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Whole Foods' chatbot cooks up special connections with personalized recipes

Whole Foods Market is getting in on the chatbot frenzy, but with a new twist, serving fans on Facebook Messenger recipes with instructions that are personalized based on a user's responses. 

Users can interact with Whole Foods? recipe generator on Facebook Messenger to receive recipes tailored for specific requests by opting in. The chatbot shares a wide range of meals that are found and tested by Whole Foods that come with nutritional values and step-by-step instructions. 

"The Whole Foods chatbot doesn't just require you to use text to find recipes," said Ben Lamm, CEO and co-founder of Conversable. "People can use emojis or a combination of text and emojis to discover new recipes and meals. 

"This allows for the broadest age range of users from baby boomers to millennials and everyone in between," he said. 

Recipes recommendations 
Consumers on Facebook Messenger can now message Whole Foods? official account to find a recipe to their liking. The chatbot first asks users if they wish to find a recipe, provides them with a summary of the experience explaining that users can browse recipes or search for requires and provides a button that automatically generates a response. 

Users can click ?Got It,? which sends Whole Foods text that says, ?got it? to start the process. Next, it prompts users between choosing to browse or search for recipes. 

Those that click browse can scroll through dishes that meet users' requirements. For instance, consumers can decide between browsing via type of dish, cuisine or special diet, and then search the variety of categories within that, such as appetizers, gluten free or main dish. 

Whole Foods will select a specific recipe for users based on their responses when users select to search for a recipe. For instance, the individual can message Whole Foods that he or she is looking for diet-friendly meals featuring seafood, and the chatbot will provide a specific recipe meeting those requirements. 

Individuals can click on the recipe to read it in full, view pictures, see nutritional information and similar recommendations. The chatbot will also be able to determine recipes based on emojis. 

Messaging marketing
Disney similarly used chatbots on Facebook Messenger to create an interactive dialogue with fans of animated film Zootopia, letting users discover and solve crimes while driving awareness for the film's DVD release (see more). 

British train operator Great Western Railway also launched on Facebook Messenger at end of the 2015, receiving 4,731 queries through the platform between December and March of this year, with the resolution time averaging between three and 20 minutes (see more). 

"The Whole Foods Facebook Messenger chatbot can benefit customers by allowing customers to conversationally discover new recipes within Facebook without the need to stop what they are doing and downloading an app is easy and seamless for users," Mr. Llam said.