That morning, Aleksandra Lazović Lønningen threw away the expired food package again. In her home in Norway, in front of an open refrigerator, she thought about how much money was wasted in this way. And while she was checking to see if the remaining groceries were out of date, an idea came to her. What would happen if there was an application that would send notifications and remind us of food about to expire?
Thus, the idea of Eat Me App was born. At that moment, Aleksandra did not know whether a similar application had already existed. She was simply led by the thought that such help in the kitchen would be handy. And not to mention the money savings.
“Living in Norway encouraged me because I had the opportunity to see some good examples of how civil initiatives formulate problems whose solutions then successfully develop legitimate businesses,” Aleksandra says.
However, besides the problems you solve, enthusiasm and a team are needed for development. As in a puzzle, that last element was missing. While support for green projects in Norway was not a novelty, in Serbia at the time, issues of climate change and sustainable development were just entering public discourse. However, the door to change inevitably opened and Aleksandra came to Belgrade with her husband and baby. At the Academy of Circular Economy in the Serbian Chamber of Commerce, Aleksandra met Sanja Dramićanin. They recognized each other for their enthusiasm, strong will and insight into the potential for a green women’s entrepreneurial venture, Aleksandra says. “Sanja, as a business professional in the field of IT, fell in love with the idea of combining her profession and sustainable development. Eat Me App is the result of a true pioneering endeavor that is built out of love and the desire for a better and high-quality relationship with the environment and ourselves. We had all the skills we needed to get started.”
Keeping in mind that they emphasize love as the initiator of their activities, we asked them what it encompasses. Both authors agree that love and respect for their families and home, for their shortcomings, and the land that feeds us is the real energy source from which they build a vision and create. During the quarantine in 2020, Aleksandra and Sanja developed the concept and product, investing their own money, and the first version of the application appeared before the end of 2020. They officially started working when they founded the company in May 2021. and are currently preparing to launch new versions of the app for both Android and iOS users.
How Eat Me App works
This mobile app sends notifications to users about the expiration date of groceries. In that way, they have an insight into the statistics on used and unused food and the monetary value of discarded food. It is this moment that is crucial to raise awareness of the problem. Sanja and Aleksandra believe that in the first week of using their application, the user is guaranteed to either save or see how much financial loss he is threatened with if he does not do something with the groceries. That is why the authors of the application, with their creative advice on how to store and use food, help the users to reduce food waste. As a result, their users achieve significant savings in the household budget. But how exactly does Eat Me App work?
“The application provides the possibility of donating and exchanging food among users. We are currently in the testing, mapping and needs assessment phase with our customers regarding food exchange and donation options. Everything we do is done with the LEAN approach to reduce resource consumption and at the same time involve users in the development of the application from the very beginning. It should be emphasized that the goal of the application is to enable all of us to have a more responsible and aware attitude towards food and towards ourselves, keeping in mind our habits”, Aleksandra says.
The application can be used by everyone who has a smartphone, and for now, there are no negative reactions, only useful feedback and questions. They are currently working intensively on contact with users to find out where the problems that need to be solved are hiding. “The ways in which we interact with customers are still being defined. Our goal is to learn from users and offer them interesting ways to interact with the application so that the very learning and adopting new models of thinking and behaving is both effective and efficient,” our interlocutor says.
Prepared by: Milica Radičević
Read the story in the new issue of the Energy portal Magazine ELECTROMOBILITY.