“Kroger’s new OptUP app is transformational for the food retail industry,” said Collen Lindholz, Kroger’s president of pharmacy and The Little Clinic. “The app puts nutritional information at your fingertips and makes finding and buying better-for-you products easier and simpler.”
Key features of the OptUP app include:
- “Scoring” groceries shoppers buy using nationally recognized dietary guidelines;
- Offering personalized product recommendations;
- Giving households an OptUP score;
- Letting shoppers scan and search items to find nutrition facts and product alternatives; and
- Giving shoppers the ability to add better-for-you options to their digital carts for curbside pickup or delivery.
“The OptUP app is a part of Kroger’s recently launched Wellness Your Way platform in support of Restock Kroger,” said Lindholz. “As part of redefining the customer experience, we are encouraging our shoppers to engage in a balanced, holistic approach to selfcare.”
OptUP product scores are based on a nationally recognized dietary standard enhanced by Kroger’s registered dietitians, the company says. Product scores range between 1-100 and fall into one of three categories: green, yellow or red. Products in the green category score 71 or better and are lower in saturated fat, sodium, sugar and calories, and may be higher in fiber, protein and fruit/vegetable or nut content. The yellow category ranges from 36-70, and the red category ranges from 1-35. Kroger’s registered dietitians recommend customers have a cart mix that is made up of at least 50 percent of products from the green category. Overall OptUP scores range from 0-1000, reflecting a customer’s purchase history over the past eight weeks. The ideal score is 600 or better.
“OptUP is a collaboration among our health, tech, digital and 84.51° teams,” said Yael Cosset, Kroger’s chief digital officer. “The data-driven app creates a more transparent and educational experience for our customers, continuing our commitment to help Americans shop, eat and live healthier on their terms.”
Kroger says it will continue to improve the OptUP app, adding more features and greater personalization for customers’ specific health needs and preferences.
Customers can download the free app through the App Store and Google Play store.
Industry players react
“Kroger’s new OptUP app brings a new level of gamification to grocery—one that combines eating well and e-commerce. With healthy eating being one of the leading consumer behaviors driving e-commerce, the combination should help Kroger increase online sales,” said Sylvain Perrier, president and CEO, Mercatus. “What’s surprising here is Kroger’s choice to go at it alone rather than partnering with a leading provider such as Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal or WeightWatchers. A partnership would allow Kroger to deliver a more complete end-to-end experience and capitalize on the massive existing user-base behind these apps.”
“Focusing on health is a powerful retention strategy for grocery retailers. A health-committed customer will seek out product recommendations from a variety of outlets, and the OptUP app looks at shopping history to help customers evaluate options to, ultimately, make healthier purchasing decisions,” added Dan Jones, VP Topco member solutions and business development, customer intelligence division, Symphony RetailAI. “If a grocery chain can provide shoppers with a health products assessment—as OptUP does—they are more likely to engage and retain these health-focused customers. And the assessment will get more precise in its recommendations if a customer does a vast majority of shopping at the retailer.”