There's fun shopping, and then there'sdrudge shopping - the kind of shopping you do at the supermarket. Butthat could all change soon, thanks to Rosh Ha'ayin-based startupRecipping, a site that helps you to figure out what to make fordinner, which ingredients you'll need, and how much they'll cost,while saving you money at the same time.
We all have to eat, so a trip to the market is in order, at leastonce in a while. But the current model for where people get theirfood and how they make their food purchase decisions is a recipe forinefficiency, says Shlomo Shamy, inventor of and chief investor inRecipping's novel approach to meal planning and food shopping.
There's fun shopping, and then there's drudge shopping - the kindof shopping you do at the supermarket. But that could all changesoon, thanks to Rosh Ha'ayin-based startup Recipping, a site thathelps you to figure out what to make for dinner, which ingredientsyou'll need, and how much they'll cost, while saving you money at thesame time.
While some people have fun shopping at the mall, most don't findthat food markets are such enjoyable places. It takes time to getthere and they tend to be crowded. Also, food shopping is a"commitment." Comparison-shopping is terriblytime-consuming and most of us aren't willing to spend the better partof a day dashing from store to store. Most of us choose a supermarketand hope for the best.
Shamy says that Recipping takes an original approach to foodshopping. He calls it "holistic." "We guide theshopping experience for consumers from recipe to plate, helping themto organize their shopping lists, find the best price for products,and have their order delivered right to their door. Consumers savetime and money; they get the products they need and want, quickly andpainlessly," he claims.
It all starts with a recipe, either from your kitchen or from anonline recipe site. You can write out your own shopping list, orchoose a recipe from one of the affiliated recipe sites, and haveRecipping make up a shopping list for you. The site's applicationthen checks out the prices at local or national chains and presentsyou with the information.
You can then decide where you want to order your products from,and have Recipping connect you to the supermarket's online ordersite, where your shopping basket is already filled with the productsyou picked on Recipping. All you have to do is click "buy,"submit your payment and delivery information, and the ingredients fordinner are on their way.
Currently, Recipping is in beta, with a Hebrew-only website thatlinks you to recipes on two large foodie sites, and connects you tothe online shopping service at Israel's two largest supermarketchains, Supersol and Blue Square. "We are working to smooth outall the bugs in the beta, and expect to be able to deploy in the USwithin the next year," Shamy says, pointing out that buildingand maintaining the database for Recipping is a lot of work.
There aresites in the US (and in Britain, another eventual target market forRecipping) that let you compare prices at supermarkets, both onlineand offline, and there are supermarket sites where you can placeorders. But there are no sites, says Shamy, that let you push yourrecipe ingredients or shopping list to the Internet, check prices atrival sites, and have an order delivered to your house.
"Recipping's uniqueness is that it takes an overall approachto food shopping," says Shamy. "Most recipe sites that havelinks to ingredients are usually sponsored by a food manufacturer, sothat's the product you will be directed to, price notwithstanding.And supermarket sites are usually a hassle to navigate - you chooseproducts by category, so you have to scroll through dozens of optionsfor each item, so making an online order often takes more time thanactually going down to the market for your order."
In fact, says Shamy, it was just such an experience that set offthe idea process that resulted in Recipping. "I was in thehospital with my father and had to make sure that the family hadsupplies. So I checked out a supermarket website and started fillingmy basket. Between the clicking and price comparing, it took me fourhours to make the order."
Recipping, he says, does the footwork for you, tracking down theproducts you need and finding the best price, using a uniquealgorithm that parses Recipping's extensive database. Not only that -the program even finds you the right package size, so if your recipecalls for eight ounces of margarine, for example, Recipping willpresent you with the nearest size product options, so you're able topurchase just the amount you need, at the cheapest price.
As Recipping rolls out in various regions, the company willdevelop partnerships with supermarkets that already have deliveryservices, as well as regional and national grocery delivery services,like PeaPod. "We don't intend to get into delivery ourselves, sowe will be able to work with a variety of companies. We also havemany new services we intend to include, but that's for later on,"Shamy says.
One thing's for certain - all the company's eventual services willharness the power of the Internet to make life easier for foodshoppers, saving them time and money in the process. Shamy isconfident that once shoppers get a taste of the Recipping style ofshopping, they'll never want to shop any other way.