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Food Flow - Reduce Food Waste, Gain Food Experiences

Food flow is a platform that helps deliver excess food to places in need and provides food experiences in return.

Photo of Luis
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Getting food to people before it goes waste. That is the simplest way to reduce food waste. The problem with catering companies, or anyone with a potential surplus of food, is that there is a cost involved in transporting the excess food where it is needed. Companies and governments sometimes offer tributary benefits to incentivize food-producing entities to get their unused surplus to shelters before it goes to waste. However, we want to offer a different approach. What if you involved the community, local commerce and individuals alike, in recognizing this is a big problem that requires all hands on deck? Our proposal is that anyone with a means of transportation can help transport excess food from a restaurant or catering company to a food shelter. People that do this will receive Flow points that they can redeem for food experiences. At scale, we can use dispatching algorithms popularized by players in the on-demand economy space to make it as seamless as possible to all parties involved.


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OUR User Research

Case Study: Food Runners, est 1987 San Francisco

We thought it would be a great opportunity to learn more about the space by taking a trip to a local food distributor, Food Runners and here’s what we found:
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Key Factors of the user experience are missing that is impacting user/volunteer engagement.
  • Low Volunteer Engagement:
    • 100 active users but 300 total
  • Communication Inefficiencies:
    • Food Runners app not working,
    • Only Communication is through email and phone
  • Logistics
    • No tabs on inventory -- Tracking Quantity
    • No optimized Timing of Pick-up and Drop-Off
    • Distribution locations can be more efficient
    • No documented history of deliveries

    • Food Flow Opportunities - Inspiration for Our Solution
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    • App has a more streamlined, and tight-knit form of communication for transfer across businesses to food carriers to food shelters.
    • Our app has a feature that will track the quantity of food to ensure there is effective transfer from each user This is critical so that we properly match the right amount of food with each of the 3 users depending on their capacity (business: amount of food to donate, carrier: amount of space in vehicle, shelter: amount of food needed)
    •  App has pick-up and drop-off selections to optimize for all 3 parties
    •  App will optimize locations to decrease time of travel and overall footprint.


ENGAGING OUR 3 UserS:

FOOD CARRIERS:

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GAINING FOOD EXPERIENCES/REWARD SYSTEM: 

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BUSINESSES:

We want to extend our parnterships to the entire community to reach full engagement. We are looking to partner with three types:

1. Large Corporations with food waste catered initially to employees

2. Restaurant and Food Business Owners

3. Food Distributors, such as Food Runners

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SHELTERS:

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Other Feedback: 

“What would be ideal is to develop a way to track the right amount of food that shelters will need and to have a real time features to track these deliveries.”

- Nancy, Volunteer Coordinate at Food Runners, San Francisco


What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

We will test our app with a few food distributors and users such as Food Runners since we have discussed our idea with them and conducted user research. Food Runners can benefit from a user-centered app like Food Flow - they have mentioned the lack of a food tracking system, charted deliveries, streamlined communication, and recurring user engagement. Allowing them to test our app will be extremely helpful for improving our idea and bringing it to the next level.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

- Guidance in establishing the campaign to get people using the platform.
- Help identifying the people leading local commerce willing to sponsor this campaign

Tell us about your work experience:

Our team is comprised of individuals who have backgrounds in Computer Science, Architectural Design, Product Design, at Stanford, UC Berkeley, California College of the Arts. The team has experience in app development, user research, and urban planning.

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm

How far along is your idea?

  • It’s just been created! It’s existed for 1 day - 1 month

How would you describe this idea to your grandmother?

Food Flow saves food before it gets thrown out by businesses & restaurants by facilitating delivery to people in need. Let’s say tonight, Kokkari has excess food to feed 5 extra mouths. Our app shows the nearest shelter where you can deliver that extra food. In addition to "good samaritan" vibes, you can share it with your friends on social media and even win awesome culinary experiences!

How is your idea unique to the space?

Through our user research, we found that it's all about convenience and ease of use. What makes Food Flow special is the user experience - we want to make giving food as easy if not more attractive than throwing food away. We are ensuring there are incentives in place for each of the 3 parties involved. Current organizations only receive input through volunteerism, but we can gather even more traction and user engagement through our reward system.

Who needs to play a role in your idea in order to make it successful?

Relationships with restaurants, marketplaces, corporations are key to building the infrastructure to identify locations with excess food. These partnerships will help us develop the culinary experiences that will engage our food carriers.
Building connections with various shelters in the community will help us create a large portfolio across the city to diversify locations for food delivery.
Developing a portfolio of committed food carriers through our user experience will be critical.

How do you plan to measure the impact of your idea?

We will measure based on three metrics, social, food waste, and user engagement:
- No. of active food carriers on the app
- The growth of our user base across the three segments: businesses, food carriers, and shelters
- No. of deliveries allows us to gauge food saved and measure active user engagement
- Frequency of redeemed rewards and experiences will help measure the effectiveness of our reward system
- Input from shelters showing # of people fed

What are your immediate next steps after the challenge?

We plan to continue the development of partnerships and our prototype:
App Development- We are excited to transform the wireframes to a working app
User Testing - We will do on-the-ground testing with the app and hope to flush the reward system with our 3 users: businesses, shelters, and potential food carriers
Building Partnerships - We will establish our potential partnerships with businesses and shelters.

51 comments

Join the conversation:

Comment
Photo of Maria
Team

Dear Luis and team,
Are you and any of your team members aware that your food flow model is already in existence in a software called ChowMatch? ChowMatch the software has been addressing food waste by tracking food donations, managing of volunteers, donors and recipients since 2013. In 2016, ChowMatch had recovered 1.2 million lbs of food and diverted to feeding programs throughout San Mateo and Santa Clara counties with the help of volunteers in the communities. The ChowMatch software was design to minimize food waste and maximize food donation. My inspiration came about as a SF Food Runner in 2008 when I realize that food waste was prevalent even among shelters. I did take my inspiration and founded Peninsula Food Runner a non profit organization servicing San Mateo and Santa Clara counties. We have no paid employees at the moment. My husband Tod created this software for me as a gift for me to pursue my passion in addressing food insecurities and food waste. You can visit us at www.peninsulafoodrunners.org to learn about our beginnings. ChowMatch is presently servicing over 200 cities nation wide and it is being used by both Food Banks and Food Rescue groups. If you are truly passionate about this issue of food insecurities and food waste and financial aspect is the least of your concern, and would like to share your skills with ChowMatch group, you are welcome to reach out to us. Thank you and best wishes to all of you on this competition.

Photo of Barbous Melina
Team

Food experiences is wonderfull idea mate, i like it so much.

Photo of Buddhima
Team

Hi guys! Great idea! I'm in the bay area and I can help with app wireframes, userflows, prototyping etc. I've got some time to spare :)

Photo of Gabriel Ascanio
Team

Hey Buddhima 

Thanks for reaching out! It would definitely be great to get more designers & developers on board! Especially if you are also in the bay, it would make it easier to get instant feedback and bounce ideas. At the moment we are currently waiting to hear back from OpenIDEO. We are also looking into other options as to how to push the idea further and potentially find other sponsors. If you know of any other resources or challenges that we could apply to let us know!

Also what would be the best way to further connect with you?

Photo of Buddhima
Team

sorry about the late reply!
buddhimak at g mail dot com
I have access to a good developer too

Photo of Luis
Team

Hi all, we are looking for native mobile app developers that would be interested in working with us! If you are interested, email me at lfdepombo at gmail dot com. Cheers!

Photo of Philipp Unterreiner
Team

Combine this with POKEMON GO!
• Get Special Pokemon as reward → super high user motivation
• Leverage existing userbase → no need for advertising
• Users are walking around anyways → no need for behavioural change

Photo of Gabriel Ascanio
Team

Hey Philipp Unterreiner 

We definitely agree that the user experience needs to be gamified! It would definitely be interesting to try to develop a partnership with Pokemon GO and see how can that attract more users for Food Flow! If you have any additional insights as to what else would motivate you to be a Food Carrier let us know!

Thank you for your feedback!

Photo of Philipp Unterreiner
Team

Hello Gabriel Ascanio 

Thank you for you reply! I'd like to share some thoughts: Your idea relies on a high level type of user engagement (physical dislocation) while the services success depends on its scalability. This is the main challenge. Most peoples altruism won't overpower their laziness. That's why I think you have to design for participation first. This might mean to reframe the question on what's the ultimate purpose of the app.

 Some ideas:

1. If we aim to engage with the user through fun, thinking "gamification" is maybe not enough. Maybe we have to think "game first": What if food delivery becomes the means rather than the goal? Think of the "Tamagotchi" principle. Imagine each player has his own little character (like a monster) which moves around randomly on a map. In order to level up, the player has to feed it. The users main goal is now to succed in the game.

2. What if the purpose of the app gets turned around and becomes to obtain free mobility? I actually thought so much about this right now that I created a whole new post on it ... (see above)

Photo of Philipp Unterreiner
Team

Combine this with UBER and public transportation ["Pay by doing good"]:
• If you deliver food, you ride for free → people will accept small detours / route adjustments in order to catch a free ride.
• When you pick up food you get the "foodflow metro ticket / bus ticket / etc." right in the app. Intelligent algorithms anticipate your routes and match smart suggestions with your custom profile → people will effectively save money on frequent routes. 
• Business partners benefit from corporate image increase just by participation. Direct revenue loss is overcompensated by branding effects → a new revenue model.

Delivering food becomes the means to obtain mobility. It's social and inclusive: Everyone can do it. Advertising is only initially needed as "word of mouth" will probably do the job.

Photo of Manik
Team

Hi Luis,

I appreciate your idea "Food Flow" to reduce food wastage by connecting surplus food with people and localities that lack the same.
While the idea sounds promising, I must of course mention that the dependency on regular, non-employed user participation and the expected lack of control over the food inventory and food safety requirements do provide reasons for concern. 
I like the idea you propose, of incentivizing the user participation through a rewards system, but the above-mentioned problems will have to be combated effectively so that your idea can work in the long-term scenario. I appreciate your contribution and look forward to contributing to this idea, once it reaches its implementation stage. Building effective partnerships between all concerned parties will be a key to success.

Photo of Gabriel Ascanio
Team

Hi Manik 

Your mentioned problems are definitely a concern. We have understood through our research that without a doubt making it human centered, interactive, insightful, educative and rewarding for the users it would make Food Flow appealing enough for volunteered food carriers to return and be active users. Our partnerships will definitely be key to the success. Our end goal is to build enough conscience in reducing food waste and making giving food away as easy as throwing it away that why wouldn't you? Or why wouldn't you tell others about doing it as well?

As far as the control of food inventory or food safety requirements we have responded to previous comments in regards to this. We certainly need to address it and we are currently still determining the best way to do so. We definitely think adding nutritional facts, dietary requirements and allergy alerts within the app would definitely be another great feature to add to Food Flow. Adding the dietary requirements feature along with the liability release form responding to the "Russel Bill" (that releases food donors from liability when they donate food that they believe will not cause any harm to an organization in need) signed before every pickup by the food businesses will help reiterate safety concerns.

Safety requirements could also be determined on the other end by the Food Shelters. They could note if there are any dietary concerns or restrictions to prevent such donations that could harm anyone there. 

Thank you for your feedback! If you have any other suggestions as to how we could best address your mentioned problems let us know.  We want this to be a long term solution. We hope we can reach implementation stage and refining our idea through this challenge has only made Food Flow better. 

Photo of Morema Mafantiri
Team

I really love this idea. I'm looking forward to seeing it come to fruition, universities worldwide throw away so much food I hope we'll be able to redirect it to people who need it. 

Photo of Gabriel Ascanio
Team

Hey Morema Mafantiri 

We look forward to Food Flow having an impact in reducing food waste, making use of the excess and helping others! We are excited to see many more care as well!! Thank you for your feedback. We agree, recruiting students within universities to contribute and getting as many contributors who have excess food is crucial! University cafeterias definitely have a lot of food excess and we hope Food Flow can reduce the excess and make use of it! It would also be great to see students become Food Carriers! If you have any ideas on how to incentivize students to get involved let us know!

Photo of Aayushi
Team

Hello,

It is an absolute delight to know about this innovative solution to avoid food wastage. Food Flows will be surely feeding thousands of people in no time!

Couple of quick questions that has been revolving in my mind are regarding how the quality of the food is going to be maintained and will there be any food provided based on any kind of dietary requirements?.

In addition, I absolutely loved the incentive program however in order to get more volunteers I would suggest to collaborate with more non-profit organisations as it will help not only in operations but also in spreading the word. However, very interesting and convincing idea!

Thank you,
Aayushi

Photo of Gabriel Ascanio
Team

Hi Aayushi !

As you said, we definitely want Food Flow to feed thousands of people in no time! Our goal is to reduce food waste & optimize delivery time and sourcing. Making sure excess food is being delivered to places that really need it! We want to make giving food away as easy as throwing it away for all parties involved.

Your questions is a great one. Melita Lumanto  asked us the same one and we definitely think adding nutritional facts, dietary requirements and allergy alerts would definitely be another great feature to add to Food Flow!!

She also asked us about safety concerns regarding dietary requirements. Adding the dietary requirements feature along with the liability release form responding to the "Russel Bill" (that releases food donors from liability when they donate food that they believe will not cause any harm to an organization in need) signed before every pickup by the food businesses will help reiterate safety concerns.

Your suggestion is also on spot. We want to collaborate and partner with as many businesses & organizations as possible that would be key to the growth of Food Flow as it will be crucial for the success of our product.

We also learned in our market study that many non profit organizations coordinating the distribution of food excess to places in need already exist, nationally and globally. We would also like to encourage them to use Food Flow as their app to coordinate pick ups and drop-offs of excess food. Some organizations such as Food Runners currently also have an app but it isn't working well, we weren't able to use it when we went to deliver some food for them to gain user experience feedback. Overall the experience & design could definitely be reinvented. Which lead us to develop an app that is centered on the human experience and addresses all parties involved. 

Thank you for your feedback! If you have any questions or additional ideas let us know.

Photo of rebecca
Team

its a good question!

Photo of Aayushi
Team

Hi Gabriel Ascanio 

Thank you very much for solving my query! I am glad that you liked my suggestion and I hope the technical issue gets solved as soon as possible to feed more people soon!

Photo of Aayushi
Team

@DeletedUser thank you! do you have any additional suggestions?

Photo of Jessie Dong
Team

Good incentive to encourage individuals to join the program. A set time frame will be helpful to get people plan ahead. It is essential important for food delivers to understand food safety issues. Food supplier should also pay attention to packaging and provide relevant food handling tips to the delivers. 

Photo of Gabriel Ascanio
Team

Hey Jessie Dong 

Definitely! Planning ahead and being able to get people to incorporate into their schedules would be ideal. We want to make it as easy as possible for food carriers to take food from a place with excess to a place in need. In return we want to offer them as much as possible, from data as to how many people they are feeding, how many pounds of food they prevented from going to waste, to food experiences that loops the cycle.

Safety issues has been brought in the previous comments and we are already looking at how to best assess that concern. 

As to packaging, we have been trying to determine that as well. We learned with Food Runners that packaging varies based on the food business making the donation. We would definitely like to keep it as consistent as possible. As of now food businesses can entry type of food they are donating that allows the food carrier to anticipate size and weight to make sure they are capable and comfortable of making that delivery.

Thank you for your feedback! If you have any additional questions or concerns let us know.

Photo of Katie Eyles
Team

How about making sure each person who signs up as a deliverer of food passes a little training session in the app about  food safety, e.g. 'don't pick up cold chicken and then leave it sitting in your hot car for 2 hours, because that carries a high risk of bacteria growing and causing food poisoning'. I think a lot of people aren't that familiar with safe food handling guidelines. If they're picking up from cooks/chefs they'd be able to give instructions. But not if you're picking up from people without that sort of training. 

Photo of Gabriel Ascanio
Team

Hey Katie Eyles 

I think that is a great idea! It could definitely be incorporated into the splash screens when they first sign up. It could be interactive and with a sense of humor to keep people engaged. It also makes me think if there is a way to identify which are the most common or primary food safety concerns to create a checklist that food runners should check off when they make a pick up to ensure safety every time.

Thank you for your feedback! If you have any more questions or suggestions let us know.

 

Photo of Tyler Hughes
Team

Such a interactive idea! The brand is crisp and simple. It's also a good way to involve the community to give back. Keep up the good work!

Photo of Gabriel Ascanio
Team

Hey Tyler Hughes !

Thank you very much! We hope we can implement it soon!

Photo of Melita Lumanto
Team

Hi Luis and Team,

Great insight indeed! I am amazed by the business model of your ideas, food flows. It always good to involve social innovation.

My cousin is in food industry and I have ever suggested the same ideas to let him donate his left-over food (breads) to people who are more in need such as nursing home, shelters, homeless. But the answer really did raise a concern here. They are scared of the responsibility they may have, if  anything may happen to the receivers such as scam and allergies. Is there a nutritional facts / information about the left over food on the app that perhaps can be incorporated, as perhaps humans have different dietary requirements or allergies to some ingredients eg; nuts, seafood, or certain ingredients. It would be great if the contributor can add the crucial informations to the app. How about the safety of such unintended scenarios? 

Apart from that, the ideas look promising. I also like the rewards/incentive system. Perhaps partnership with larger company can also be further look at, as great networking is a crucial tools.

All the best!

Photo of Gabriel Ascanio
Team

Hi Melita Lumanto !

Adding nutritional facts, dietary info and allergy alerts would definitely be another great feature to add to Food Flow!! As of now safety concerns are primarily responding to the "Russel Bill" that releases food donors from liability when they donate food that they believe will not cause any harm to an organization in need. 

We are glad you like our proposal, we hope we can continue working on it and keep improving it! If you have any additional comments or questions let us know.

Thank you for your feedback!

Photo of DANDAN PU
Team

Nice idea and good research. I am quite interested in the apps about searching the near shelter. 
However, I concerned about the shelter. It is good to offer free food for homeless but how can you ensure the food quality and how can you ensure the food will not be wasted when you delivery to the shelter. 
Thank you!

Photo of Gabriel Ascanio
Team

 Hey Parisa PU 

Your concern is a great observation! We learned through our experience with Food Runners that some food in fact is currently going to waste at shelters because shelters sometimes receive more than they need. We are really centering the human experience around all the 3 different users to resolve concerns like this. 

With Food Flow shelters can input within the app how much food they need to avoid this, which also informs the food carriers about places that are really in need vs. ones that aren't as much, so it prioritizes delivery locations based on need and your proximity.

The quality is ensured by the food businesses and also based on the input pickup times parameters set forth by the food businesses. Also depending on the source (restaurants, grocery stores, catered offices, etc) and the type of food (preserved canned food, recently cooked, raw, etc) would also determine the "quality".

The food businesses also sign a liability release form for every delivery they hand to a food carrier that responds to the "Russel Bill" that releases food donors from liability when they donate food that they believe will not cause any harm to an organization in need.

If you have any other questions let us know.

Thank you for your feedback!

Photo of Isaac Jumba
Team

Really nice concept. I like that your focus is on the user experience part. In the cases where the restaurants will be giving away the food regularly(a kind of subscription), will we have a dedicated food carrier?

Photo of Gabriel Ascanio
Team

Isaac Jumba   

Thanks Isaac! We definitely hope that centering on the human experience will make the difference in getting more people involved.

Your question is a great one.

In cases were restaurants will be giving their excess food on a regular basis there is definitely an opportunity for food carriers to become more dedicated with specific pickups and drop-offs.

Our goal is that we make it so easy for food carriers to find delivery routes that are optimized based on their daily routes that at some point they would do it in a "dedicated" manner. We want to offer a way in which most carriers could deliver food on their way to work or on their way back if we can optimize a route that wouldn't be too out of their way and it wouldn't be too difficult either (which would be easy in a city like San Francisco given the amount of shelters in need, food businesses, work spaces, residential areas and the overlap between all of these). If food carriers become more dedicated perhaps we could also rethink the incentives for them or what else we could offer them in return (being ranked within the app, more unique food experiences, etc). 

Within the settings of our app restaurants can manage the quantity of excess food they are donating, shelters are placing a request for how much food they need and users can see both of these so that the resources are being distributed in the most efficient way based on necessity. If carriers become more "dedicated" they could potentially also reserve the right to a selected pickup and drop-off.

 We could also send out push notifications to food carriers who happen to be close to food businesses with excess food and reach out to see if they have any interest to carry out a a delivery.

An other idea could be to integrate our app and times with their own calendars so they have reminders and it becomes more of a habit.

If you have any ideas let us know! We are still refining it and looking for more ways to improve it! Thanks for commenting. 
 

Photo of Sachin Bhide
Team

This is a very nice idea. We can ask some stores to do such kind of charity instead of donating cash. They can give store discounts to people who deliver transporting food. Money motivates people. They will do it. 

Photo of Gabriel Ascanio
Team

Hey Sachin!

Definitely. The more incentives we can find the better. We could certainly figure out other ways of incentivizing users too.

If it is not money what else would incentivize you to deliver food?

Thank you for commenting!

Gabriel Ascanio

Photo of Gayla Stahl
Team

Get others involved, like a chain event, where other stores can participate too, by giving discounts, point system, etc. Everybody helping everybody.

Photo of Hannah Butland
Team

Hi Luis,
I was intrigued to read your idea from your the “Food Karma.” Karma, what goes around comes around, is something I’ve always lived by when it came to doing selfless acts. Your idea of giving people giftcards if they deliver food I don’t see as a selfless act, I see it as bribing.
Why spend money on gift cards to bait people to do help out delivering food to their community, when the act of being a good person should be incentive enough? That is a waste of money. We can’t solve food waste by creating a different waste.
 I understand nowadays people need incentive to motivate them to do things but we must find another way to get people to help out. It feels wrong to fund this by bribe when people should do good deeds for free. Let’s find a way to engage volunteers to deliver the food without the reward. This way it benefits the community more because you aren’t spending the money to give them the gift card.
 Advertising is key in this situation. A possible solution would be putting up flyers to attract do gooders who want actual karma points. I hope this advice was helpful to you.

Sincerely,
Hannah Butland

Photo of Gabriel Ascanio
Team

Hey Hannah!

Karma, what goes around comes around. I love that you touched on that and I feel there is a lot we could develop around it.

We agree that users should do it out of good will but we know people are busy and we would love to make it "more" worth their time. We believe in the win-win philosophy. Because they are benefitting from it, it doesn't mean we are bribing them. We are simply giving them an extra incentive to do it. Luis and I would't be developing this project to make money, we are in it to reduce waste, to work for a good cause, to have an impact in the community, but we all have different reasons to do things and that is okay. We need to find how can we be more inclusive and attract as many users as possible. It is crucial for the success of an idea like this, but I agree that as humans, we should act out of good will, perhaps we need to figure out what motivates people to act out of good will.

Under our current proposal we were thinking how everyone in the cycle would benefit. From food businesses having their "waste" taken care off and ending in better places, to the retail/commercial businesses that would offer incentives who could potentially benefit from tax deductions and users who would be collecting karma points to spend at these places.

But I agree, it could certainly be more. The incentive itself could be readdressed. 

It could be that it becomes a game, I could imagine it similar to Pokemon GO in the sense that you would be going out to interact with others, explore the city, and act on a good cause. Perhaps we need to curate the experience in such a way that users can then showcase their adventure? Or similar to Waze were the more you drive your avatar grows and gains experience. This could be another way. The more food you go out and deliver, the more your character grows. Or even a personal philosophical message upon delivery that makes you interested enough to make another delivery to receive another one. (I don't know if you have ever bought a Snapple, but whenever I do I find it exciting to open it and read the fact under the bottle cap).

What is essential here is that we try to get as many users as possible to transport the food. That is where the opportunity of contributing to reduce food waste is. 

Let us know what other ideas you might have! Help us make this idea better.

Thank you for commenting and for your advice. 

Best,
Gabriel Ascanio 

Photo of Gayla Stahl
Team

Without incentives people will soon loose interest.

Photo of Brian Tang
Team

Dear Luis ,  love the name and there are lots of similarities between your transporter, and our food rescuers - would love your input on our  Be an Urban Food Rescuer... Pokemon Go style! [UPDATE 10/11: Download a proof-of-concept demonstration today via Kricket app!]  idea and to find ways to collaborate. Welcome your input too Ezgi Sengun  and Gabriel Ascanio  !  

Photo of Ezgi Sengun
Team

Just a thought.. you could create an app for the "transporter" to input the area they are travelling to, which would come up with the nearby locations the food needs to be delivered too. So, not only is it on the way to the user's location, not going out of their way to deliver it but also contributing to a good deed. Depending on the distance they could accumulate points which in return could be converted to goods and services as suggested or be used as a "cash back" on their next grocery shopping. 

Photo of Gabriel Ascanio
Team

Ezgi Sengun 

That is a great thought. In reply to Kate's first comment we mentioned something similar: "It would work similar to Yelp in the sense that you can easily locate pickup options and times of operation and based on the location of the users we would provide them with the nearest pickup location of food that would have otherwise gone to waste. We would then have a drop off location that would be nearest to the pickup, nearest to their destination or on the way.

Similar to Uber in the sense that we can update these locations and make sure that people are going to multiple locations and not just picking up from one place or dropping off just at one place. It definitely needs to be optimized".

Anything else you can think of or even expand on what the user experience for the "transporter" might look like would be great! Also what are your thoughts on other incentives we could have?

Thanks for contributing to Food Karma!! 

Gabriel Ascanio

Photo of Ezgi Sengun
Team

Thanks Gabriel Ascanio !

I think the Uber approach would be a great idea. 

In regards to the incentives, would you base the points on the miles travelled or how many drop off/pickups done? You could maybe have set targets for each week and if they are met the user would get bonus points? 

The user could then accumulate all these points and chose whether to redeem $$ off their next grocery shopping bill or use the points towards gift cards from amazon and other major retailers. Because I live in Australia, it's hard to comment on the incentives as I am not sure what the major stores overseas are.. 
But for example, when point systems are in place here in Australia, they offer products such as kitchenware, $$ off grocery, electronics, gift cards etc. 

Maybe the user could even opt to donate their points and choose which charity they would like to donate too? 

Thanks,

Ezgi 

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Welcome to the Refinement phase Luis and Gabriel! We've added new Refinement questions to your original submission that we'd love for you to answer. Please check out the Refinement Phase Toolkit for instructions on how to answer the new questions and other recommendations we encourage all idea teams to consider in the upcoming weeks.

Refinement Phase Toolkit: http://ideo.pn/2du9sf7

Lastly, here's a useful tip: When you update the content of your post, it'd be helpful to indicate this in your idea title by adding an extension. For example, you can add the extension " - Update: Experience Maps 09/28" to you idea title. This will be a good way to keep people informed about how your idea is progressing!

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Hi Luis and Gabriel, we updated the link to the Refinement Toolkit. Please use this new link instead: https://d3gxp3iknbs7bs.cloudfront.net/attachments/bda1f109-0466-4f8e-9699-1359e406df56.pdf

Photo of OpenIDEO
Team

Congrats on this being today's Featured Contribution!

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Luis! 

What are the next steps to get this idea off the ground?

Photo of Amber Matthews
Team

Maybe you can use an app for gamification? Like Pokemon Go ;-)

Photo of Mark Murray
Team

You should see Food Cloud, it is an Irish social entreprise. Tesco are partnered with them for the last year. http://www.tescoireland.ie/foodcloud 

Photo of Kate Rushton
Team

Hi Luis!

Congratulations for making it to the top 40 ideas!

Would you be able to give an example of an on-demand platform that you prefer and has a user experience that would fit Food Karma?

What do you think the user experience will be like for the volunteers?

Can I just double check something? This idea is initially focused on the Berkley area.

Photo of Gabriel Ascanio
Team

Hi Kate,

Thanks!! It is exciting to be part of the refinement phase! We only hope to make our idea better.

As far as another on-demand platform we are not sure. Perhaps a hybrid between Yelp and Uber? We are looking to start off in the bay area, probably in San Francisco first and then expand to the surrounding areas.

It would work similar to Yelp in the sense that you can easily locate pickup options and times of operation and based on the location of the users we would provide them with the nearest pickup location of food that would have otherwise gone to waste. We would then have a drop off location that would be nearest to the pickup, nearest to their destination or on the way.

Similar to Uber in the sense that we can update these locations and make sure that people are going to multiple locations and not just picking up from one place or dropping off just at one place. It definitely needs to be optimized. 

As Prassana mentioned, we should definitely aim to make giving food away as easy as throwing it away. 

Based on our current proposal ideally we would get as many businesses on board from both sides, the food industry and the retail/commercial to incentivize users to be a part of this. Yet, we would love to come up with more interesting incentives or perhaps other ways of incentivizing users to be a part.

I think we would like to identify problems we are addressing first and inconveniences to design based on them and provide a better user experience. If you have any examples of on-demand platforms that you appreciate that we should look into definitely let us know! Or any additional ideas. It should certainly be minimal and easy to navigate. 

Thank you for your questions and for commenting, it definitely helped us think deeper about it and we would love for you to ask more or we would encourage you to tell us how you would do it :).

Gabriel Ascanio

Photo of Prasanna Shrivastava
Team

Great idea. This is actually very similar to what I have recommended. I believe that incentivizing food givers is as important as establishing a self sustainable supply chain for food donation. We need to make it so easy for food givers that giving away food is almost as easy (if not easier) as throwing it away in trash. 

Photo of Gabriel Ascanio
Team

Hey Prasanna!

I agree, giving food away should be as easy as throwing it away. That should ultimately be the goal. Why would you throw it away if someone else can be fed? Do you have any ideas as to how we could make this more seamless? What else would incentivize you personally to go out of your way to donate food? Have you ever given food away? When ever I have or have served as a volunteer at shelters there is a gratifying feeling about seeing others eat and smile. I would love to translate that feeling into this experience. Developing empathy within the experience is essential.

Thanks for commenting! Lets definitely make this idea better. 

Gabriel Ascanio