Handpick's mobile app is powered by an ingredient recommendation engine that was founded on the idea of reducing food waste. Approximately 60 million metric tons of food are wasted annually in the U.S. alone, having an estimated value of $162 billion. According to the EPA, more than 96% of food we throw away ends up in landfills. Once in the landfills, food waste breaks down to produce methane gas, which is 85x more potent than carbon dioxide in trapping heat in the earth's atmosphere, a key driver in accelerating climate change.
At its core, Handpick's app addresses the universal challenge of what to do with food ingredients already on-hand by providing an array of dish ideas. Today people are pressed for time yet still want to feel good about the food they prepare healthy, tasty meals for their family. Traditional recipe sites and magazines tell people what to cook. Handpick works differently by enabling busy moms and dads to instead plug in whatever ingredients they happen to have on hand – whether from the fridge, freezer or pantry. This enables users to save time from making another trip to the grocery store and instantly provides an array of inspiration and dishes they can make around the ingredients they entered. It also reduces the overall food waste and helps stretch food budgets more effectively.
Chefs, home cooks and food lovers can access more than 100,000,000 socially shared dish posts from Instagram, hundreds of top indie food blogs, and popular recipe sites. Unlike traditional recipe sites or food apps, Handpick gives users the ability to search multiple ingredients, social hashtags or dish types across social media data and recipe sites.
Handpick expands users social media activities beyond just liking, collecting or sharing appealing food art. Food is among the most frequently shared posts on Instagram, posting more than 70 million photos and 2.5 billion “likes" daily. Yet frequently “Foodstagrammers" will see a highly appetizing picture of food that they want to cook only the recipe is missing. Leveraging its proprietary image recognition technology and big-data driven engine, Handpick solves this dilemma with its one-of-a-kind “Recipe Match" that takes inspiration from an actual shared picture of a food dish and then matches it with a recipe or set of recipes, giving users a recipe so they can cook something similar.
Handpick's functionality enables better discovery and engagement between users of the app and are able the amateur foodie, professional chef, or lifestyle blogger who has shared a particular social food post. Handpick's app will display the Instagram photo and matching recipe, display the Instagrammer's name, link and redirect the user to the select blog containing the actual recipe. This enables users to discover interesting new people to like and follow as well as engage with the around food recipes and ideas.
Handpick has caught the attention of Apple's App Store, which has spotlighted the app as a “Best New Apps" in the Food & Drink section for 12 weeks straight. The startup has quietly grown to become the largest curator of unique food inspiration and is now 120x the current largest recipe site.