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Mobile Solutions for Grocery Shopping and Allergens

by Kevin Benedict

March 14, 2011

I found out recently that I am allergic to wheat.  This fact has motivated me to adjust my diet, and to start reading closely the labels on products in the grocery store.  Last week I was reading the ingredients on a bottle of salad dressing and came across an unknown ingredient.  At first, I thought about using my iPhone 4 to look up the ingredient on the Internet, but then decided to try my free Red Laser app.

I turned the bottle around and snapped a photo of the UPC barcode with the Red Laser app and it instantly brought up a full description of the product and a section called Allergens.  There was a full description of each ingredient and a list of known allergens.

I was impressed!  A simple barcode image capture instantly provided me with all known allergen information for the product in question.  Now in my case the wheat allergy is simply an inconvenience, but with some people their allergies can be life threatening.  

Many mobile applications are simply clever apps looking for a problem to solve, but in this case the Red Laser app, or any other of the multitude of barcode image capturing apps, connected to a powerful database with valuable content can be a life saver.

This is a real life example of how a consumer can benefit from a free mobile iPhone application integrated with a product catalog that contains information important to the consumer.  I will certainly be using my iPhone bar code capturing technology, conn ected to the Internet and integrated with a database, much more often while grocery shopping.

I can image the CPG (consumer packaged goods) could add all kinds of other related services and information around this model.  If I capture the barcode, and then click on allergen information, that may be a good indicator that I have a special interest in particular ingredients.  The CPG company could then provide me with a list of other gluten-free products available from their company at my current location (GPS connection required).  They could certainly interest me in more gluten free products.  Making more sales should serve as a motivator for CPG companies to develop more kinds of mobile applications that are connected to more valuable consumer services.

Whitepapers of Note

The Business Benefits of Mobile Adoption with SAP Systems
ClickSoftware Mobility Suite and Sybase Mobility Solution
Networked Field Services
Mobile, The Next Big Thing for Business

Webinars of Note

Implementing SAP Enterprise Mobility - 10 Lessons Learned
Barcode Scanning in Mobile Apps
Five Ways to Optimize the ROI of your Mobile Solution

Kevin Benedict, Independent Mobile and M2M Industry Analyst, SAP Mentor Volunteer
Follow me on Twitter @krbenedict 
Join the SAP Enterprise Mobility Group on Linkedin 

Read The Mobility News Weekly 
Read The Mobile Retailing News Weekly 
Read The Field Mobility News Weekly 
Read The Mobile Money News Weekly 
Read The M2M News Monthly 

Full Disclosure: I am an independent mobility analyst, consultant and blogger. I work with and have worked with many of the companies mentioned in my articles. 

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