We thought about a major issue that we face in our daily lives and noticed that when we cook meals, we generally use less than everything we’ve bought and the rest goes to waste. Alternatively, we buy groceries and end up a little short in the amount we bought. In order to resolve this issue, we built G-Pass (short for Grocery Pass) with the hope of revolutionizing grocery exchange. The concept is simple: we bring the store to you.
What it does
If a student bought too many groceries, for example 12 eggs, and ends up using only 8 before they expire, they can post to G-Pass to the whole student community that they have 4 eggs they’re willing to pass on. Similarly, another student can search for groceries they're looking to purchase and then the two can exchange.The benefit of this is three fold. First, the food isn’t wasted. Second, someone else can have a healthier meal because they have proper groceries to cook with. Third, both people save money because the seller would have had 0 gain initially and the buyer can purchase without traveling to a grocery store and buy less than retail price. The impacts may be localized at first, but with time and data collection, individual users can combat net waste. With G-Pass, sharing groceries, cooking healthy meals, and making a global impact has never been easier.
How we built it
Our current app is a web app, that will be converted into a phone app later. The home page is designed to look like a refrigerator, with a button that brings you inside the fridge to the main menu. There, the top shelf is food that’s trending/food that you frequently buy, the middle has a link to the exchange platform, and the bottom is the profile. Every user can upload food to sell. The suggested sell price is devised by an algorithm: 0.75 scaling x the retail price x the amount of product sold. For example, if you’re selling half a loaf of bread you bought for $4, it would be .75 x $4 x .5 = $1.50. On the item’s page will be the places the seller is willing to go to exchange the item, the purchased date, the best by date, the sell by date, and a description. When a buyer is interested, they’ll send the seller a message, and the seller can accept or decline. Buyers can click on the seller and see their profile as well as their rating (based on previous sales). Every user can also view their purchasing history, where they can see previous transactions. We wanted our app to be safe, so we are keeping our app closed to only college students, since students are more likely to know each other, and the school has some control over its students’ safety. In addition, students can meet in a list of secure places, such as dormitories and on-campus locations. Another common concern would be the health aspect of this app. In order to try and combat the possibility of bad food, we have the requirement that a seller must post an up-to-date picture each day, as well as list the sell by and best by date. Further, as of now, we do not permit the selling of meat over this app, because meat goes bad easily and bad meat poses huge health concerns for users. Finally, we allow users to meet in person and inspect food before fulfilling the purchase.
Challenges we ran into
We struggled with developing the core of the web app as well as implementing all of the features we had in mind, so we had to make compromises on functionality while retaining the core idea and present the best version of that to date.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We're extremely proud of the impact that this app could have on a number of important topics like students health, economic management, and most importantly saving waste globally because that's a huge problem both in America and globally and we hope to combat that locally one pass at a time.
What we learned
We learned about React and front-end development as well as all of the moving parts that go into making a functional and robust web app.
What's next for G-Pass: Revolutionizing Grocery Sharing
In the future we plan to expand in multiple ways: -Build a full scale working implementation to test on university campus within 6 months -Ethereum smart contracts to ensure that exchanges are both secure and efficient with a shared ledger -Automate from active to passive selling where receipts can be scanned at the grocery store and based on past usage, extra groceries are automatically posted to sell threads -Scalability with the MEAN Stack with a focus on NodeJS and MongoDB to facilitate large and efficient data storage and manipulation -Machine Learning to personalize items with notifications as they appear, spot trends in purchase times, and identify more popular locations. -Partnerships with grocery stores to get students the best deals and promotion of bake sale fundraisers for social good.