Kroger's Food4Less adds augmented reality to app

Kroger subsidiary Food4Less is using augmented reality in an app to help shoppers bridge the gap between its print circular and their mobile devices.

The DigitalFood app for iPhone and Android lets shoppers scan a logo or icon in the printed ad to search price and product information. Brands can also offer additional information or features including promotions, video messaging and streaming content such as movies or music.

The program was developed with mobile platform company CausePlay. "Virtual Values is one of the first augmented reality features that has a powerful business model", said Jonas Hudson, CausePlay COO and partner. "The Virtual Values platform helps grocery save money by saving on paper cost while providing brands the ability to deliver a video or rewards-based price and offering model."

Headquartered in Los Angeles, Food4Less operates 131 value warehouse supermarkets in Southern California, Illinois and Indiana under the banners Food4Less and Foods Co. All are subsidiaries of Cincinnati-based Kroger (NYSE:KR).

"The by-product of the digital age enables a more efficient and greener solution to the traditional circular," said Eddie Vasquez, director of marketing and advertising at Food4Less. "Brands can enjoy a broader and interactive offering through Virtual Values, and our stores can save on physical printing costs and paper by offering the Virtual Values solution. Plus, brands that couldn't typically advertise in our circulars have a new digital avenue to present their brands and offerings to our consumers." 

Food4Less joins a growing list of retailers adding some form of visual search to their mobile apps. Macy's has put its app and mobile search feature at the core of its mobile-first strategy, and Bed Bath & Beyond is using augmented reality in its newest wedding registry app.

For more:
-See this Food4Less press release

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