One in 5 grocery shoppers in the U.S. have downloaded a food or beverage application, according to the National Grocers Association and SupermarketGuru, up from 11% in 2011. Other studies show that while consumers mainly use branded apps to seek out discounts, many apps are more focused on providing an experience. "Are you open to watching a 20-second video on your mobile phone while walking into the store? It's a bottle of pop. Probably not," said April Carlisle, Arc Worldwide's senior vice president of global shopper marketing.

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