The Kroger Co. on Monday introduced the first generation of Chefbot, the grocery retailer’s A.I.-powered Twitter recipe tool that helps users pair the groceries in their refrigerator and reduce food waste by providing mealtime inspiration and personalized recommendations.
Developed in partnership with integrated creative and media agency 360i, and technology partners Coffee Labs and Clarifai, Kroger's Chefbot offers an innovative and user-friendly conversational solution for breaking away from mundane mealtime routines and unwanted at-home food waste — common challenges for many as families continue to enjoy more meals together at home. Chefbot's A.I. analyzes photographs to recognize nearly 2,000 ingredients, unlocking 20,000 Kroger recipes for users to cook.
Chefbot works through a simple, three-step process:
- Snap: Users snap a photo of three ingredients from their refrigerator or pantry.
- Tweet: Users tweet their photo to @KrogerChefbot. Through artificial intelligence, Chefbot identifies ingredients and then scans thousands of unique recipes on Kroger.com.
- Cook: Within seconds, Chefbot responds to the user's original tweet to deliver a list of personalized recipe recommendations based on the selected ingredients.
“Last year, we launched Kroger’s Fresh for Everyone brand transformation campaign to underscore our commitment and belief that everyone should have access to fresh, affordable and delicious food,” said Mandy Rassi, Kroger's vice president of marketing. “Chefbot is one of the ways we’re delivering on that brand promise by making it even easier for our customers to achieve their meal aspirations, especially as the majority of shoppers are eating meals prepared at home multiple times a day during the pandemic.”
According to Kroger, Chefbot provides an interactive experience to help make life at home more manageable and reinforces the retailer’s commitment to Fresh for Everyone as well as encourages professional foodies and amateur cooks alike to utilize use all the food found in their pantries to help reduce food waste. Chefbot’s experience includes multiple touchpoints, offering fun social engagement through Twitter paired with Kroger.com e-commerce integration. Over time with learned insights, Chefbot’s food recognition and recipe search technology will evolve and improve, allowing the possibilities of this powerful tool to advance.
“Never has it been more necessary for people to be able to find quick, sustainable and easy solutions for making meals at home — and no place makes it easier for food brands to engage directly with these people than Twitter,” said Dennis Bree, Twitter’s director of Catalyst + Government & Causes. “Through the use of innovative technology, Kroger is bringing mealtime inspiration to the people on Twitter who are actively tweeting about the need for new recipes more than ever before.”
“Chefbot illustrates how marketers can tap into augmented intelligence to deliver true service and value,” added Menno Kluin, chief creative officer, 360i. “Innovation often happens during times of seismic change. By leveraging visual A.I. in a bold new way, Kroger is bringing their promise of Fresh for Everyone to life while addressing pain points and helping shoppers maximize their purchases.”
In September, Cincinnati-based Kroger released a national shopper survey by 84.51˚, its data analytics subsidiary, which found that food waste prevention is a focus for many families as they eat more meals together at home amid the COVID-19 crisis.
Of respondents, 35% strongly agreed they are more conscious of food waste since the the coronavirus outbreak, and almost half cited food expiration as the chief cause of food waste during the pandemic, according to Kroger. Most shoppers polled reported eating more meals together as a family. What’s more, nearly three out of four are eating meals prepared at home multiple times a day, with more than half of those meals requiring a moderate to high amount of preparation.
The nation’s largest grocery retailer, Kroger operates more than 2,700 stores under a variety of banners, including 2,400 online grocery delivery locations and 2,100-plus pickup sites.