Interactive tools for busy consumers

Now here is a neat idea. Kraft Foods is making it easier for busy consumers to plan meals, search recipes and even locate the nearest store through a new downloadable application for iPhone, reports Promo. Developed in conjunction with interactive agency Genex, a division of Meredith Corp., iFood Assistant is available on the Apple APP Store http://www.apple.com/iphone/appstore for 99 cents and is billed as the first of its kind for a consumer packaged goods company.

With more than 7,000 recipes on the app, you can choose the recipe, and iFoodAssistant creates an itemized shopping list, ingredients are divided by grocery aisle and can be deleted as they go in your shopping cart. Another click and you can find the most convenient store and any promotional offers available. You can also view video cooking demonstrations and shortcuts in the “Dinner Tonight” and “Recipe of the Day” sections.

“People’s lives are becoming increasingly complex and they’re looking for relevant content and solutions to make their lives easier,” Ed Kaczmarek, director of innovation, new services at Kraft, said in a statement. Early this year,

KraftFoods.com was re-launched to focus more on occasions and daily challenges, like entertaining or dinnertime. Special sections such as “Budget Dinners” provide reasonably priced meals, and “One Bag, Five Dinners,” allow you to generate a shopping list with all the ingredients for five dinners. Message boards were moved to the forefront so visitors can more easily exchange recipes and chat about meals. The tools are “all different ways for people to save time or money or both,” says Basil Maglaris, a spokesperson for Kraft Foods.

“People are leading more wireless lives so that’s the opportunity for us to provide food ideas, and more interactive experiences.”