Back to the Future Grocery


Question: Is the new “connected world” where a corporation can track your preferences etc. to target you with specific adds really that much different from the “old days” where your local grocer knew what you liked and offered that to you?

I’m listening to KCUR’s “Up To Date” and they are talking about how Meijer chain in Michigan and Indiana is developing an in-store wi-fi system to assist shoppers with their grocery (and everything else) shopping. The example that was given is that you are walking around the store – the system notices that you are looking at peanut butter – it tells you that there are 10 different types of PB at the store and three are on sale – you can access reviews etc across the internet to make an informed choice – then, the system generates a coupon for Peter Pan PB and Welch’s Jelly.

On the one hand, it’s creepy that the store could know you that well. However, my question stands – is that really all that different from “back in the day” when you might go into your local grocery store (the good ‘ole days when you had a relationship with your grocer) and talk to the owner who knows you and your needs. He takes you to the PB and notes the pro’s and con’s of each brand while offering you a deal on one particular one.


Granted, one is big business and the other is local but based on personalized service alone, its actually very similar. Frankly, in a world of choices, it’s nice to have some information with which to make a decision. As someone who came into the internet age as a teenager, I like the idea.

Also, as a parent, the idea that I can hand my children a tablet on which they can happily watch Netflix while I shop?? Thank you. Really. Thank you.

Is that a fair comparison?

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