A home cook needs a way to find different African recipes they can prepare with the ingredients they have on hand so that they can enjoy delicious variations of their favourite meals.
Have you ever stared at your loaded pantry but still lacked inspiration for your next meal?
You are not alone.
While in a conversation with a married friend, I asked her what has been the hardest part of being a mum and she said it was having to figure out the meals to prepare for her family daily.
I realized that even as a single person, I too could relate to this pain point as I have found myself on many occasions staring at the ingredients I have on hand and still asking, what should I cook today? What else can I cook with these ingredients that is different from what I made the last time?
I began to wonder if there was a way to find recipes for the ingredients I have on hand. In my search for answers, I discovered that for a lot of homecook, lack of inspiration is a common problem and this makes even the thought of cooking very stressful and overwhelming.
As I searched online for possible solutions to this dilemma, I discovered that these solutions weren’t tailored to African oriented meals and as such many African ingredients were missing, and in some cases, not recognized on these Apps.
This made me decide to explore this problem space for this underserved category.
A survey was put together specifically targeted to Africans and anyone who cooks African food at home.
The goal of the research was to mainly determine:
- How they felt about planning meals
- The most important thing they considered when deciding on the meal to cook
- What they do when they don’t know what to cook
- How they find recipe’s and how open they are to trying new foods.
Twenty five (25) home cooks that fit this category responded to the survey and 5 were selected for user interviews.
The survey and interview revealed that 64% of the respondents feel “stressed”, “tired”, “overwhelmed” and “unsure” when they have to think or plan the next meal to cook.
60% indicated that the most important thing they consider when deciding on the meal to cook is available ingredients.
The user research further confirmed the existence of the problem, which is that, home cooks who cook or would like to explore African cuisine, do not have an effective way to find recipes for the ingredients they have on hand.
Landing on the Solution
Based on our target users’ pain points identified by the research, it became apparent that we first needed to build a platform where people can find different African recipes for the ingredients they have on hand. Thus, Delightfull was born.
In the MVP stage, Delightfull will help home cooks save time and will eliminate stress by helping them make faster decisions while retaining and even increasing excitement when it comes to planning and cooking meals.
Open App > Click on Get Started > Enters Email > If the user is not already registered, the user will be prompted to register. If registered, the password box will open requesting the user to enter password > Sign in > Select Find What to Cook > User will prompted to enter ingredients they already have > Click on the Message chat box to type in available ingredients > Select Show my Food Options> View generated recommendations> Click Get cooking Directions > End.
To fully address the other problems identified during the user interviews, future updates of Delightfull will have provision for users to
- Customize food timetables: This feature will help users who plan their meals a week, or even month in advance, to personalize and customize their timetables of Delightfull.
- Share family recipes and interact with other users: As the research revealed that 60% of users will attempt new African recipes even though the ingredients are not familiar to them, having this feature on Delightfull will encourage these adventurous cooks to share their favourite African food recipes, introduce new varieties to their menus and share the outcome with other users.
- Customize meal plans based on fitness/lifestyle and unique preferences.
Product Manager Learnings:
At Co.Lab I have learned to spend more time focusing on the problem instead of the solution to ensure that my solution actually solves the problem rather than already having a solution and looking for a problem. I learned about the MOM Test and how to ask the right questions during user interviews to avoid influencing the responses.
I also learned the importance of prioritization and how to prioritize effectively in order to narrow the scope and focus on one Job to be Done.