- Evolv Group, the tech arm of Kraft Heinz, has launched an artificial-intelligence powered meal planning app called Meal Hero, according to an email sent to Grocery Dive.
- Using taste preferences and ratings from users, the app develops personalized meal suggestions and automatically generates interactive shopping lists when meals are added to a plan.
- The app also connects to Instacart so that users can load their shopping lists from Meal Hero to the e-commerce service.
Apps are becoming more useful as companies develop smarter technology and add new features that can personalize, predict and better connect shoppers with recipes, meal ideas and ingredients. As more consumers adopt technology and try new platforms, they can utilize apps for specific tasks related to grocery and food consumption.
According to a survey from online grocer Peapod, 77% of Americans would rather eat a homemade meal than go out for dinner. The research also found that 51% of millennials show interest in creating weekly meal plans. Given these findings, apps that simplify grocery shopping, recipe searching and meal planning are going to be particularly valuable to omnichannel shoppers.
Many grocers are focusing on their own app development and trying to integrate e-commerce, digital shopping lists, loyalty programs and coupons. But they can also benefit from the expansion of meal planning and recipe apps that link directly to retailers and provide added e-commerce visibility.
The app space for shoppable recipes, meal prep and planning is filling up as companies like Myxx and Innit enter the space and retailers including ShopRite and Target launch their own tools and apps. To attract users and drive downloads, these companies will need to offer distinguishing features on their apps to stand out.
Meal Hero could catch the attention of shoppers because of its AI-powered meal planning capabilities, which are supposed to make the app smarter and faster with each use. Its connection to Instacart is also valuable, creating a more seamless planning and shopping experience — and giving more exposure to retailers who partner with the e-grocer, too.