Fast Company's Linda Tishler has a fascinating piece about the Kraft Meal Planning Solution, which was part of Intel's two-story, 2,400 square-foot Connected Store concept that made its debut at the National Retail Federation BIG Show in New York last week. It combines Intel's new AIM Suite video analytics technology powered by the Core i5 processor with Kraft's recipe database to lasso consumers wandering by, make a demographic assessment by scanning his or her face, and then offering recommendations for dinner using, of course, Kraft brands.
In a short video posted to YouTube earlier this month, Donald King, vp of retail experience at Kraft, laid out the rationale for the Food Planner.
"This tool will delight shoppers by helping them prepare delicious, nutritious meals for their families, will help retailers engage consumers in a unique way to increase basket size and also to increase store visits and it will be filled with proprietary content to provide an infotainment experience for consumers in the store."
As a consumer, I did a quick calculation in my head. Increased basket size + increased store visits = increased girth. But that doesn't mean I'm not fascinated by the technology behind this top-down approach to the family meal. Like I said, it's diabolically brilliant. Explains King to Tishler in a video accompanying the piece:
"The average consumer has a catalogue of about 10 recipes that he or she is familiar with to make for their families. Additionally, the average consumer enters the store and 70% of the time not exactly sure what they're going to make for dinner that very evening."
So, after determining the subject's age and gender, the software determines a likely menu based on options such as weekday meal or Football Sunday Party. Then there are options within the options, such as "Healthy Living" or "Manager's Specials." And once you've got the ingredients, you can download them to your smartphone's shopping list by scanning the barcode.
In a flyer for the trade, Intel outlines five "unique" attributes of the technology:
In another recently posted video, Jose Avalos, Intel's director of retail and digital signage, talks about the Connected Store in general and the way that a watch company uses the Aim Suite, in particular, to market male watches to males and female watches to females at an interactive kiosk. In this case, presumably, no free samples are involved.