Four Unified-Supplied Grocers Install Recipe Information Kiosks

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Four independent retailers supplied by Unified Western Grocers (UWG) are pilot-testing touch-screen information kiosks developed to assist shoppers in their meal planning.

O'Brien's Marketplace in Modesto, Calif.; Stump's Marketplace in San Diego; Beale's Thriftway in Portland, Ore.; and Lamb's Thriftway, also in Portland, are each testing a kiosk in one store.

"A lot of today's consumers don't know much about cooking, and this leads to increased competition with the restaurant trade," Tanney Staffenson, partner and dir. of operations for Lamb's Markets told Progressive Grocer. "If we can help them with their menu planning, it's another way of having them consumer more meals in the home, which benefits supermarkets."

The ShoptoCook Recipe Center is typically located along the perishable perimeter in the supermarket's meat, seafood, produce, wine, and cheese departments where meal planning takes place.

To use the kiosk, a shopper scans the UPC of a food item, and the kiosk produces several different meal ideas and recipes based around that item, that they can print out and use as a shopping list, as well as coupons for some of those items in the recipe."

"The number one feedback that I'm getting is that shoppers love the recipes and they love the kiosk," said Ray Van Wetten, executive director of retail support services for UWG, a co-op wholesaler based in Commerce, Calif. "I have one retailer that already wants to expand it to his other four stores. That's a testimonial by itself."

The recipe is part of ShoptoCook's Answers software, which also includes Item Locator, Price Check, Meal Planning, Wine Pairing, and Health & Wellness
-- Joseph Tarnowski
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