Smart Pantry, the food waste app


Institutional Communication Service

16 December 2019

How can we avoid food waste in our household? Smart Pantry presented a prototype solution at the finals of Boldbrain Startup Challenge 2019, the result of the work of Giacomo Imperato and Alec Bernasconi, students of the USI Faculty of Economics, and Jesper Findahl, R&D Software Engineer at Code Lounge (Software Institute, USI Faculty of Informatics), who have created an app designed to learn how to better manage our refrigerator.

"Smart Pantry is an idea stemming from a problem it wants to solve: household food waste," the co-founders say. The project, in fact, proposes a system capable of helping families to manage their own pantry in a smart way, by managing the expiry dates of foodstuffs in our refrigerator and leading to engage in smart shopping. A coordinated effort between all members of a household, husband, wife, companions, children and roommates: "it is a virtual pantry that will be shared and accessible to all members of the household from multiple devices," explain the co-founders.

Currently incubated at the USI CP Start-Up, Smart Pantry entered the 2019 Boldbrain Startup Challenge, which started with the team taking part in the  three-month of "cantonal accelerator" - coaching sessions and workshops to allow them to develop their project in a business perspective - and then be selected together with other nine other projects and thus take part in the final event on December 4 at USI, which saw them present their prototype both in front of an audience of potential investors (at the Venture Day Lugano), and in front of the national jury of Boldbrain and the large audience present in the Lugano campus Aula magna.

In a first phase of the project, the three initially focused on the reasons for household food waste. A study by the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN) points out that 25% of the environmental impact of food in Switzerland is due to food waste, and at the household level this waste has a greater impact on the environment than the waste produced at the production or supermarket level.

As Giacomo Imperato explains, "we will receive the first 'practical' feedback on the product during the spring of 2020, a key moment in which we will release the beta version of the app, a version designed to precisely verify the needs and behaviors of users. Thanks to these months of testing we will then be able to build the first version ready for the market in autumn 2020, based on the feedback received from test users". It is essential to verify the needs of consumers and to adapt the functionality of the app to manage purchases and consumption. "The main features that we would like to implement by spring 2020, are for example the list of assisted shopping, notifications for exiry dates, proposals for recipes based on the food in the refrigerator, the automatic planning of meals, and much more," says Imperato.


A video reportage on Smart Pantry was produced by RSI Nouvo (in Italian) at: