Albert Heijn, the supermarket, has a very nice app for their customers. This app is called Appie (which is a very nice name since most Dutch people refer to Albert Heijn as Appie and the word “app” is in this name). In this app, customers can give their opinion, contact customer support, see what is on sale (“Bonus” articles), see what products Albert Heijn sells, etcetera. For me, the nicest part is the recipe part. Albert Heijn supplies recipes in different manners (through a monthly magazine, recipe cards in store) and the app also has a recipe part. In this part of the app, you can see the recipes from the monthly magazine, see which recipes are popular among other users, save your favourite recipes and search for recipes based on different search options (what part of the course you are looking for, from what kitchen/country the recipe shoulc be from, how long it can take youto prepare this meal, vegetarian or not, BBQ, etcetera). So far, this is not more than a search machine.
Recently, I discoverd a nice thing about these recipes. Every now and then, I run in to a recipe with a name in there (for instance; pumpkin lasagna from Maria). I found out that there is a whole community behind these recipes called “Mijn kookschrift” (my cooking notebook). For this communitiy, you need to go to the website of Albert Heijn (http://www.ah.nl/mijn/kookschrift) and create an account, which is your cooking notebook and to which you can add recipes yourself or add recipes from other people or from AH. A nice note about a default option AH uses in creating the account; usually the default option for gender is male but here it is female, apparently AH thinks (knows?) that more women make use of communities like this. When creating an account, you can tick the box for sharing your recipes, choose a picture, write a welcome text for when other people are visiting your notebook and say whether you want to be able to send and receive messages.
When you add recipes and tick the box for sharing, the recipes you put in there can be used by other users and by Albert Heijn, also for non-users of the cooking notebook community. That is how these recipes and up in the app Appie (and on the website). Once these recipes are added to the database of Albert Heijn, the products can be easily bought at Albert Heijn. Every ingredient in recipes that you find in the app can be bought at AH, so no complicated ingredients from the market or small shops are needed. You can put all the ingredients on “your shopping list” with one click. You can use this shopping list in the supermarket (and put it in the walking route for the nearest AH), share is with your partner/roommate, order it and pick it up at a pick up point or order it and have it delivered at home (only if you order 70 euros or more).
In short; for users the cooking notebook is a nice community and a nice way to find and share recipes, for AH it is a source for recipes that they can add to their database. These recipes from the database are valuable to both parties; for customers it is easy to deside what to eat and where to get it and this will lead to trust and loyalty for Albert Heijn since customers know that they can get the ingredients there.