The food shopping of the future could look a lot more like buying airline tickets: You might not be paying the same price as the person next to you. That's because Safeway and Kroger—and likely soon other supermarkets—are tailoring personal prices based on your purchase history, reports the New York Times. Supermarket analysts are collecting volumes of data on consumers' buying habits. Thus, for instance, a frequent buyer of other Refreshe products might get a discount on the company's bottled water to encourage her to purchase it—and to keep doing so.
The data collection could raise privacy concerns for some, but "if our consumer information is right, personalization is really a consumer desire right now, not so much a consumer fear," says Safeway's marketing boss. Indeed, at Kroger, some 70% of customers who received personalized coupons used at least one of them. But the data can get pretty personal: Someone who just bought diapers might receive an offer of "a baby formula or baby food that might be based on the age of their baby and what food the baby might be ready for," a marketer tells the Times.