Tech company inMarket, which deploys tracking beacons in retail settings in the name of hypertargeted advertising, has enlisted Epicurious on an ambitious plan to e-dispatch recipes and "timely offers" to Safeway customers as they wander stores aisles. It all starts next month as an update to the Epicurious app, Ad Age reports, but by 2015 there may be as many as 40,000 of these "air freshener"-size Bluetooth devices embedded among all those Granny Smith apples and chunky-peanut-butter displays.
The partnership could play out somewhere along these lines: The beacon picks up your phone's Bluetooth as you dawdle in the pasta aisle, telling Epicurious to send a recipe in the form of a push notification, along with an offer for 50 cents off third-party purveyor De Cecco, or 75 cents off, say, a can of grated Kraft Parm. But what if you swear by Martelli #10 spaghetti and authentic Parmigiano-Reggiano in your carbonara? Many companies working are on this kind of advanced grocery-store ad-pushing — it's not just inMarket — and they're betting that you'll buy whatever's discounted. Users of Condé Nast's Epicurious app, which has been downloaded 10 million times, will at least be able to opt out of the location-tracking feature before the update goes live next month.