On a typical Sunday morning, you can find me parked on the couch, coffee in hand, while watching Sunday Morning and browsing Pinterest for new recipe ideas. This routine hasn’t changed much in the past few years, and while I have several (beautiful!) cookbooks taking up far too much room in my too-tiny Manhattan kitchen, the first place I go for inspiration is Pinterest.
But while Pinterest is now my go-to place to discover new recipes, my pin-to-execute ratio is actually quite low. And my guess is that this is common among many users. Pinterest is a dashboard for collecting aspirations and dreams. Where we go to Google to search for how to boil an egg, we go to Pinterest to learn how to make cupcakes that look like tiny owls. The chances of us actually boiling that egg are quite high, but the chances of us attempting to make (and actually succeeding to make) the tiny owl cupcake are pathetically low. But the chances we’ll use Pinterest for inspiration, to curate the perfect dinner party of our dreams? That’s extraordinarily high. Food and drink are actually the #1 pinned category on Pinterest.
How can Pinterest start to bridge the disconnect between inspiration and actual execution? The introduction of rich pins started to add more utility to food pins, giving users the entire ingredient list for the recipe within Pinterest.
The ingredient list makes it handy to add the items directly to a grocery list, but the user still has to click through to the original source for the actual recipe. Again, let’s go back to my typical Sunday routine: browse Pinterest, find recipe, click over to original source, write down ingredients, go find another recipe, repeat process, get list, go to grocery store. (and yes, I’m aware I could save digitally. But I prefer the joy of scratching items off a list)
How do we streamline this process? The introduction of Pinterest messaging could make the recipe pins even more useful to users. Here’s the idea: When you find a recipe you like, send a message to your linked grocery store account to add the ingredients directly to your cart. Then, when you’re done browsing, you can check your grocery cart, edit/remove any items, and then hit “deliver” to receive the items. Even better would be the addition of same-day delivery via a service like Instacart.
This isn’t an entirely original idea; Popcart allows consumers to send a recipe list from any blog directly to a Fresh Direct cart, and Plate Joy has partnered with Food52 to let consumers add recipes to their Plate Joy account directly from the site. Clearly other people are trying to solve the disconnect between inspiration and execution, but Pinterest remains untapped. And it is a ripe platform for disruption, especially given shopping trends among millennials, who are more likely to build grocery lists based off certain recipes.
By connecting to your grocery store account (or Fresh Direct, Instacart, etc. account), the retailer stands to learn a lot about shopping behavior while consumers get a more convenient way to meal plan. Because as much as I like browsing Pinterest for new recipe ideas, I loathe the time it takes to go to the grocery store to hunt for everything on my list– especially if ingredients are new to me or outside of my normal shopping habits.
So there’s the idea. Handing it to the universe to execute. Please make my life easier.