Will Kroger’s new app make customers healthier than those who shop at rivals?
Earlier this week, Kroger debuted OptUP, a new mobile application designed to put nutritional information in the hands of shoppers and assist them in making the right food choices for themselves and their families.
The app’s consumer-friendly features include:
- “Scoring” grocery products using established, nationally-recognized dietary guidelines;
- Product scanning and search functions to discover nutritional facts for products and to receive alternative options;
- Personalized product recommendations;
- Household OptUP scores.
Kroger’s OptUP product scores are based on a nationally-recognized dietary standard with input from the grocer’s team of registered dietitians. Products are scored in a range between one and 100.
Those products with a score of 71 and up (green category) are lower in saturated fat, sodium, sugar and calories while being higher in positive attributes, such as fiber, protein, fruit/vegetable or nut content. Items with a score between 36 and 70 fall into the yellow category, while those between one and 35 are red. Kroger recommends that customers check out with at least 50 percent of their market baskets falling into the green category.
The grocer also tracks purchases over an eight-week period to let customers see their OptUP scores on a range of zero to 1,000. Kroger says scores of 600 or higher indicate that customers are making good nutritional purchasing choices.
“OptUP is a collaboration among our health, tech, digital, and 84.51° teams,” said Yael Cosset, Kroger’s chief digital officer. “The data-driven app creates a more transparent and educational experience for our customers, continuing our commitment to help Americans shop, eat, and live healthier on their terms.”
Kroger plans to continue adding features and more personalization to the app going forward. The chain’s customers may download it through the App Store and Google Play store.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: How popular do you expect Kroger’s new OptUP app to be with the grocer’s customers? How might the app help Kroger better understand its customers? Do you see an app like this becoming table stakes for customer-facing technology within grocery retailing?