STIKY: Never Waste Food Again

We aim to reduce food waste by reminding supermarket customers when their foods will expire through our mobile application.

Photo of Miguel Shetreet
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Date You Started Your Project Started


Project Stage: Select the description below that best applies to your approach.

  • Start-Up (first few activities have happened)

1. The Problem: What problem are you helping to solve?

Americans waste too much food everyday because they do not have an effective way of knowing which of their foods will or will not expire. We have interviewed a total of 135 people of various demographics in our community, where approximately 75% of people claimed that much of their food expired before they wanted it to. This is true for many households in America. Around $2,200 is wasted per household per year due to food expiring.

2. Your Solution: How are you planning to solve this problem? Share your specific approach.

As stated above, people waste too much food every day because they do not know when their food will expire. Also, it can be difficult to find recipes using the exact foods that are currently in a shopper's fridge or pantry. Our application scans a QR code (at the bottom of a supermarket receipt) containing what foods a supermarket customer (app user) bought as well the foods' expiration dates. Our application uploads certain information from the QR code, including the names of the purchased foods as well as their expiration dates. This information is placed into a section titled "My Pantry." As an expiration date draws near, our app reminds users that their food/foods will expire soon and also provides users with healthy recipes for those foods.

3. Personal Journey: What’s the story behind why you decided to start this project?

Two summers ago, I had a job as a line cook in a fast food restaurant in Portsmouth, NH. To keep track of the food that we stored, we had to label everything with monochrome stickers that clearly showed the food as well as the expiration date. The restaurant I worked at took pride in this method of reducing food waste. I wanted to bring this concept to the average America, so the concept of STIKY arose.

4. Selfie Elevator Pitch: Include 1-minute video that answers the following “I am stepping up to make change because...”

5. Example: Please walk us through a specific example of what happens when a person or group gets involved with your project.

Although we have not published our application to the app store yet, we have a story to tell. When testing our concept, we approached many of those we interviewed and asked them whether they wanted to be a beta tester for our service. Many interviewees agreed, and we would like to share the story of our experience with a particular interviewee. A grandmother invited us into her home, and allowed us to take notes of all of the foods in her kitchen, which included, but was not limited to, her refrigerator and her pantry. We compiled a list of expiration dates for each of her foods, and reminded her to use those foods two days before they expired. She found this service extremely helpful, and as a result, wasted significantly less food than she had previously. We plan on offering this same experience to others in the near future, but with our application instead of our manual service

6. The X Factor: What is different about your project compared to other programs or solutions already out there?

Our project is superior to many other solutions currently in the market. There are many applications that tackle problems similar to ours, such as NoWaste, but their common weakness is that the user is forced to manually input their food items as well as their expiration dates. This is a hassle for the user and it is not time-efficient. The Samsung Family Hub 2.0 fridge is also a solution, but is far too expensive for the average consumer and only tells the user about the food inside their refrigerator, not outside. Our solution, STIKY, is more time-efficient and cost-effective for the user.

7. Impact: How has your project made a difference so far?

We have helped more than a dozen supermarket customers better understand the labels on their purchased foods and know when their food expires through email reminders. Every single one of those customers found our product to be extremely beneficial in their lives. As a result, they wasted less food. In the future, we hope to mitigate food waste on a national scale. Our beta testing shows that our solution is both feasible and impactful.

8. What’s Next: What are your ideas for taking your project to the next level?

Currently, we are working on a partnership with Walmart. However, to implement our service into their system, we need to make the process as easy as possible for them. Thus, we are taking careful time to make sure that upon implementation there are no issues, such as security and accessibility, that the supermarket will have to face.

9. Which of the following types of expertise would be most useful for you?

  • Web/Mobile Development

10. Finances: If applicable, have you mobilized any of the following resources so far?

  • Donations less than $100

How did you hear about this challenge?

  • Recommended by others

1 comment

Join the conversation:

Photo of Asher Meth

Hi Miguel- I love the way you are approaching this challenge of wasted food! I love the idea of using the barcodes on the receipts to get all of the information you need. This ease of use will help people get on board with this idea, which is most likely going to be your biggest challenge. Many people are very against putting a new app on their phone.
Best of Luck!