Foodilize was created to contribute to the reduction of food waste
by helping users find recipes to utilize the food
a user would already have in their fridge, pantry, or leftovers
This allows users to find new and creative ways
to use up their food so they can reduce their waste
and don’t get bored
eating the same meals.
My team members for this project were Meghan Douglas
, Renee Yang
, and Stacey Keating
Empathize: Secondary Research, Primary Research
Define: HMW, Persona
Ideate: Sketches, Visual Identity, Wireframes
Test: User Testing
Research was conducted into the problem space of food waste.
Historical and current context of food waste in Canada:
- More than ½ the food produced in Canada is wasted
- 51% of waste takes place in households
- $31 Billion dollars worth of food is wasted annually
- 396 kilograms of food per capita is wasted every year
- In the 1950’s, processed/packaged food became very common as it was quick and easy and trash went up drastically
- In the 1980’s, recycling was invented
Recent news to address food waste:
There was an increase in food waste during the pandemic due to people adjusting to bulk buying, 61% of Canadians are buying more food than usual
Behavioural shift while adjusting more to a new Covid lifestyle, restaurants are having smaller menus, stocking less inventory, fewer trips to grocery stores, meal planning, cautious about future.
Too Good To Go, a food waste app: connects restaurants, bakeries, cafes, and markets to neighbourhood residents, allows the users to sell surplus groceries/meals for a fraction of the price. Solves 2 issues: food waste and food accessibility.
Food Cycler: a kitchen appliance that transforms food waste/scraps into nutrient rich fertilizer. This innovations can reduce end-use energy cycles.
Amazon Save the Food: Alexa gives information about keeping food longer, tell if it’s good etc.
Meal kits: Convenient, but they can use a lot of packaging.
Interviews conducted on 12 people regarding their household food waste, grocery shopping and meal planning. Here are the synthesized results:
- Go grocery shopping 1-2 times a week
- Plan for buying during sales
- Buy in bulk due to distance to shops
- Shop without a plan
- Cook 1-2 times a day
- Cook in smaller portions, prefer variety
- Eat out a couple times a week
Why foods go bad
- People will often forget about foods, including leftovers
- Bulk cooking results in more wasted food because portion sizes are off and people get bored of the leftovers
- With new ingredients, don’t know what to do with them
- Mostly produce goes bad
- Portions from grocery stores are too large for a singular meal
- Looks at expiry date, then forget when it is expiring
Considerations to reduce waste
- Will make use of freezer to store meats, buy vegetables that are longer lasting, will try to eat produce first
- Will freeze things but often frozen things get left uneaten as well
- When asked what they do to prevent food waste, they generally have not considered their personal food waste
One key insight we found is that people often get bored eating the same thing repeatedly, so large food portions and leftovers go bad before they eat it all. From this we came up with our initial how might we question:
How might we reduce an individual’s boredom of leftover meals and excess produce, in order to prevent food from going to waste?
In reading aloud this HMW question, we realized that there is a negative connotation to the word “boredom”. We didn’t want the user to feel that the food they had in their home was boring, but instead to use the excess food creatively. A new and final How Might We question emerged:
How might we find creative ways to utilize the food we have, in order to reduce waste?
Based on our research, we created our persona:
With ideas, features, and components in mind, we wanted to include:
- a way to keep track of ingredients
- ingredient search to suggest recipes
- the means to repurpose leftovers
Name and Logo
Foodilize is a combination of the two words Food and Utilize. The foodilize logo is comprised of two elements:
The logo represents the process of using food, refreshing ingredients into new recipes, and reducing end-use food waste and consumption.
Logo created by Renee Yang
The brand colours are three different shades of teal and a neon orange.
The teal colours are calming, welcoming, and representative of renewal.
The bright orange contrasting the teal is energizing and fun. Orange is also associated with hunger and affordability.
These colours are reflective of the app’s goal of using leftover food and ingredients for new meals to reduce food waste and save money.
We chose Quicksand, a geometric sans serif, as the brand typeface.
It is a light, smooth, rounded, and friendly typeface that is easy to read, an important feature when featuring text-heavy recipes.
As this was a design sprint, we went straight to high fidelity wireframes.
View the final iteration of my prototype for Locate below. Be sure to view it in full screen for the optimal prototype walk-through experience. Best viewed on desktop.
We performed one round of user testing with 3 users remotely via video (Slack).
Are they comfortable cooking at home?
Our users were generally comfortable cooking at home and enjoy being in the kitchen.
How do they plan their meals for the week?
Two of our users cooked almost everyday. One of our users cooks on Sunday and eats this food all week.
Do they find it challenging to use up all of their groceries?
Our users generally used up what they bought. If they couldn’t use everything up, they would try to freeze some of it. The occasional item would get pushed to the back of the fridge and go bad.
Our team . Findings from the walkthrough were that our users:
- liked the branding (logo, colour scheme, typography, button design and icons at the bottom)
- would like to see an option to see recipes they have previously used
- found the “x” next to the food item on the pantry screen to be a bit confusing
- thought that missing ingredients from the pantry should be grouped together in the recipe
- didn’t care about ingredients saved from the landfill, they just wanted to see the recipes that they tried
As this was my very first design sprint, I learned as I went. Lessons learned:
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- the amount of information that can be uncovered in a user testing session
- organization and time management are absolutely crucial
- it is easy to get caught up in small details