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Image by Jakub Kapusnak


Unique ways to reduce grocery store food waste 


Approximately 30% of food in American grocery stores is thrown away(  Food waste has a major impact on the profitability of Harvest Market.  

Harvest Market is a local grocery store that is looking for unique ways to reduce food waste and maintain profitability with low risk to their business. Harvest Market wants to be a good corporate citizen by reducing its impact on the planet while providing products their customers want to purchase and an engaging experience. 

Harvest Market already donates food to a local food bank and discounts short-dated food. Another recommendation for Harvest Market is to review its point of sale(POS) data to stock items that its customers buy. The focus of the project was unique uses for possible food waste.


June - July 2022


Design services that Harvest Market can implement to utilize food that would become food waste.


Rethink food that could become waste and create classes and experiences to utilize the food.


80% of respondents are concerned with food waste.

40% of respondents are interested in activities and classes at their local grocery store to reduce food waste.

55% listed cooking as a lifestyle interest

The research focused on users' views of food waste and partnering with a grocery store to reduce food waste.  A remote web survey was conducted with 20 participants ages ranging from 18 to 55 years of age.

The statements from the customers on their thoughts about their stashes were incorporated into the persona. A journey map and storyboards were created and used to highlight areas of improvement. ​

from survey respondents that guided design

"Not everything can be eaten, but everything can be appropriately used."

"... bread was thrown away because it had reached its use by date but there was no room in the freezer for it."

“I grew up with not so much money so it is mostly a force of a habit rather than a concern for the environment


Product Designer which included research, ideation, paper and digital wireframing, low and high-fidelity prototyping, conducting usability studies, accounting for accessibility, and iterating on designs.


Persona Image of young woman



Age:  18

Education:  Starting College

Hometown:  Neptune, FL

Family:  Lives with her parents

Occupation:  Student

“I want to live an authentic life which includes limiting my impact on the environment.”


  • I am interested in natural beauty and sustainable solutions.

  • Reducing my impact on the planet is one of my core beliefs.


  • Even with all my efforts, there is still food waste.

  • I want the stores I shop to genuinely be green and not greenwashing.

Monique is a young adult that is interested in natural beauty, sustainable solutions, and products that reduce her impact on the planet. She lives near various grocery stores but looking for a reason to connect with a brand that is also interested in solutions that reduce their impact on the planet.


Ideation focused on extending the life of the food and alternative uses for food.

The quote from a survey respondent “Not everything can be eaten, but everything can be appropriately used."

Triggered the questions;

  • "What is an appropriate use?"

  • Is this everyone’s chance to play with their food and not feel bad about it?

  • Expiration dates do not matter for food that is “not for human consumption”.

Food Waste Ideation

Ideation Affinity Diagram

The affinity diagram was assembled from a brainstorming session and a "crazy eights" sketch to ideate possible alternative uses or ways to prevent food from becoming waste.



The mobile app was designed first for a user who is motivated by sustainable solutions. Paper and digital wireframes were created. 

Two rounds of low-fidelity usability tests were conducted since the first round had a 100% failure rate.

Usability tests were performed as a combination of moderated and unmoderated using a due to the limited availability of testers.

The desktop website was designed for a different user who can benefit from the food waste solutions but sustainability is not a key motivator as mentioned by survey respondents.

Findings from low fidelity usability study

The initial design used an icon on the toolbar to access all the food waste solutions with no context or onboarding.

100% of participants could not start the task. 

The usability test was canceled early.

Wireframe showing the leaf icon that lead to failure of the first usability study
Wireframe showing the buttons added to the homepage

Buttons were added to the homepage to aid navigation. The icon was moved to the menu.

100% of the users in the second usability test could complete the tasks.

Style Guide

Findings from a high-fidelity usability study

The back button was enlarged and a rectangle with no fill was placed behind it to make the back button easier to click.

20% of participants had trouble clicking the back button.

High fidelity class page showing enlarged back button

Mockups of the Mobile App

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Mockups of the Desktop Website

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The importance of Jakob’s Law - When introducing a new use for an icon, it needs an introduction or a design that starts the mental model for the user to build a bridge to the icon design at a later release.  Laws of UX

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