Adopt a farm & Fridgeship

According to a 2018 report carried out by the EAT-Lancet Commission, consumers in Europe and Central Asia eat too much meat, poultry, and starchy vegetables, and not enough fruits, greens, and nuts. This nutritional imbalance is problematic not only for individuals but also for the environment and sustainability concerns at large. With this challenge in mind, our team spent two weeks interviewing and observing four Copenhageners in an effort to answer the broader research question: “How can we shift Copenhageners’ food consumption to achieve ‘glocal’ health and environmental sustainability?

Research Methods & Tools

We approached our four in-depth interviews with the goal of trying to understand how each person perceives and incorporates ‘health’ and sustainability concerns into their life. We wanted to know: what factors have affected their food consumption? What is important to them, and what do they wish they could change? One particularly effective exercise was asking our interviewees to label items in their fridge according to how often they used each product. In addition to our in-depth interviews, we also conducted a few ‘intercept interviews’ with people in the supermarket to get an idea of how they make shopping choices.

Synthesis & Insights

After conducting interviews with four subjects, we came away with three main insights into the challenges that often keep Copenhageners from eating as healthily and sustainably as possible. Our team found that food shoppers are skeptical of labels like “organic”. These buzzwords can create confusion and often feel more like a marketing tool.

Another key insight was that when people play an active role in growing their own food, they have more trust in its nutritional value. The more information we have about the full life cycle of an ingredient – because we know grew or foraged it ourselves, or knew the farmers who did – the better we feel about using it in our meals.

Lastly, we also observed that food storage affects food usage. We forget the items stored in the back of the fridge, and they often go bad as a result. To minimize food waste, it’s best to keep food items easily accessible. As they say, out of sight, out of mind.

Brainstorm & Concept Generation

Based on these insights, we developed two concepts and took them back out to our interviewees for direct user feedback. We refined these concepts based on their comments and created basic UI prototypes as a final outcome. Our two concepts were:

  • Adopt a Farm: An app designed to provide complete transparency to the farm to table journey. Subscribers will receive a box of fresh seasonal produce, poultry, and meat customized to their needs. They can see the farm through via the app at any time, and thus feel a greater connection to its origins.
  • Fridgeship: This app allows you to keep track of everything you buy. Users simply scan their grocery bills to input information. The app reminds you of what is in already in your fridge, what you need to buy, and even suggests recipes based on nearly-expired items you have at home.