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Neighbor-Driven Grocery Pricing

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An Equity Problem

Countless initiatives address food justice in low-income areas. At the same time, the good food and local food movements are thriving in wealthier neighborhoods. The high operational costs that local farmers face drive the high prices at grocery stores that low-income families cannot afford, often at inaccessible locations. How might we streamline processes for local farmers to capture the demand for good food from underserved neighborhoods?

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Proposal

This project aggregates demand for locally-sourced, high-quality groceries.

On the supply side, residents input information, knowing the information will come back to benefit them directly.

On the demand side, local suppliers and farmers can pinpoint volume data to expand their business and distribution.

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Research

Our commitment to systems-thinking demands us to investigate root causes. With this in mind, our interview questions for users are shaped by some foundational questions that we ask ourselves as a team.

  • What is the corner store's relationship with the neighborhood?
  • Why are corner stores inherently pedestrian-friendly?
  • How can the store feel more like a neighborhood hub rather than strictly a place for commercial transactions?
  • What drives the high prices at corner stores?
  • Do residents have promising career opportunities at local corner stores?
  • Would storeowners consider cooperative ownership models?

Validating Assumptions

We conducted user interviews with farmers, producers, industry leaders and neighborhood organizations to validate our initial assumptions.

Thanks to the many stakeholders who offered their valuable feedback.

Give your Perspective

If you are a corner store manager, a resident, or a small farmer and want to see this happen, please follow this link. We'd love to hear your thoughts. As a thank you, you'll be eligible to win an iPad!

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Prioritization

Based on our research, we brainstormed numerous ideas/features for our proposed solution. They ranged from a network of corner stores with a central distribution center to a cooperative model.

The design direction we took prioritized features that facilitated a store's ability to interact with and reflect the needs of its hyperlocal customers.

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Design Iterations

Previous Iterations

We are honored that a previous version of this project was picked as a finalist for the 2013 Design Ignites Change Professional Fellowship, sponsored by Worldstudio and AIGA. Click here to see our project featured on their site as well as the other finalists and funded projects! Thanks to the jury for the recongnition.

Current Iteration

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concept diagram
wireframe
wireframe landing page

How would (personas) use this program?

For users that want healthier foods but don't have current access, this product puts local, good foods into the corner store closest to them and vets the producers for them.

For users that want convenient groceries they can walk to, this product puts foods they always buy into the corner store closest to them.

This product would spark curiosity for shoppers in the corner stores through neighbor recipes, through new produce they are unfamiliar with and inform shoppers of upcoming events where they can learn to cook those new items.

Users that can't currently afford prices can now inform prices.

Please contact us about how to get involved.