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Sainsbury’s Food Rescue



To help families in the UK to stop wasting food, we teamed up with Google & Sainsbury’s to create “Food Rescue”.

Everyone hates wasting food and the guilt that comes with it. In fact, 4.2 millions tonnes of food is wasted every year in the UK.

Sainsbury's Food Rescue is an idea for a simple web tool that helps you find recipes to use up food that may otherwise go to waste and it’s really simple! Say the ingredients you want to rescue into your smartphone and the tool will find tasty recipes. Now you can finally save those forgotten vegetables at the back of your fridge!

The initial brief was to explore  the creative possibilities of Google APIs and products as a way to showcase interesting new ways brands can communicate digitally. With Sainsbury’s excited and onboard, we looked at how we could apply our research and help build a movement around the problem of food wastage.

The solution was to help people make the most of their leftovers and thus reduce waste, but also as a positive consequence, help save themselves money too!

We believed success lay in it’s simplicity for people to do, so what easier way than just speaking out loud the food items you want to use up! With the Google Web Speech API we found the perfect technological solution.  Simply look inside your fridge and tell Food Rescue the ingredients you wish to use, the web app then suggests the best recipes matches.
We wanted using the tool to be inspiring and show how creative you can be with just a few ingredients, so we open the site with a dashboard of inspiration. A responsive grid of tiles that contains the Food Rescue search tool, useful tips, recipe inspirations and data to show how well the campaign is coming along.

The Food Rescue search tool sits proudly in the centre of the layout and is direct and easy to use. As users say ingredients, recipes automatically appear around it.

To make the search tool even more helpful, we added clever touches such as allowing you to also exclude ingredients,  for instance ‘No cheese’, ‘No Meat’ and so on.

Food waste is a collective issue. Our individual efforts can feel insignificant compared to the scale of the problem, but collectively it can have a great impact.  

To help people feel they are making a difference, Food Rescue tracks how much food is rescued and how much money is saved for every recipe cooked. The information is then collated and visualised over a map of the UK. Participants can see how much they are collectively rescuing in their own city, county and altogether.

We also designed illustrations comparing the weight of food rescued  to objects and  animals of equivalent weight, to help make sense of these large numbers! For example 7.5 tonnes of  rescued food  is approximately the weight of tyrannosaurus Rex. Now that’s impressive!
To launch the campaign and showcase the aim of Food Rescue we wrapped it all up into a short animated story that characterises the problem but shows with only a little effort what a big difference we can all make together.

We also built a special HTML5 expandable banner offering the same core functionality as the site; the Food Rescue search tool and the Google Web Speech API - that’s a first for a banner!

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