a meal delivery service,” says Jill Pavlovich, senior vice president of digital customer experience for Albertsons Cos. “Best of all, it’s free to use on our grocery app and website.”
New recipes will be added to the tool each month, Albertsons says, so shoppers can enjoy seasonal variety in their meals.
Recent digital enhancements to the tool include:
• A budget tracker that allows customers to specify a total weekly budget, a total number of meals and total number of servings ahead of recipe selection. As recipes are added to the tool, the cost of ingredients is deducted from the overall budget so shoppers can view the total meal price and cost per serving.
• Cooking mode, making time in the kitchen clean and easy to execute. Once the groceries are home and meal prep begins, users can simply wave their hand over each step of the recipe to advance to the next page, keeping the phone or tablet screen free of a sticky mess. Cooking mode also includes a built-in timer to keep the cook on track.
Once shoppers choose one or more recipes, one simple click will consolidate all the ingredients to their “My List” shopping list, which can be modified to include other household essentials. Users can then view available deals or clip digital coupons applicable to any items in their cart before checkout.
Says Pavlovich: “We designed the Meal Plans tool to also help our customers reduce food waste by choosing the right amount of food they need each week. We introduced this innovative feature to our recipe search engine so it will automatically optimize ingredients across multiple meals. For example, if two recipes call for half of an onion, only one onion will be added to your shopping list.”