Kraft has stepped up and launched what appears to be the CPG industry’s first consumer iPhone application called iFood Assistant. This nifty little app provides iPhone users with a way to engage with Kraft and its portfolio of brands in a new and exciting way. Through the iFood Assistant, consumers can search and retrieve recipe ideas, build a shopping list and even view instructional videos right from their iPhone. Of course, all product shopping lists draw from the Kraft portfolio of brands and exclude competitors.
Hats off to Kraft for taking a stand and making this investment of time and energy. According to recent research from NPD, the iPhone now ranks #2 in unit sales for smart phone devices (simply amazing after just 18 months since launch), so this investment makes sense. At first pass, I see three ways that Kraft could leverage the iFood Assistant app to deliver an even richer consumer experience:
1. Contests and games- Expose all Kraft-branded interactive promotions, contests and games through the iFood Assistant application. Promotions don’t need to be tied to those using the application, but this could present a great awareness channel for Kraft to reach digitally-inclined consumers.
2. Digital coupons- This has a logical fit and could be one of the killer-apps for the iFood Assistant. Since consumers are already accessing recipes and tips through the application, offering brand-specific digital/printable coupons could be a great tie-in for the next shopping trip. Extending this idea even further, Kraft could allow consumers to electronically deposit coupon value onto their Kroger-banner loyalty card accounts.
3. Trade promotions- Kraft is already directing iFood Assistant users to local grocers to fulfill their recipe shopping needs. Taking this one step further, the local grocery store search results could also display retailers that are featuring Kraft brands, or offering a price promotion such as a buy-one/get-one or even a temporary price reduction.
I’ve become a big iPhone fan, and am happy to see Kraft take this pioneering step to better serve consumers. I look forward to seeing how this application evolves over time.