Tesco recently signed up with a new social network website that describes itself as "the world's first personalized social shopping platform for groceries." Besides creating a food-centered web community and a personalization tool, Foodie.fm links to a retailer's real time assortment to allow users buy products seamlessly.
Dubbed in the media as "Facebook for groceries," Foodie.fm was created by Finland's Digital Foodie. Its core technology is a patent-pending recommendation server that learns from users' eating and purchasing habits and suggests recipes and groceries that match their taste profile. Suggestions take into account users' personalized preferences, including food allergies, intolerances, predilections and budget restrictions.
The site then builds a digital shopping list of the necessary ingredients with Tesco.com. Foodie.fm checks with Tesco that items are available before the order is paid for and delivered. Prices, product and nutritional information from Tesco's mix are also accessible.
From the online community perspective, Foodie.fm, available as a free app as well as via the web and Facebook, enables users to make friends with other food lovers and to swap cooking tips and recipes. Users can access personalized recipe and product suggestions, comment on recipes and see updates and recommendations from family and friends they follow on the site.
"Say that you are on a gluten free diet, it is very helpful to see what recipes others with gluten free diets are having and what breads they are liking," said Kalle Koutajoki, CEO of Digital Foodie, in a statement. "Detailed nutritional information of more than 35,000 products and thousands of recipes along with user ratings provide valuable information when making purchasing decisions."
The beta test with Tesco is just underway, but Digital Foodie has been working over the last year with S Group, one of the largest retail chains in Scandinavia, on developing the technology.
"Transparency is very important to us," said Ilkka Alarotu, Director, Assortments and Pricing, S Group, in the statement. "With Foodie.fm, we have opened up a channel for direct customer feedback, recommendations and discussion, while making grocery shopping easier and more fun."
What's the upside potential of a social/personalization website such as Foodie.fm in the U.S.?