The last day before you go back to the grocery store can be a difficult one when you’re trying to make a meal. What you have left in your pantry is often a random assortment of odds and ends that may or may not go together.
To help consumers avoid giving up and getting restaurant delivery, or, much worse, letting those random items go to waste, Kroger launched its new Chefbot today. Found @KrogerChefbot on Twitter, Kroger says this AI-powered tool will help you discover recipes that put those odds-and-ends foods to tasty use.
To use Chefbot, take a picture of three ingredients and tweet @krogerchefbot. The bot replies with what it thinks is in your picture. If it’s correct, it gives you a link to a page with recipes for your ingredients.
With the pandemic still keeping restaurants closed and winter being on its way, chances are good a lot of us will be eating at home a lot more in the coming months. So another easy meal discovery tool could be pretty useful.
However, at least based on my first test this morning, I’m not sure Kroger’s Chefbot is that tool. To give it a spin, I took a pick of tofu, penne pasta and an avocado and tweeted that pic to Chefbot. Maybe it’s first-day jitters, but Chefbot could only identify one item — penne, and that could be because the box had a giant “penne” written on the side. Chefbot also guessed that I had salmon, which… I’m not sure where it got that one as you can see from the picture below.
I thought I had even cheated a little bit by including the barcode and the tofu label.
Since it didn’t recognize my items, I listed them for Chefbot in a follow up tweet. It then sent me to recipe page that said “Sorry, your search for “avocado penne tofu” did not return any results,” so it gave me a bunch of recipes for chicken dinner recipes.
Kroger’s Chefbot is a lot like Whisk’s Cook Magic, though that service uses texts instead of Twitter, and it doesn’t try to identify pictures (it also seems like it might work better).
We are all for tech tools that help people make better meals at home and reduce food waste. But it seems like Kroger’s Chefbot may need to go back to culinary school to make its AI a little smarter.