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A-Tisket, A-Tasket: A Product Update Blog

May 14, 2023
5 min read

Kia ora from the MenuAid Product team!

As promised in the previous blog we have been plugging away at ways to improve the shopping experience and are super proud of what we’ve managed to release. Introducing…

A Green-and-Orange Basket 🍏🍊

If you’ve selected a store that has online shopping enabled (currently, PAK’nSAVE and New World), you’ll notice that there’s a new button in the Shopping List. 

Clicking this button will take you through to our Basket, known internally as the Kete. The Basket is the step in between your MenuAid-managed Shopping List, and the supermarket’s Online Shopping cart or trolley.

Whereas the Shopping List feature allows you to combine, scale and manage the ingredients from our recipes, the Basket is focused on the products.

We use some elbow grease, coding magic and a teeny bit of fairy dust to weave together the requirements of your ingredients to pick out the best selection of products to meet your needs.

There’s a fair bit going on in here, so let’s walk through it a little bit.

Once you’ve selected your preferred store, we’ll select products for you that we think are the best fit for our recipes - but you can swap them out for your own favourites if you prefer! We’ll remember what you’ve chosen so you don’t need to do this every time.

Additionally, we’re keeping track of what is in and out of stock at your store, so that you can pick an alternative should the shelves be empty. This also gives you a bit of a chance to compare the prices across products, should you like to have a poke about.

If we haven’t got anything in our list that suits you, there’s a free-text search field that will let you browse the contents of the supermarket directly - not just our database of products - so that you can tell us what you need; and don’t worry, we’ll remember that, too.

You’ll notice at the top of the list a section called “Staples” - this represents one of our most-requested features. Pantry staples are common items that we think you likely already have.

We've removed these from your basket automatically (so you don’t end up buying a litre of olive oil every shop!), but you can easily add them back in by clicking on the (+) icon, should you be actually running low.

We hope to personalise this list in the future, so you can tell us exactly what you have in the back of the cupboard.

Check it Out 🛒

As you fine-tune your basket to your liking, the estimate will update in real-time, so you can see all the glorious savings you are making. Once you are satisfied, you’ll be able to push our basket directly into your online shopping cart - once you are connected of course!

Our Store Credentials page will securely store your username and password so that we can send our list of products through to the online shopping cart of your choosing - and don’t worry, we’ll make sure you’ve put it in correctly before storing it away.

Once connected, you’ll be able to click the big green button and push to your cart! If we encounter any errors, we’ll let you know - including if the stock levels have changed between we last checked and when you hit the button. All going well, we’ll open the cart in a new tab for you, ready for check out.

One thing we can’t do, however, is actually log you in to your online shopping account in the browser.

So if your cart opens and looks empty, please do check that you are both logged in and shopping at the correct store. Most of the time this “Just Works” but in our testing it caught us out more than once, so please keep vigilant!

Life’s No Picnic 🧺

As with any new feature release, we are bound to come unstuck somewhere, so if you encounter anything unusual (my favourite so far - recommending $60 worth of stock cubes because the box only weighs 71g, but you need 1.5 litres) please don’t be shy in giving us feedback in-app by clicking any orange text that says “Let us know what you think”

I promise you we all read each and every one and have absolutely developed features based on these engagements. Or if you just want to say hi (or let Will know that you’ve found his Ray-Bans) then we love that too!

Beyond the Arc 🏀

The last big piece of this puzzle is to integrate better with supermarket items that aren’t ingredients - we want you to be able to do your entire shop with us, every time - cheeky-checkout-chocolate bars and all.

Eventually, we want to do away with the separate Shopping List entirely, to put all the eggs in one… well, basket. From there, we have a few more exciting features in the pipeline, which I’m sure you’ll hear about soon!

From me and the Product team,
Ka kite anō au i a koutou!

Written by
Dan Wirepa
Combining my academic background in Biology & Food Science with an all-around passion for food, I aim to write on the things that make positive differences in people's lives.
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