Albertsons Cos. Unveils New Digital Innovations to Meal Plans Tool

Enhancements aim to help budget-conscious, time-strapped shoppers cook at home
Marian Zboraj
Digital Editor
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Albertsons Cos. has unveiled the latest digital enhancements to its shoppable Meal Plans and Recipes tool available within the retailer’s grocery apps and websites, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaw’s, Acme and Tom Thumb banners. Designed to provide customers with culinary inspiration throughout the week while saving time and money, the meal plan feature includes a budget tracker, an expanded library of more than 8,000 exclusive recipes, shoppable ingredient lists and a hands-free cooking mode with a step-by-step timer.

“This all-in-one tool empowers the everyday home cook to plan, shop and prepare inspiring recipes without the added expense or commitment of a meal delivery service,” said Jill Pavlovich, SVP of digital customer experience for Albertsons Cos. “Our Meal Plans tool offers greater versatility, as price-conscious families can plan a week’s worth of flavorful meals based on their budget. Best of all, it’s free to use on our grocery app and website.”

[Read more: "Budget-Conscious Consumers Still Cooking at Home"]

The Meal Plans tool offers thousands of recipes spanning breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert that can be filtered by dietary preference, food restrictions and serving size, as well as customized by omitting an ingredient that may not be a family favorite.

New recipes are added to the Meal Plans and Recipes tool each month so shoppers can enjoy seasonal variety in meals such as Pear & Pecan Ricotta ToastParsnip-Apple Soup with Grilled Prosciutto & Blue Cheese Sandwich, or Grilled Pork Quinoa Bowl with Apple, Grapes & Goat Cheese for fall.

Recent digital enhancements to the Meal Plans tool also include:

  • A budget tracker that allows customers to specify a total weekly budget, a total number of meals and a total number of servings ahead of recipe selection. As recipes are added to the Meal Plans tool, the cost of ingredients is deducted from the overall budget so shoppers can view the total meal price and cost per serving.
  • Cooking mode makes time in the kitchen clean and easy to execute. Once the groceries are home and meal prep begins, users can simply wave their hand over each step of the recipe to advance to the next page, keeping the phone or tablet screen free of a sticky mess. Cooking mode also includes a built-in timer to keep the cook on track.

Once shoppers choose one or more recipes, one click will consolidate all of the ingredients to their “My List” shopping list, which can be modified to include other household essentials. Users can then view available deals or clip digital coupons applicable to any items in their cart before checkout.

Grocery orders can be picked up at the nearest store, or delivered straight to the doorstep in as little as 30 minutes using the retailer’s new Flash service. For those who prefer shopping in person at their local store, shopping lists can even be sorted by aisle number or product category.

“We designed the Meal Plans tool to also help our customers reduce food waste by choosing the right amount of food they need each week. We introduced this innovative feature to our recipe search engine so it will automatically optimize ingredients across multiple meals. For example, if two recipes call for half of an onion, only one onion will be added to your shopping list,” Pavlovich added.

As of June 17, Boise, Idaho-based Albertsons operated 2,272 retail food and drug stores with 1,726 pharmacies, 401 associated fuel centers, 22 dedicated distribution centers and 19 manufacturing facilities. The company has stores across 34 states and the District of Columbia with 24 banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Jewel-Osco, Shaws, Acme, Tom Thumb, Randalls, United Supermarkets, Pavilions, Star Market, Haggen, Carrs, Kings Food Markets and Balduccis Food Lovers Market. Albertsons is No. 9 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of top food and consumables retailers in North America. PG also named the company one of its Retailers of the Century.

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