Northfork targets UK grocers after Walmart and Buzzfeed tie-up


Northfork, the shop-by-recipe platform for grocery retailers, is targeting UK operators  having completed a major roll-out in the USA.

This week Northfork revealed it is the technology behind the new Walmart and Buzzfeed Shoppable Recipes feature within the Tasty app. The new feature makes grocery shopping easier and saves time by enabling customers to add recipe ingredients featured in Tasty videos directly to their Walmart online grocery cart for pickup or delivery.

The Northfork technology, which is already widely used in several Nordic countries, seamlessly integrates with grocery retailers’ apps and websites through an advanced, custom algorithm that translates recipes into full shopping carts.

The technology also scales recipes to any portion and optimises product combinations for minimal waste, organic options or the lowest price and recommends products based on an analysis of historic purchases. Northfork partnered with BuzzFeed’s own team and proprietary technology to bring the Shoppable Recipes feature to life.

“We are excited to help Walmart and Buzzfeed deliver a seamless grocery experience to their customers through shoppable recipes,” said Robin Rendahl, chief executive officer and co-founder of Northfork.

“We believe in using the most advanced technologies to deliver superior simplicity that increases growth, margins and revenue while enhancing the shopping experience.”

He added: “There are huge opportunities in the UK, by simplifying the shopping experience grocers can attract a new type of customer segment that historically have been limited to meal kit services.”

Research from Mintel* suggests retailers are struggling to entice new shoppers online, with the number of online grocery customers dropping from 48% to 45% between 2015 and 2018.”

Despite this, those shopping online appear to be spending more. Mintel figures also show that in 2018 sales of online groceries in the UK hit £12.3 billion, up 9% from 2017. They predict the rise of online is set to continue this year with sales expected to reach £13.6 billion.

Over the next five years, online grocery is forecast to account for 10% of all grocery shopping, with sales growing by 60% to reach £19.8 billion in 2023.

The US market is also seeing significant online growth. According to the Food Marketing Institute, 49% of U.S. consumers shop for groceries online. The same study suggested that by 2022 consumers could be spending 100 billion dollars on online groceries per year. In as little as 5 to 7 years, 70% of U.S. shoppers will regularly purchase food online. Shoppable recipes that can be customised to personal preference and dietary needs will soon become a requirement for grocery retailers’ online customers.

“Tasty’s mission is to make cooking and food more accessible, and with this new feature, we’re making it easier than ever for our audience to cook their favourite Tasty recipes. By partnering with Walmart and leveraging Northfork’s technology for Shoppable Recipes, we’re thrilled to be able to solve the pain point of grocery shopping,” said Ben Kaufman, BuzzFeed’s chief marketing officer.

The new Shoppable Recipes feature provides a seamless grocery experience for Tasty iOS app users, giving them quick access to delicious ingredients for more than 4,000 recipes. From the Tasty app, users are directed to the Walmart Grocery app or, where they can view what’s in their cart, purchase the ingredients and schedule their groceries for either kerbside pickup at a local Walmart or at-home delivery. Orders can be picked up or delivered as soon as the same day. With geo-specific capabilities to map a recipe’s ingredients to the products available at the closest Walmart location, the feature ensures that customers can access the exact items they need to whip together that tasty Tasty recipe. Picky eaters are also accommodated – customers can swap items within the Tasty app based on their preferences, be it price, brand, quantity, organic or other dietary preferences.

Grocery retailers can also include a customised recommendation system with meal kit recipes based on purchase preferences, lifestyle diets, allergies and budgets, delivering a truly personalised shopping experience.