IGA is hoping to create meal planning magic

The new "Tada!" tool in the grocer's app will allow shoppers to browse flyers based on what kind of meals they want to make.

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IGA is adding a meal planner to its app, linking to the grocer’s flyers, aimed at value and time-conscious consumers.

The new “Tada!” tool provides weekly recipe suggestions based on flyer specials, filtered by dietary presence, cost and preparation time. There is an auto-generated grocery list based on the recipes, and a frictionless integration with pickup and delivery options.

The addition is based on CEFRIO insights revealing that Quebecers are especially fond of online flyers, with 50% of respondents consulting them when planning out their grocery shops. It is also informed by recent Mintel data showing that 82% of Canadian parents plan their meals of the week before going to the store, and that 55% of them think that grocers should do a better job at placing ingredients for meals at the same place.

IGA agency partner Sid Lee proposed “Tada!” a few years ago, and has they have been taking the time to strategize about its offerings. It became even more relevant since online grocery shopping has exploded.

“Everything was designed to improve the customer experience, so rather than shopping by ingredient, you browse by meal,” says Julie Desrochers, creative director at Sid Lee, which developed the tool along with Orckestra and Mirego. Planning meals ahead, she adds, also has the benefit of reducing food waste.

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Mathieu Hébert-Thompson, marketing director, digital strategy, loyalty and promotions at Sobeys, tells strategy that its private label brand Compliments will be core to the meal planner functionality as secondary products, as these hit the value mark and help parent company Empire further reach its goal around growing private label. National brands will be featured in meal planners, although as of now there are no specific brand partnerships linked to Tada!

Every recipe is maximally $7.50 per portion, so Compliments allows IGA to fulfill that unofficial promise, and if a national brand offers that same value, Hébert-Thompson says the brand will consider it.

Tada! is being promoted through a mixed media campaign, including TV and online video, which is one click from the app, and banner and social, based once again on a familial feel and animated characters which are closely linked to IGA.

Desrochers says the animated approach is a plus, as it has instant attribution having been such a longstanding part of the banner’s creative identity. There is also some OOH and in-store components reinforcing the menu planning messaging.

“We have all of our own channels, and it’s a well balanced campaign to get the most reach and make new app module known to all of Quebec and a lot of New Brunswick,” says Hébert-Thompson.

In terms of spend, Hébert-Thompson says this is a “tier one” campaign, comparable to other creative released around back to school season.