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Brief Published: 8 Mar 2013

Grocery App Predicts Food Shopping Needs, NY


Running out of milk may become a thing of the past thanks to a new web and mobile shopping platform that taps into users’ purchasing routines to deliver items when they need them.

Dubbed the Rosie app, the system uses algorithms (in this case, an analysis of consumers’ buying patterns) and purchase histories to predict when the consumer is likely to be running low on a particular item. Shoppers signing up for the New York-based service enter details about their household such as how many people live there, their ages and sexes, and information about their typical grocery buys.

Rosie then alerts the user about products that will be running out over the next few days, automatically finds the cheapest price for the items, and gives them the option of reserving them in a nearby store. Having been purchased through the mobile or web app, the shopping is bagged up and ready for collection. A partnership with personal errand crowdsourcing service TaskRabbit means that users can opt in to have their items collected and delivered for an additional fee.

At the time of writing, the team behind Rosie confirmed that five supermarket brands (yet to be revealed) have signed up to be affiliated with the app.

The platform was founded in September 2012 by a group of American tech entrepreneurs whose mission is to cut down the amount of time, money and stress spent on grocery shopping. “For people that really don’t like grocery shopping, or for young students and urban professionals or moms that are super-busy there’s a real pain point,” founder and chief executive Nick Nickitas explained. “Rosie is super-smart at aggregating your order; she’ll look at purchases that are coming, she doesn’t ping you for every item.”

Prior to its launch in April 2013, Rosie currently has 1,400 sign-ups, although exactly what the app will cost users is also still to be revealed. 

Other supermarket innovations making grocery shopping faster and easier include Peapod Digital Supermarket, Walmart’s Subscription-Based Food Service and Tesco’s Virtual Shopping Walls. Also see Super-Service in the Retail Sector for more on how mass-market retailers are increasingly appropriating personalised and concierge-style services.

Rosie App