Target enters the shoppable recipe game with Cooklist
- Target is partnering with mobile app startup Cooklist to make meal prep easier through shoppable recipes, the Dallas Morning News reported. The Cooklist app has been in beta testing since October, and is now available for use with 47 Dallas-Fort Worth Target stores and delivery service Shipt.
- With the app, users can find more than one million recipes, build shopping lists and order same-day delivery of ingredients through Target.com. The company has only set up delivery with Target, but Cooklist can retrieve and store items from 81 other retailers, according to its website.
- Last summer, Target selected Cooklist as one of 10 startups to participate in a 13-week mentorship and training program, and Target accelerator partner Techstars has invested $120,000 in the company. Cooklist has also received a $100,000 investment from Dallas-based RevTech Ventures.
A partnership with Cooklist allows Target to leverage its delivery capabilities, draw attention to its grocery offerings and demonstrate to customers that it is embracing technology. Additionally, because Cooklist encourages consumers to shop and cook at home, the partnership drives home the idea that Target is a full-service grocery destination.
A spokesperson for Target confirmed to sister publication Grocery Dive in an email that Target is piloting the service with Cooklist in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. "We look forward to seeing how guests in the Dallas Fort-Worth area respond to the service," the spokesperson said.
Target has long been seen as a retailer for home furnishing, fashion and household goods, but the store has struggled in years past to provide a grocery offering that resonates with shoppers. Recently, the company has been working to boost its food and beverage category with the addition of more fresh and organic foods as well as alcohol.
Target has also been remodeling grocery departments and strengthening its grocery e-commerce abilities. Since the company's acquisition of Shipt in 2017, Target has expanded same-day delivery to 250 markets serving 1,400 Target locations and launched Drive Up service at more than 1,000 locations.
Shoppable recipes are catching on quickly, and Target and Cooklist face a lot of competition right now. For a fee or as a monthly add-on fee for Prime members, AmazonFresh allows shoppers to browse recipes and add ingredients to their carts for delivery or pickup. Amazon also partners with Fexy Media, owners of Simply Recipes, Serious Eats and others, to add shoppable recipes to the site.
ShopRite recently enabled shoppable recipes through a partnership with startup Chicory, and Myxx has expanded its shoppable recipe network to include major chains such as Walmart, Albertson's and H-E-B. On Tuesday, Innit launched a new app that allows users to create customizable meal kits and have them delivered with step-by-step recipe instructions included.
All these services boast that they are time and money savers, but Cooklist's mission also involves helping people make better food choices. In addition to simplifying shopping, one of its goals is to help eliminate food waste. Part of the program automatically calculates expiration dates for every purchase and notifies shoppers when they're running out of time.
Of the 10 startups that took part in Target's mentorship program last year, Cooklist was one of only six that received formal agreements with Target in 2018. Target also recently announced a new accelerator program called Target Incubator, which aims to support Generation Z entrepreneurs and is a great example of how retailers are targeting young people to build their customer base. Similar to Walmart's Open Call event, business efforts like these build good will among communities and shoppers.