Kraft Store Kiosk Scans Your Face Then Knows What to Feed It [Video]

Kraft Foods facial recognition

Dinner planning: It's the bane of every five o'clock shopper who can't bear to serve up frozen pizza one more night. Now, with the help of some spooky video analytics, Intel and Kraft aim to help harried shoppers come up with better—or at least different—solutions, right in their grocery aisles.

Debuting at this week's 2011 National Retail Federation show (along with an amazing checkout counter of the future from Adidas), The "Meal Planning Solution," part of Intel's "Connected Store," is a sort of kiosk you might find in an upscale suburban market, catering to families desperate to find something the kids will eat.

The average shopper, says Kraft's VP of retail experience, Don King, has a paltry 10 recipes in his or her average meal-time rotation: Spaghetti, pizza, hamburgers, chicken, etc. Kraft's goal is to help them expand that repertoire using, of course, Kraft products. Plus, 70% of them enter the store without a clue as to what to serve that night for dinner.

So, when he or she passes by the kiosk, the digital signage, equipped with a freaky sort of Anonymous Video Analytics technology, zooms in on his or her face and instantly determines gender and age group to guess what products might exert some allure (hopefully it won't scan your second chin and suggest half a South Beach Living Fiber Fit Bar ... nothing else). For somebody who looks like she might be a mom of school-age kids, it would presumably recommend Oscar Mayer wieners with a side of Mac 'n' Cheese. A twenty-something guy with bloodshot eyes might be directed to the Tombstone Pizza aisle.

The screen advisor will also suggest recipes based on the shopper's meal-time intentions: a weeknight dinner, for example, or a weekend dinner party, or game day potluck—using Kraft dressings, CoolWhip, or Ritz crackers.

If shoppers are willing to assist the effort by swiping their local market's loyalty card or their mobile phone, the kiosk can make recommendations based on past purchasing history. The kiosk syncs with Kraft's iFood Assistant, which allows shoppers to add recipes, shopping lists, etc. to their smartphones via a barcode scanner.

Best of all, it will dispense a sample, so you can continue your trip down the aisles fueled by Oreos or Triscuits.

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  • Chris Reich

    I think it's no coincidence Kraft's VP of marketing is considerably over weight. Too much time in front of the ole kiosk perhaps?

    Chris Reich

  • JessicaGottlieb


    I'm pretty sure a kiosk like this would make it a NIGHTMARE to bring my kids to the grocery store. As it dispenses Frankenfood samples I'd be the (no longer lone) parent at the market saying, "That's NOT FOOD". My kids would be sad that they wouldn't be allowed to eat Oreos, and then we'd have to switch grocery stores.

    I like that you describe the analytics as spooky. I'm still stuck on the fact that the food is spooky.

    Great gimmick. Now if a tangerine popped out of there I'd be happy. If it was a local organic tangerine I'd sing from the rooftops.

  • Adrian Meli

    I respectfully disagree with the prior comment. Seems like a good use of technology and sound idea. It is not the case that you have to buy what the machine suggests, but having a suggestion given to you seems like a free call option to me! - Adrian Meli

  • Deena McClusky

    This is a dreadful idea, and yet another reason to stay away from major chain supermarkets whenever possible. People make enough bad choices about what to feed their families. They don't need a machine making even worse choices for them.