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Allrecipes locates right sales ingredients via Instacart mobile integration

Meredith Corporation’s digital food hub Allrecipes is joining forces with Instacart to enable cooking enthusiasts to shop for ingredients for their favorite meals on mobile and have products delivered from local grocery stores to their homes in as little as one hour.

The food-focused social network is branching out its mobile commerce options as growing numbers of cooks look for the ability to purchase ingredients while on-the-go and have them delivered on the same day, thereby cutting the need to visit grocery stores and wait in long lines. Allrecipes’ customers will be seamlessly connected to Instacart when browsing on the mobile site or application.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer our customers access to Allrecipes’ highest rated, most popular recipes on-demand,” said Andrea Saul, spokeswoman for Instacart, San Francisco. “With a click of a button, home cooks can buy all of the ingredients for their favorite recipes right on their smartphone.”

Mobile-assisted cooking
Allrecipes and Instacart are seeking to make the process of cooking home meals as easy as possible for consumers, especially as individuals become more time-strapped. The partnership allows customers to search for their favorite recipes on their personal device of choice, add desired food items into their shopping cart and select an optimal delivery time.

The brand’s pairing algorithms also match packaged sides, wine, cleaning products and a plethora of other related items to recipes that shoppers can elect to purchase in one transaction.

Consumers interested in making their own meals may now be swayed to purchase via the Instacart integration, especially if they are low on time or unable to brave long lines at supermarkets. The partnership will also develop wide opportunities for Allrecipes’ partners to target mobile-savvy consumers via ecommerce channels.

The grocery sector is one of the most prolifically growing industries in digital commerce, thanks to consumers’ newfound tendencies to turn to smartphones and tablets to complete their shopping lists and set appropriate delivery times for items. The sheer convenience of food shopping on mobile cannot be understated, meaning that cooking marketers have ample reason to team up with delivery apps such as Instacart to reach more consumers.

“We’re all about streamlining the experience of feeding yourself, and grocery delivery integration is one of our biggest goals for Eat This Much,” said Louis Dementhon, founder of EatThisMuch, Santa Monica, CA. “Manually adding up a grocery list for all of the foods and recipes you want to try is a serious chore, and it’s part of the reason the reason that services like Blue Apron and HelloFresh are getting so popular.

“Allrecipes could start getting a little more traction among its casual user base. It’s a great arrangement for Instacart, because now it’s grabbing customers right when they make the decision about what to eat.”

Users interested in leveraging the service may visit Allrecipes’ site or app on their smartphones and search for a recipe. Once found, the recipe will provide a list of necessary ingredients, alongside local stores that carry the specific products.

Shoppers may then click to purchase these ingredients and indicate what time they would prefer for them to be delivered. Some products may be delivered in one hour.

An Instacart personal shopper will retrieve the ingredients from the store and bring the groceries to the consumer’s door.

Allrecipes, which claims to reach 40 million home cooking fans each month, has been engaging in a strong mobile push to become the go-to digital food hub. It allows users to connect with each other and share in their cooking journeys from the inspiration, planning and shopping processes before culminating in celebration across social networks.

The company unveiled a new vision in September, shifting its properties towards a responsive, omni-screen and personalized experience that puts users first, reflecting the growing trend of media brands trying to evolve into social hubs (see story).

“The Instacart-Allrecipies partnership is tapping into the incredibly important consumer-shopper meme of real-time, personalized services,” said Michael Becker,  managing partner at mCordis, San Francisco. “From coffee made to order, transportation on-demand, emoji-ordered pizza, to wine and beer hitting the doorstep from an hour of being ordered, consumers no longer want services supporting a market segment, they want services supporting them.

“This is not new, people have always wanted to be treated as individuals, it just was not possible for marketers to do so at scale. But this has changed. Today, due to mobile, the science fiction of personalized services, at a national scale, is a reality.”

Mobile delivery’s rise
Mobile delivery for home products and groceries has been catching on with plenty of retailers and consumers as of late.

Target recently cottoned on to the influx of brands experimenting with mobile delivery platforms by teaming up with the Instacart app to enable Minneapolis residents to purchase groceries via smartphones and have them delivered to their doorsteps in as little as an hour (see story).

Supermarkets could start experiencing lower amounts of in-store traffic if this trend continues to gain steam, suggesting that they may well-poised to develop their own apps or mobile sites where products can be purchased and ordered for home delivery.

“Allrecipes should see a wide range of new revenue opportunities from this, from subscriptions to its magazine to increased sponsor and advertiser interest,” Mr. Becker said. “Like all things, however, I suspect there will be a ramp-up as all the parties get comfortable with the new capabilities.

“It will be critical for Allrecipes to stay the course, listen to consumer feedback and let the service mature over time.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely, staff writer on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York