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Shopping of the Future

If you’re anything like me, grocery shopping is a dreaded chore. No matter how well I have planned my shopping list, or used all the latest iPhone apps to organize my expedition, it seems like I always come home unsatisfied in some way. Especially if your household is as complex as mine with food allergies to account for (we buy 3 types of milk at our house!) and varying tastes (“I don’t like peanut butter anymore, Mom.”)

I’ve tried grocery shopping using Safeway’s online tool, and even Costco or Amazon (although they don’t deliver perishables usually); but something is still missing in the experience. It takes too long (I can’t easily find the products I’m used to picking up in the store); or else the couponing system doesn’t quite work out the same way to get me as good of a deal as I would at the store. Then, recently in the news they’ve reported so many purse snatchings in grocery store parking lots, especially at night when I tend to go, that I’m realizing it’s time to rethink grocery shopping althogether.

If you could dramatically change the way grocery shopping is done, what would it be like? What if my automated home management system was connected to my fridge and pantry, and could detect when I’m low on key staples? Wouldn’t it be great if my cupboards notified me that the cereal inventory was running low – and automatically placed an order for replenishment – and even better, found the best price and coupons for me so that I get the best deal?

Well until that system is available, I’ll have to wait. But I today I found a glimmer of hope. Take a look at the latest shopping innovations in Korea. It wouldn’t work in a suburban setting like Phoenix, but I think they are on to something.

Posted on September 29, 2011 in Ideas, News, Observations & Trends

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