Crisper Drawer Full of Produce Past Its Prime? Pairish is a Food Waste Intervention Designed to Help 

Pairish: Food Waste Intervention took home the Student Winner Packaging Award in the 2020 Core77 Design Awards competition.

We all know the struggle—you come home from the grocery store with food, throw some of it in the crisper only to discover a week later those items you forgot about in there are now rotten. If you fumble with this, know that you aren’t alone: according to FAO, about 1/3 of food is globally wasted, lost or uneaten, accounting for approximately 8% of greenhouse gas produced annually.

Sophia Rowland, a student at ArtCenter College of Design sought to design a solution that made use of neglected produce items in our refrigerators, delivered in beautiful packaging. Rowland’s answer to this dilemma was Pairish, “a food waste intervention solution that works to change consumer attitudes and behaviors, creating a manageable solution and empowering users to enjoy doing good.”

A line of pickling and smoothie-making mixes within the Pairish brand—aptly named “Smoothish” and Picklish”—work in unison with an ingredient management app, allowing at-home-chefs and foodies alike to take control of their eco-footprint and reinvent their otherwise unloved leftovers into exciting new products.

The Pairish app helps users manage inventory by reminding them of aging ingredients and giving them the option to pickle/blend, freeze to extend food lifespans, or cook with recipe suggestions. Users simply scan their grocery receipt upon purchase and Pairish does the rest. The app takes into account other ingredients in the fridge and dietary restrictions to suggest how users will get the most miles out of their inventory.

The Picklish line offers an easy solution to round up leftover vegetables. If users know they’ll be unable to finish their produce, they can simply add the vegetables to a mason jar with vinegar and a Picklish packet to create a tasty pickled snack. The Smoothish line works to the same effect: chop up blemished or aging fruits, add smoothie boost power and blend. The app allows you to track ‘best used by’ dates and even suggests an appropriate date to shift produce over to the freezer.

Not only is the product line expertly designed with a bright color palette and clear-cut fonts, eco-friendly packaging also helps to reinforce Pairish’s mission. The design is completely compostable, made from cardstock, biodegradable cellophane, and hemp twine. The Picklish packaging also serves a dual purpose of holding the spices while also transitioning to a date label that can be tied around the jar’s neck.

While Pairish is still just a concept, it speaks to the promise of how design can help directly reduce home food waste, not to mention the added benefit of helping you stock your fridge with delicious pickled snacks.

Read more about “Pairish” on our Core77 Design Awards site of 2020 honorees