Grocery shopping apps bring new wrinkle to Thanksgiving shopping

Saving on groceries

If you’re like a lot of people, you waited in a long line at the supermarket and paid through the nose for your Thanksgiving feast. But there might be a smarter way.  

Attention shoppers: The $600 billion grocery industry in America is in upheaval with growing competition, falling prices and technology offering shoppers new ways to find bargains.

Mary Lemmer does comparative shopping using a smartphone app called “Basket.” She says she has saved up to 25 percent through comparative shopping. 

Mary Lemmer uses apps to hunt down for grocery bargains.  CBS News

“I buy strawberries, apples, carrots, avocados, salmon, pumpkin seeds,” Lemmer says.

The app calculates the total cost of her groceries at nearby markets. Sometimes Whole Foods has the lowest price, but not this time.

“My basket at Safeway would be $42.07, my basket at whole foods would be $56.50 -- so that’s how much I could save,” Lemmer says. 

The traditional grocery shopping experience may be changing with apps. CBS News

Customers of Zaycon Fresh save by ordering on line, then lining up when the Zaycon delivery truck comes to their area. Bulk orders of  chicken cost about half the supermarket price. 

”Just pull on up and get your chicken and the price is a good deal for what you’re getting,” says customer Aletia Brown. 

The six-year-old company sells direct from farmers to online shoppers and now makes parking lot deliveries at 1,200 locations nationwide. 

“It’s almost like a concierge service,” says Mike Conrad, Zycon’s co-founder. “They don’t have to get out of the car.”

Online grocery sales are expected to rise from $16 billion in 2015 to $42 billion this year, according to Morgan Stanley Research.

“What e-commerce offers is giving those consumers the two hours they spent shopping back every week,” says Supermarket News retail editor Jon Springer. 

Its also giving supermarkets another big competitor: Amazon, which plans to open stores where shoppers can pick up online grocery orders.

“It’s a great time to be a shopper,” Springer says. “It’s a tough time to be a supermarket.”

In the supermarket wars, technology is giving shoppers an upper hand. 

  • John Blackstone

    From his base in San Francisco, CBS News correspondent John Blackstone covers breaking stories throughout the West. That often means he is on the scene of wildfires, earthquakes, floods, hurricanes and rumbling volcanoes. He also reports on the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley and on social and economic trends that frequently begin in the West.