A new third-party Android app lists all weekly grocery flyer deals throughout the Toronto area and promises users it can “take your flyers on the go.”
GroceryGo, which is available free-of-charge, was developed by three University of Toronto engineering science graduates as a fourth year project. The developers were then invited to take part in the U of T’s Entrepreneurship Hatchery to develop the business idea behind the technology.
“Flyers are dirty, they’re heavy and they’re harmful to the environment,” said Bill Lium one of the developers, while demonstrating the app at the university. And once you find the deals you want in a flyer, you have to remember them when you go the grocery store, he said.
The app updates deals from all Metro, Loblaws, Sobeys, No Frills, Food Basics and FreshCos in Toronto, Etobicoke, Mississauga, North York and Scarborough.
Users can browse items based on categories, make grocery lists, receive notifications based on grocery list items and locations and view maps showing them retailers based on their location. Items can also be found by text and voice search.
GroceryGo’s closest competitors are grocery chains’ apps and shopping list apps. However, shopping list apps “miss GroceryGo’s main feature – live data and lots of it,” says John-Michael Messham, a downtown Toronto resident who has been using the app for about a month. By providing price transparency from grocery chains, the app allows consumers to make the best decisions when shopping for groceries, said Messham, an analyst with Bruce Power.
The developers hope to license the technology to grocery chains and to charge retailers to advertise sales and events on the app. A patent is pending and the app has received some investor interest.
The app currently has an average 4.3 out of 5 user rating on the Google play site and mostly favourable comments. “It’s a great app, but it’s missing both Walmart and Target which have grocery sections. Once those two stores are added then it might get 5 stars,” said one comment.