- Giant Eagle has launched a series of cooking classes hosted by celebrity chefs that integrate with the retailer's online shopping platform.
- Each demonstration has a link to order all the relevant ingredients from Giant Eagle's curbside pickup and delivery services. Ingredients also pop up during the virtual class when the chefs share their recipes and offer cooking tips.
- Featured chefs include Buddy Valastro, host of “Cake Boss", who demonstrates a kids baking class on how to make deep-fried cookies alongside his son Marco. Jeff Mauro from Food Network’s “Sandwich King” and “The Kitchen” hosts a session on making breakfast in bed while Adam Richman, from “Man v. Food” makes a chicken marsala. Alex Guarnaschelli, who has competed on “Iron Chef” and been a judge on “Chopped”, teaches viewers how to make kid-friendly creative lunches.
Numerous retailers have added online cooking classes to their websites as shoppers follow stay-at-home orders and spend more time in their kitchens. What makes Giant Eagle's program unique is its close integration with the retailer's online shopping tools.
Although Giant Eagle's new celebrity chef courses don't feature the same add-to-cart functionality as shoppable recipes, it still promotes the company's products in each video and features a direct link to the retailer's e-commerce platform. The grocer clearly wants to shorten the distance between inspiration and product purchasing.
Prior to the COVID-19 crisis, Giant Eagle hosted cooking classes at a few of its Market District stores. It has also partnered with celebrity chefs to create recipes for its Great to Go fresh meal kits and had celebrity chefs, including Valastro, attend the grand opening of one of its Market District stores.
Chicago-based Mariano’s recently launched virtual cooking classes that included wine tastings, mixology sessions and live music. Kroger, meanwhile, has launched a series of weekly stay-at-home celebrations with different party themes and recipes that use Kroger ingredients.
As shoppers flood retailers' sites and e-commerce becomes even more of a battleground for companies, grocers will continue to probe new ways to make their websites and shopping platforms special.