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'Google of U.S. supermarkets' to expand to Canada


A small Ottawa Internet commerce company that has built the "Google of U.S. supermarkets" has plans to expand to Canada next year.

In an article in the Ottawa Citizen, it details how, launched in 2006, has helped U.S. shoppers find the best grocery deals and was started by Paul Davis, co-founder of In-Touch Survey Systems, an Ottawa market research technology company.

The premise for the site was simple: help consumers compare prices without having to look through piles of flyers.

It wasn’t an easy task however, with the U.S. industry consisting of more than 400 grocery chains, had to deliver results for 700,000 items accurately and in a timely manner to 550,000 registered users.

“We spent the first years just tracking the flyers and getting the technology right,” Davis said in the article. “It was a way bigger effort than we ever thought it would be.”

Six years later, manufacturers like ConAgra and General Mills are signing up to advertise, use the technology and invest. Packaged food companies are looking for ways to get their popular brand names into recipe sites, and has these contacts that are driving revenues, said the article. has $1.3 million in revenues so far this year, with sales expected to hit $5 million for the full year–it’s profitable for the first time, according to the article.

There are 27 part-time employees in Malaysia who get the Wednesday and Sunday specials form more than 70,000 stores in the U.S.

The site now includes not only food items, but household, health and beauty products, linking to popular coupon sites for discounts.

When users sign up, they provide enough demographic data to attract advertisers to get access to the site’s information. The site’s tools draw up grocery lists or research recipes to get the best prices from supermarkets in their cities.

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