Cooking is fun, but tracking down all the ingredients? Not so much. Popcart, a new bookmarklet tool built by recipe search engine Foodily and East Coast-only grocery delivery service FreshDirect, makes things easier by parsing online recipes and automatically sending ingredients to your shopping cart.
Sadly, FreshDirect only delivers to five US states, so we can’t all take advantage of this convenient tool just yet. Foodily is working on making it available nationwide, so you can consider the current version as a proof of concept if you live outside of the delivery range.
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Between vague measurements and different names or ingredients, recipes can be tricky to understand. Other products, such as Chicory and Tesco partner Parsly, have tried to tackle the process of converting recipes into grocery orders, but Foodily has a head start from the work it has done to index and structure recipe data. The startup breaks down recipes based on cooking time, nutritional information and diet type. Mapping recipes onto actual products is a useful next step.
Once you drag Popcart to your bookmarks bar, you can highlight the recipe text to have it send the information over to FreshDirect. You’ll then be able to adjust amounts and switch between brands for a product before adding it to your cart and scheduling a delivery for the next day. Popcart recognizes common pantry items and keeps them out of your cart unless you decide to buy.
According to FreshDirect Chief Consumer Officer Jodi Kahn, you can place your order for a recipe in just 10 seconds once everything’s set up. Foodily CEO Andrea Cutright claims that it works with any recipe on the Web.
Down the road, Popcart could get smarter as Foodily adds personalization features to the tool. For instance, I’d love for the service to keep track of when I bought my pantry items and when they expire. Or, if I have a shopping cart from one recipe, can it recommend a complementary recipe that uses the ingredients I’m already buying? Foodily is also interested in releasing a mobile version of Popcart if there’s enough interest.
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