Kraft App Aids Culinary Inept

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Kraft Food's iFood Assistant, launched last month, is now one of the device's 100 most popular paid apps and is No. 2 in the lifestyle category.

    One of the coolest apps on the iPhone isn't Pandora or Facebook: It's recipes and shopping lists for Kraft singles, Jell-O gelatin and Minute Rice.

    Kraft Food's iFood Assistant, launched last month, is now one of the device's 100 most popular paid apps and is No. 2 in the lifestyle category.

    IFood Assistant's rich interface works well with the handset, and its navigation is similar to that of the iPod. The app offers a host of recipes, browse-able by ingredients, meal type or prep time. Consumers may register at KraftFoods.com to save recipes and build shopping lists.

    Recipes come with instructions simple enough for the uninitiated, and daily featured recipes try to tempt the uninspired. Of course, the dishes incorporate Kraft products. A featured recipe last week, for "chicken cacciatore pronto," calls for Kraft Light Zesty Italian dressing, chicken thighs, garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, red peppers, whole-wheat spaghetti, Kraft Grated Parmesan Cheese and Kraft 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese. There are a number of instructional videos, with guides to portion sizes and knife skills, as well as step-by-step directions for making dishes, such as fishcakes or even roast turkey with sausage stuffing.

    Reviews posted at the App Store are all over the map, from "Not good at all!" to "Wow ... best 99 cents spent." One reviewer said, "I have used Kraft online and this is just as good, plus there are more features," but lamented that the shopping lists weren't comprehensive enough. Another wrote, "I've never really cooked a lot but these recipes make me feel like Rachael Ray in the kitchen! Thanks Kraft!"

    Kraft developed the program for the iPhone because of the consumer experience it provides. In return, devotees are paying the download fee and being marketed to. Kraft is able to target ads because of information collected from the app's use and from information the users safe to their accounts on KraftFoods.com.

    Crain's Chicago Business has more on Kraft's marketing strategy with the application.