ShopSavvy downloads jumped to 287,000 in mid-March after hitting their previous high of 200,000 just a week before, the smart phone app maker reports.

In between, ShopSavvy added a “Know Your Farmer” feature to the app, and Top 10 Produce unveiled a new California strawberry brand, Salinas Valley Locale, that uses the traceability tool to link consumers and growers.

It’s not a coincidence, said Top 10 Produce executive director John Bailey. But the climb actually began a month before when Groupon reached an agreement to put its daily discount offers on ShopSavvy.

“There’s no reason it would have blown up like it did without Groupon,” Bailey said. “But the fact consumers are downloading it in response to this “Know Your Farmer” connection means it’s going to move strawberries.”

Through ShopSavvy, Groupon offers in-store coupons.

Locale strawberries, due in Salinas Valley markets before April 1, come with smart phone-scannable bar codes that trace the fruit to its nearby growers. So far 10 growers have signed on as suppliers. The brand hopes to market 500,000 cartons in its first season, and 6 million within three years.

The growers control the profiles shoppers see. Among other information, they display a map and links to the growers’ Facebook and Twitter accounts. More information is available at and

A variety of companies now put smart phone-scannable codes on produce, offering various levels of interaction. Top 10 Produce plans to offer its bar code service to any brand supplied by its growers, but for now it’s only on Locale.

Besides Locale Salinas Valley, there is also Locale Chesapeake; Locale Ojai Valley; and soon, Bailey said, Locale Hawaii.

Each Locale label carries images associated with the place. In Salinas Valley’s case, they include the ocean, the National Steinbeck Center and the local rodeo and air show. Smart phones can link to the attractions too, Bailey said.