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Waste Not
Hellmann’s AI-Enabled Tool Reveals Your Fridge’s Meal Potential

Meal Reveal, developed in collaboration with Google Cloud, uses simple fridge scan to help consumers overcome ‘fridge blindness’ and reduce household food waste.

Hellmann’s has created a new AI-enabled tool called “Meal Reveal” to help households use up more of the food they have in their fridge with great-tasting recipes. Developed in collaboration with Google Cloud, people can use their phones to scan the ingredients in their fridge and find delicious recipe ideas to match those ingredients.

To use Meal Reveal, people scan food in their fridge using the camera on their mobile phone — sharing either video or uploading pictures to the app. The tool utilizes generative AI capabilities in Google Cloud’s Vertex AI platform to identify the ingredients, then matches the foods to tasty recipe suggestions.

Household food waste persists as an issue across the Western world: In the UK: 4.7 million tonnes of food (an average of eight meals a week) that could have been eaten at home is wasted each year, according to WRAP; while the average US household wastes roughly 6.2 cups of food per week, or 322 cups per year — which is enough to fill 360 medium-sized take-out containers — according to a recent MITRE-Gallup study.

Hellmann’s Meal Reveal was designed in response to the common issue of “fridge blindness” — the issue faced when a fridge is full of ingredients, but people aren’t able to see or imagine what meals to make — a contributor to household food waste. Meal Reveal provides a time-saving, convenient solution for consumers struggling to make sense of how the ingredients in their fridge can make a quick, simple meal.

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“People never set out wanting to throw food away — food waste is an unintended consequence of our busy lives, where we look in the fridge after a long day and see disparate ingredients but nothing to eat,” says Hellmann’s Global VP Christina Bauer-Plank. “We saw an opportunity here to create a straightforward, easy-to-use tool. Meal Reveal is powered by the latest Google technology where a simple scan of the leftover ingredients lets you see the delicious potential in your fridge, in the palm of your hand.”

Despite some major caveats around potential negative impacts of the widespread use of artificial intelligence, sustainability-focused organizations are embracing AI in their efforts to do everything from eliminate greenwash from their communications to creating ethical, transparent supply chains and getting a leg up on other common sustainability challenges; KLM is also using it to combat inflight food waste.

To use Meal Reveal, people scan food in their fridge using the camera on their mobile phone, sharing either video or uploading pictures on the app. Utilizing generative AI capabilities in Google Cloud’s Vertex AI platform, the tool uses Gemini Pro Vision and PaLM 2 to identify the ingredients. The tool then uses Vertex AI Vector Search and a Unilever proprietary algorithm to match the foods to recipes to provide tasty recipe suggestions.

“As part of our longstanding partnership with Hellmann’s, we were excited to create the innovative solution, Meal Reveal, to a persistent challenge of seeing the possibilities of the food in our fridge,” says Laurence Lafont, VP of Strategic Industries EMEA at Google Cloud. “In its nascent stage, the more people use Meal Reveal, the more the tool will learn ingredients in our fridges and help provide the best recipes to use up what we already have.”

Hellmann's is committed to being a force for positive behavior change around household food waste. Since 2021, it has created clever campaigns and helpful resources to help consumers turn their leftovers into easy, tasty meals; and this year, it declared the day after the Super Bowl #SickofFoodWasteDay. Meal Reveal is the latest way Hellmann’s is helping people get creative in the kitchen with its mission to Make Taste, Not Waste.

Meal Reveal is being unveiled during this year’s Food Waste Action Week from UK waste-reduction NGO WRAP — which is working to tackle the various forms of waste that are exacerbating the climate crisis.