GroceryLife is a mobile application that easily keeps tabs on the shelf life of produce to remind users to consume their produce before they spoil to minimize food waste and reduce costs.


Problem Space 

Problem Statement  

GroceryLife is a mobile application that reminds users to consume their produce to minimize their food waste and reduce associated costs.

Problem Background  

This problem space originated from my own dilemma when I was already at the store trying to figure out if I needed to purchase an onion because I had forgotten if the onion that I previously purchased was still fresh. I originally  imagined GroceryLife as a tool to remind me if my onion was still fresh. However after user interviews and focusing on the problem space, I realized that the core of the problem is food waste. In my own situation, it wasn’t whether or not I needed to purchase more onion, rather I did not want to either waste my old onion or buy extra.

In 2021, the average monthly cost of groceries per household was $440. With an average of one-third of these groceries wasted, that’s roughly $146 per month, or $1760 per year spent on wasted groceries. 

Buying groceries can already be a daunting and time consuming task when deciding what and how many items to buy. However grocery shopping doesn’t just end at the store. Upon returning home, the sheer act of putting groceries away in a timely manner can add to the time and complexity of grocery shopping. Items especially prone to spoiling are produce- meats, fruits, vegetables, and dairy. Without proper storage and organization, it’s easy to lose track of how long each item stays fresh.

Research Insights

According to my user research, more than 50% purchased produce 4-5 times per month. When asked how they keep track of their produce freshness, 60% reported they organized their fridge and 43% checked their fridge weekly, yet 60% still tossed them out 4-5x a month. Additionally, when asked how they determine if an item is still fresh, 70% used subjective data (smell and appearance) rather than objective data (presence of mold and average shelf life). Although there are many factors that can affect the shelf life of produce, combining both objective and subjective data will improve our ability to predict an item’s freshness. 

Landing on the Solution 

A possible solution to this problem is a mobile application that allows users to input their produce and mode of storage. The application will have a database with the average shelf life of the item and notify the user when it is close to expiration. 

Explanation of Solution 

GroceryLife can reduce food waste by reminding users to consume their produce before it is about to expire. After purchasing produce, users can input their items, date purchased and the mode of storage. If the item has a printed expiration date, that can be added as well. Based on established recommendations, GroceryLife will store a database of commonly purchased produce and their shelf lives based on mode of storage. This will remove the guesswork needed by the user to input expiration dates. When nearing an item’s expiration date, GroceryLife will remind users to consume the item to prevent it from being thrown away. 

Future Steps

I hope to work with a cross functional team to bring GroceryLife to reality through Co.lab’s product manager program. It is important to receive feedback from both developers and UX designers to fully understand what is feasible.


Product Manager Learnings:

Andrew Lin

Everyone has solutions, but not everyone understands the problem. Like others, I jumped straight to the solution based on my own narrow minded perspective. But only after listening to user pain points did I understand that the true problem differed from my original thoughts. 

I also learned that done is better than perfect. Iterations are a fact of a product’s life and mean that your product is advancing. Even when you think you are done, you are still iterating. 
Lastly, user personas are crucial to convey to team members for whom and why you are trying to solve a problem. This facilitates target personas for your team to prioritize due to resource constraints.

Designer Learnings:

Developer Learnings:

Developers Learnings:


Full Team Learning