Mobile Commerce Daily is now Retail Dive: Mobile Commerce! Click here to learn more!

Simply Ming lets TV viewers save recipes using mobile

Viewers of television cooking show Simply Ming can save featured recipes to a personal recipe box by sending a text message to a short code.

Using technology from ZipList, users can also opt to add the recipe’s ingredients to a digital grocery list as well as add other items to the list. The shopping and recipe box is available on the Web, via text messages and on retail as well as  publishers’ apps.

“When you’re watching a cooking show on TV and see a recipe you’re interested in, right now you have to write it down and go look it up on the Web – that’s not a particularly good experience,” said Geoff Allen, CEO and founder of ZipList, Sterling, VA.

“With ZipList, we are taking something that takes a minute and a half to complete and requires you to get up and go to a computer and taking that down to a few seconds,” he said.

“Mobile is critical to the front end and the in-store experience for ZipList.”

A universal recipe box
ZipList is a universal shopping list and recipe box that can be found on,, Martha’s Everyday Food iPhone app and on over 500 various food blogs and Web sites.

Nearly 500,000 people have used ZipList, according to the company.

“The recipe boxes on others sites for publishers, bloggers, brands and retailers – those are all silos,” Mr. Allen said. “ZipList’s goal is to build a universal recipe and shopping list.

“It lets consumers have a user-focused list that is available where they are – on the Web or a mobile app,” he said.

For the latest season of the PBS series Simply Ming, viewers can save featured recipes to their ZipList recipe box by texting that recipe’s keyword to the short code “Recipe.”

Users receive a text message response directing them to their online recipe box. If they do not have a ZipList account, they are asked to sign up.

By clicking “add to shopping list,” users can also add the recipe’s ingredients to their shopping list. ZipList automatically categorizes grocery products for in-store shopping.

Users can also share their grocery lists and favorite recipes with friends on Facebook.

To create a ZipList recipe box, users log onto and open an account with an email address or social networking login.

Users can create multiple shopping lists that are personal to them or to share with friends.

They can save recipes from any of ZipList’s partner sites and search the recipes on

Approximately 40 publishers, including Women’s Day, currently have the ZipList recipe box and shopping list embedded in their site.

Additionally, numerous food bloggers have added the ZipList plug-in enabling users to save recipes to their personal recipe box from the site.

ZipList also recently announced a partnership with Aisle411, the app that lets users find their way in large retail stores, giving users the ability to build grocery lists and add recipes to their personal recipe box.

Advertising opportunities
There are advertising opportunities for brands with ZipList, including text message response, landing page ads and a click-through ad on the recipe detail page.

Brands can also push out offers based on a user’s history. For example, for someone who has a lot of Asian recipes saved, a retailer or a brand can provide an offer for items for a stir-fry.

According to ZipList, users are five times more active when using an app that is connected to more than one property compared with the average app.

“We knew that once people could access a shopping list and recipes in more than one place that they’d start to recognize it has value,” Mr. Allen said. “Once you add a recipe and you see the same interface and the same items across properties, when that happens, the amount of activity using the list has been far beyond our expectations.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York