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Meal for 5 [Updated and added experience maps: 14/08/2015]

Meal for 5 is a simple app concept based on the idea of reducing food waste and promoting healthy home cooked meals.

Photo of Asli Deniz Ozakar

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Who is the target audience for your idea and how does it inspire the end user to lead a healthier life?

Meal for 5’s target audience is people who can’t or won’t access healthy food options. It inspires people by letting them be a part of a movement to avoid food waste and help them reach healthy food at a reasonable price.

The app’s main idea is focusing on eating as a social activity and bringing people together by offering cheap but healthy meals. The app offers users 5$ meals that are home cooked with fresh ingredients.

The main inspiration was to avoid food waste. It is a well-known fact that fresh food and is thrown away by supermarkets everyday due to abundance, expiry dates or poor deliveries. Our solution is buying these wasted ingredients from the supermarkets and we ask our users to cook and serve them.

It is a 5-step process:

1st Step, we contact the supermarkets each week and understand which seasonal fruits and vegetables they have and what other ingredients can they provide this week.

2nd Step, we list the ingredients of that week and ask our users to offer a menu with dishes using these ingredients.

3rd Step, menus of our users are listed in the app and everyone who are willing to pay 5$ for a healthy home cooked meal makes a reservation on their table.

4th Step, when a table gets 5 or more reservations then it is a date! We deliver our cooking users the ingredients for free and they start cooking their menu.

5th Step, Guests arrive and enjoy 5$ healthy meals and it is an extra income for our cook. They share photos of their table and rate the cook.

So the idea is making a meal for 5 for 5 $ each!

We believe that the social aspect of our idea is what makes it worthy. Eating is a social activity and people love to gather around a good meal.

We have already contacted a manager in of one of the large supermarket chains in our country and get insight on how they handle food waste. The first comment was that the problem is not only limited to disfigured fruit or vegetables but also everything that is being sold. Every item has an expiration date on them and supermarkets cannot sell items with close expiry dates. Fresh meat and bread is thrown away everyday because they cannot sell it the next day.  They have special campaigns on the evening and try to sell them with reduced prices. But still some amount of it is thrown away. After this interview we have decided to go on with our initial idea of getting the ingredients from the supermarkets.

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

An early experiment we are planning to do for the next step is to create a Facebook event in which we will be the cook and ask everyone on our list to come join us for a 5$ meal. And ask them to evaluate their experience and share photos on the event’s page. With this experiment we will try to understand: - If people are willing to pay money for this service - What would be the experience of the cook hosting people in his/her apartment - What are the effects of social aspect of this event?

What skills, input or guidance are you keen to connect with from the OpenIDEO community to help you build out or refine your idea?

We believe that we need to understand the distribution process in detail. How will we contact the supermarkets? At which step will we get the ingredients and deliver them? How can we reduce the cost so that our cooks can earn more money?

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm

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Photo of dean carry

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