Every couple months, I go into my fridge and throw out all the forgotten and fuzzy food.
It’s a guilt-inducing process – as it should be – and every time I search for those containers with festering science experiments inside I think there has to be a better way.
Of course, there is an obvious one – buy less, eat what I have – but I am also left thinking about how someday, technology will assist me in reducing my and my family’s food waste.
As it turns out, food container giant Tupperware is thinking the same thing.
That’s because they’ve just launched a design crowdsourcing contest to find a way to use IoT technology to create a better food container. The contest, which will give away a total $10 thousand in prizes to the top three entries, is being run in partnership with Giddy, the crowdsourced design and ideation startup that spun out of the same folks within GE who brought us FirstBuild.
Tupperware’s wish list of considerations for this new product is long. The contest guidelines (pdf) not only ask for designs that would create a product that is “easy to use but technically advanced” and “approachable but have features complex enough to provide real value”, but also “non-disposable and meant to be used again, again and again” and “affordable enough for the product to be within the budget of most consumers.”
In other words, the dream product. That’s not all that surprising – it is a design contest for a new and better food container after all – but what’s interesting is the emphasis the contest puts on products that are easy-to-use for the “Silver generation (55+).” One of the two personas described include a grandma named Catherine who, among other things, is “adventurous and enjoys being the first in her circle of friends to try new technologies” and is “tech-savvy, using social media and the internet frequently.”
Bottom line: Tupperware wants to create the product of the future while not alienating older users who likely make up a big chunk of their customer base.
Tupperware’s not alone in looking for out of the box thinking in food containers. The competition for new ideas is heating up as startups like Silo and Ovie explore using IoT technology in new ways, while big players like Samsung and Amazon are investigating ways to use tech to better understand what’s in the fridge.
The contest, which goes through January 8th, could help Tupperware get some innovative new ideas for the future. However, if you’re hoping to get a peek at some of the new ideas generated by the contest, you’re out of luck: Unlike past contests run by Giddy, Tupperware wants to keep all the entries secret.
I can’t really blame them. It’s getting competitive out there.