retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

The Washington Post reports on a couple of area entrepreneurs who have developed Nexercise, “a smartphone app that rewards exercise with discounts on items such as energy bars, all natural groceries and workout DVDs.”

According to the story, “Users select a physical activity, such as aerobics, running or badminton, then choose a workout time of 15 minutes or more. The program uses sensors already built into the iPhone and other smartphones to detect motion and other metrics that verify the activity actually takes place.

“Users accrue points with each workout, and more points equate to better discounts. Nexercise also has a social component that allows users to compete directly with other smartphone owners or trumpet their workouts on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

“The competitive nature of Nexercise is meant to serve as another source of motivation, and those who prefer to keep their exercise habits private can simply tally the points to earn coupons or free gifts and for their own satisfaction.”

Nexercise currently is in test mode, and won’t be available until later this year, pending approval from Apple.

But there is a larger lesson here, which is that there is a connection between how people eat and how they behave. That’s not news ... but it is a business opportunity for food retailers and suppliers. To be relevant to their shoppers - especially to a demographic of aging baby boomers increasingly concerned about how they will live lives that have fewer days in front of them than behind them - that may also mean offering health-related and food-centric services that reflect a more holistic approach to intelligent living.

Go figure. There’s an app for that.
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