ThriftEats

The Problem

There are a lack of resources that help users pick out recipes based on what ingredients the user already has in their kitchen. This can result in the user unnecessarily spending money on ingredients for a recipe, rather than the user utilizing ingredients they already have in their kitchen.

The Solution

ThriftEats is an app that allows users to fill out their "Pantry", a list of ingredients that are present in their kitchen. The app then lists meals that can be created with the user's Pantry ingredients. This allows the user to save money by maximizing usage of the ingredients they already have. If a recipe calls for ingredients the user doesn't have in their Pantry, the user can those into their shopping list with a single tap.

Market Analysis

Tasty

Tasty Pros:
  • Bright, eye-catching colors
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Filters for different diets and cuisines
  • Shopping list featue
Cons:
  • No way to search for recipes via ingredients
  • No custom recipe recommendations

Yummly

Yummly Pros:
  • Clean, elegant, sophisticated interface
  • Asks for information like allergies, diet, and skill level to provide catered recommendations
  • Filters for different diets and cuisines
  • Shopping list feature
Cons:
  • Some recipes are locked behind Premium account upgrade
  • No way to search for recipes via ingredients
  • No custom recipe recommendations based on ingredients the user already has

Mealime

Mealime Pros:
  • Extremely simple, easy-to-use interface
  • Like Yummly, asks for information like allergies, diet, and skill level to provide catered recommendations
  • Recipe recommendations based on leftovers from previously used recipes
  • Shopping list feature
Cons:
  • Some recipes are locked behind Premium account upgrade
  • No way to search for recipes via ingredients

Data Gathering & Analysis

Regarding Tasty (market competitor): "Some of its most popular recipes are geared toward the tastes of the Millennial consumer because 50 percent of BuzzFeed's 200 million visitors are between 18 and 34 years old." (Source)

This confirms that there is a large market for recipe apps targeted to young adults.

Rates of food insecurity are high among college students: "Students experiencing food insecurity reported several effects, including worrying 'whether my food would run out before I got money to buy more,' being unable to 'afford to eat balanced meals,' not making their food supply last and being unable to afford more food, and cutting or skipping meals even if they were hungry." (Source)

ThriftEats' goal of helping the user save money by providing recipes based on the ingredients the user already has can appeal to those who experience food insecurity.

1/4th of students follow a type of diet (vegan, vegetarian, etc) that decreases amount of meat consumption. (Source)

Allowing users to specify and filter recipes based on their diets is a must.

User Persona

User Persona

Bio

Name: Stacy Johnson
Summary quote: "I want to try new, balanced meals without constantly having to pick up ingredients at the supermarket."
Background: Stacy Johnson is a single 20 year old female full-time college student attending Seminole State College of Florida. Stacy works part-time at the campus bookstore. She makes $10 an hour and works around 15 hours a week. She's trying to save money in order to pay off her student loans.

User Environment

Stacy primarily uses a laptop during class to take notes. She only has time to be on her smartphone during breaks at work, in between classes, and at home.

Psychographics

  • Leans towards vegetarian and vegan food options
  • Prefers home-cooked over store-bought food
  • Wants to decrease food waste as much as possible
  • Has pride in being frugal and appreciates great deals

Needs and Frustrations

Needs:

  • Stacy needs help utilizing the ingredients she already has in her fridge and pantry when cooking
  • She needs an app that is straight-forward and uncluttered
  • She wants to be able to filter out non-vegetarian and non-vegan options
Frustrations:
  • She dislikes buying ingredients for recipes
  • She has trouble using up all of the ingredients in her fridge before they expire

Low-Fidelity Wireframes

ThriftEats Low-Fidelity Wireframes

Design System

ThriftEats Design System

High-Fidelity Wireframes

ThriftEats High-Fidelity Wireframes
ThriftEats Demo
ThriftEats Sign Up
ThriftEats Shopping List
ThriftEats Search
ThriftEats Pantry