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Safeway rolls out iPhone app, mobile site to inspire holiday cooking

National grocer Safeway is helping consumers prepare for the holidays with a recipe application and a mobile Web site.

Safeway is rolling out several digital initiatives for the remainder of the year, which includes mobile. The Chef Assistant app is available for free in Apple?s App Store.

?At Safeway, we want to give moms and families easy ways to help them accomplish everything they need to do and enjoy the busy holiday season,? said Barbara Walker, group vice president of consumer communications and integrated marketing at Safeway, Pleasanton, CA.

Safeway operates almost 1,700 stores in the U.S. and Canada.

Mobile cooker
The app is aimed at moms and families who are looking for tips on cooking holiday meals.

Using the app, users can view step-by-step directions on how to cook a turkey in two hours.

Consumers can view tools inside the app to find the perfect cooking time for their turkey based on its weight.

The app also includes a three-minute video demonstration that walks users through the process of preparing a turkey meal.

Food lovers can also watch a video on how to carve a turkey.

To cater to Safeway?s target demographic of savvy moms, the app aims to make meal preparation simple with four ingredients.

In order to move forward through each step, users must indicate that they have completed a step by tapping.

Consumers can also set a virtual timer to cook their turkey with voice reminders.

The app also features a section with commonly-asked questions about cooking a turkey.

For example, one of the questions is, ?Why should I not stuff the turkey before cooking??

In addition to cooking content, the app is branded with Safeway and its other owned grocery chains.

Safeway has also rolled out a mobile Web site that is holiday-themed with tips for entertaining and cooking during the holiday season.

Users can access the mobile site at for recipes and receive tips from Safeway chefs Jeff Anderson and Debi Lilly.

Mobile grocery store
With the holidays quickly approaching, many grocery stores are rolling out mobile initiatives similar to Safeway.

For example, grocery chain Hy-Vee recently rolled out an iPhone app that helps shoppers navigate its stores (see story).

For Safeway, the special-edition app is a unique decision because it focuses on Safeway?s consumers but does not offer any in-store features, such as a location finder or store deals.

However, the mobile site features a location finder, deals and links to follow the grocer's social media links, which are all important features for a mobile site to have.

?We created the Safeway Chef Assistant mobile app to help them spend less time cooking and more time with their family and friends,? Ms. Walker said.'

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York