New app sorts grocery lists by aisle

Aisle Magic works in 40 No Frills in Toronto, more stores being added

A just-launched app aims to make buying groceries a speedy affair by sorting the shopping list on people's phones by aisle.

The app is called Aisle Magic and can sort 2,000 product categories by aisle at 40 No Frills stores in the Toronto area.

Customers using the app simply put together their grocery list and the app sorts the list by aisle.

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"Navigating the grocery store can be a lot of work," Aisle Magic's founder Rajiv Oberoi told Canadian Grocer. “When I relied on a paper list I found I couldn’t find everything I needed very easily.”

Adding to the problem is that overhead aisle signs don’t list all the products down a particular aisle. “I thought there had to be a better way,” he said.

Oberoi said Aisle Magic is easy to use and takes just minutes to put together a grocery list by aisle. He believes it can save users 20% of the time they normally spend navigating a supermarket.

Aisle Magic isn’t able to sort products by brand. Rather, it sorts by generic categories. For instance, in soup it distinguishes between dry soups and canned soups, as well as various flavours.

Oberoi said he plans to add more No Frills stores to his app in the coming weeks in Toronto suburbs, such as Mississauga, Scarborough and Richmond Hill.

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“In the coming months we’ll roll it out to other grocery chains,” he said. Oberoi isn’t working with Loblaw, owner of No Frills, on the initiative.

He chose No Frills to launch his app because the layout of the stores “is a little more consistent” and because, as a discount store, shopping trips are mission-oriented. Customers want to get their items and get out. At conventional grocers, people tend not to be in as much of a hurry, he said.

Oberoi doesn’t have a background in grocery. He works in the banking industry, which he said has given him experience in digital, marketing and consumer behaviour.

Aisle Magic launched last week. For now, it’s available only for Android devices.

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