New Ziplist Partnership Makes Saving Money While Meal Planning Unavoidable

By Michael Carney , written on September 25, 2012

From The News Desk

Condé Nast-owned Ziplist is all about making meal-planning as efficient and enjoyable as possible. The company has previously integrated with over 6,500 recipe and cooking sites across the Web, such as Martha Stewart and Simply Recipes, to offer its recipe saving and shopping list-building functionality. Today, the platform is announcing another partnership to add cost-savings to the meal-planning experience.

Ziplist has joined forces with hyperlocal supermarket deal giant Grocery Server. Now, regardless of where on the Web users are building their shopping lists, they will see which items are available on sale at their local grocery stores and farmer's markets.

“With the rising cost of groceries, it was especially important that we offer users more powerful ways to save money effortlessly,” says Ziplist CEO Geoff Allen. “By partnering with Grocery Server, now we are able to not only help answer the question of ‘what’s for dinner,’ but also ‘what’s on sale’ without the consumer having to do any heavy lifting.”

The traditional grocery store circular lists a maximum of several dozen items and typically limits these to packaged goods. Grocery Server offers savings on hundreds of items per store, including perishable items like meats and produce. Users can sort these offers based on location or preferred store.

Ziplist has built in semantic analysis tools and smart unit conversion abilities, meaning that the software can look at the items required in a given recipe and intelligently match them to items available within current grocery store sales, even when the names and portions aren’t always identical.

The integration will go live today on ten of Ziplist premium partner sites and will be available across its network beginning October 1. In the coming weeks, the company will add additional functionality including the ability to create watch lists for items consumers wish to purchase once they go on sale. Additionally, Ziplist plans to eventually help users select among saved recipes based on available savings.

At scale, the company gets to observe a lot of consumer behavior including which items, brands, and stores are the most popular. The company will eventually use these learnings to offer users exclusive offers based on the items they purchase most.

The Ziplist savings integration will be extended to display ads as well, such that brands can deliver geo-located offers to consumers across its network of publisher sites. In early tests, these enhanced ads resulted in 400 percent click through rate lift and generated "out of this world CPMs" says the company's CEO.

Shortly following its April acquisition by Condé Nast, Ziplist began rolling out a slew of product upgrades. The most notable of these was its Netflix-like meal queue to allow households to plan meals and grocery shopping weeks or even months in advance. Allen promised at the time that this was the first of many things to come, on both the product and partnerships fronts. Today’s announcement marks the first step in fulfilling that promise.

Ziplist is far from the only game in town, in either grocery list-making or couponing apps. List Bliss shines in the first category with its real-time synchronization tools, while Grocery iQ is a clear leader in the latter. What the Ziplist service has going for it now is the way it seamlessly combines both, while also offering an Internet-wide integration with recipe sites.

The days of combing through Sunday circulars clipping coupons and scribbling down recipes from family friends are behind us, thankfully. The Web is full of solutions that make the process more efficient and enjoyable, and more than half of all consumers are said to use some sort of digital tool when planning their meals. As the company is fond of saying, everyone plans meals, whether they realize it or not. Today’s deals integration simply makes saving money while doing it a lot easier.