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Foodland, Giant-Carlisle, Remke Markets circulars go mobile

iphone_app-copy1Grocery Shopping Network Inc. launched a new iPhone application to serve circulars and recipes to consumers while on the go from supermarkets such as Foodland, Giant–Carlisle and Remke Markets.

UCook gives the supermarkets’ weekly specials to consumers with an iPhone in a digital form. The application also features more than 60,000 recipes with photos and nutrition information.

“[We wanted to] utilize the fast-expanding world of the iPhone and smartphone users with applications that people can use every day,” said Albin Andolshek, vice president of communications at Grocery Shopping Network, Minneapolis. “The app also serves to bring new shoppers to our partner grocery stores and expand users on our cooking portal.”

Grocery Shopping Network provides Web site services to grocers in its network, including Top Food & Drug, Ultra Foods and Homeland stores.

UCook is also a Web site that has the same features as the application.

The first version of the application is free and has opportunities for advertisements.

Mr. Andolshek said that the application will add brand equity for Grocery Shopping Network and UCook and that the traffic and loyalty created for its partners is valuable.

The UCook application also provides shoppers with a shopping list, which keeps track of sale items and recipe ingredients for purchase at the consumer’s local grocery store.

In the recipe category, consumers can search for recipes by course, region, preparation time or available equipment.

The recipes have been created, tested and reviewed by Grocery Shopping Network’s staff and come with tips and advice, along with instructions and ingredient lists.

Grocery Shopping Network is targeting all iPhone users who go grocery shopping, particularly mothers.

“Moms are a key group,” Mr. Andolshek said. “We can show the chief household officer what is on sale at her favorite store and let her search for recipes and make a shopping list.”

Several reviews of the application lamented the fact that only a handful of supermarkets were listed.

Mr. Andolshek said that the network is working on several additions to the application, such as mobile coupons.

Grocery Shopping Network is also working to expand its footprint and add more retailers’ weekly flyers.

“This is an open architecture, so any retailer that wants to participate can,” Mr. Andolshek said. “The app today brings the retailer’s weekly circular to iPhone users for the first time in a fully interactive way.

“GSN put information where the grocery shoppers are,” he said. “The mobile platform has reached a critical mass that needs to be served, especially with things like grocery shopping that people do every day.”