About the Project
Food waste has the potential to be reclaimed by local food merchants and businesses for productive use. Greensavour is a produce reclaiming platform where local businesses can purchase produce at discounted prices from large grocery retailers. The service creates a B2B relationship for daily access to quality, edible produce, that would otherwise be composted, donated, or wasted.
This product design was made for Shopify’s design challenge. My challenge goal was to build an experience that helps people become more conscious about food waste.
UX/UI, User Research, Visual Designs
Figma and InVision
The same day I had received the challenge prompt was also my family’s grocery day. I couldn’t help but feel exceptionally unsettled during this particular trip; near our parking spot was the loading bay where people were disposing large bins of food and produce into the dumpster.
The same disposal was probably happening at the other three grocery stores around my community, and yet, almost 2.5 million Canadians live without secure access to food. Regardless, the fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious, delicious and fresh as all other produce.
Large grocers throw away significant amounts of edible food each day. However, the food wasted has the potential to be reclaimed by local vendors and businesses for productive use.
How might we utilize the increasing prevalence of food waste to build an experience that helps people become more conscious about food waste while also driving bottom-line growth of participants?
1. SECONDARY RESEARCH
Deep dive into understanding produce supply/value chains
2. SECONDARY RESEARCH
In-depth research into existing solutions
01 Linear vs Circular Economy
THE LINEAR ECONOMY
53% of food waste is generated along the linear value chain
This is where food is produced, processed, transported, sold, and prepared.
Large retailers have the power to influence the value chain
They have direct links with farmers, processors, and end-consumers.
A linear economy means that raw materials are used to produce a product, and after its use, any packaging or excess will be thrown away. The linear value chain also outlines the role each stakeholder plays before produce reaches the end-consumer.
Understanding this helped me figure out that Stores could also be part of the food waste solution. By implementing an experience at this step, a new channel could be formed with a customer who could reclaim the unsold or imperfect produce for productive use.
THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY
In circular economies, products and raw materials are also reused as much as possible. Doing this is an active initiative to treat our surroundings responsibly.
The Ellen Mcarthur Foundation's Food Initiative utilizes the Circular Economy model to drive systemic change within their pilot cities. The Foundation outlines "making the most of food" as an important goal. I found the purpose and intent of the circular model to be a good reference point when considering my solution's user journey.
"Cities play a crucial role in keeping food at its highest value and eliminating waste. They can become hubs for the redistribution of surplus foods and a thriving bioeconomy where food by-products are transformed into organic fertilisers, biomaterials, medicines, and bioenergy."
- Ellen Mcarthur Foundation, Food Initiative
02 Existing Industry Solutions
In conducting research for the project, I was glad to see current initiatives in place to help combat food waste. It shows that consumers and retailers are aware of this issue; food waste is prevalent and efforts are being made to combat the excess. This had me thinking about how to include a factor of motivation into the experience to encourage users to keep continuing with their efforts.
BOTTOM LINE + EFFICIENCY DRIVEN INDUSTRY
retailers aim to move product quicker and keep shelves stocked, creating a surplus of food waste
high volume-low margin business model to meet consumer demands
environmental and economic consequences of food waste
incongruent dichotomy of the global food surplus and food security issues
Bringing all my findings together, I outlined 2 opportunities where I could build an experience that helps people become more conscious about food waste while also driving bottom-line growth of participants.
Greensavour is a produce reclaiming platform where local businesses can purchase produce at discounted prices from large grocery retailers. It creates B2B relationships and daily access to quality, edible products that would otherwise be composted, donated, or wasted.
Suggests locations through matching buyers and sellers that are close in proximity
Commend users for their efforts with rewards; sustainability totals are visualized to emphasize impact
Experience maintains the familiarity of online shopping platforms—maintain edibility perception
My high-fidelity screens with a working prototype below:
Greensavour was a delight to work on, but also probably the project where I faced the most setbacks as a designer.
Using design to face a difficult reality
The biggest takeaway from this project is that design is truly a way of building thought and an invitation to questioning. I want to be an advocate for the users I design for and think about how potential (optimistic) futures can be experienced in the present. In my case, it was a matter of confronting the unfortunate research and statistics on food waste and constantly wondering and thinking about my design solutions with: "Why can't it be like this way instead?"
The glass is half full
My Sketch software had crashed and my progress into high-fidelity screens could not be saved. After some futile attempts to manually recover anything, I decided to just finish my high-fidelity designs and prototypes on Figma. Instead of letting the software crash get the better of me, I was able to spend more time learning a new tool that I had neglected to do so for such a long time.