I recently had the chance to speak with CEO Victor Penev and check out an app called Edamam that has set out to change how people find recipes. The app features over one million (yes that’s six zeroes) high quality recipes for users to browse through. What makes it so unique from other apps similar to it is the semantic technology to enhance the search experience. “Behind this seeming simplicity and elegance sits a powerful semantic platform, utilizing artificial intelligence technologies,” said Penev.
When a list of recipes is shown, users browse them by picture so they can actually see the dish first. Each recipe provides a complete nutritional profile, a list of shopping ingredients and the source of the recipe. If the results look overwhelming, it’s possible to narrow and filter them based on diet or health restrictions. There are popular choices like Vegan, Gluten-Free and meals under 200 calories.
The goal is to help users make better food choices. Instead of spending hours in front of the computer, Edamam makes it possible to find exactly what they are looking for thanks to its intuitive interface. According to the Penev, “It saves time and allows for intuitive, easy answers when they are most needed – at the grocery store or the green market.”
I asked Penev about what makes Edamam’s service better than just searching for a recipe on Google? “Google in particular is a very painful search experience with regard to recipes,” he said, “especially in a mobile environment. The top results are never of quality recipes but rather of sites that are good at SEO and often times are not even recipes. Users inevitably have to scroll, click through and read through many pages to start narrowing results. Google also does not allow for diet/health filtering. Last but not least, Google’s recipe search is not a visual search. People want to see only a few quality, visually compelling recipes and have the ability to quickly compare them and choose what they need all while walking in the aisles of a store. Edamam has solved this problem for consumers, Google has no answer.”
So, there you have it. Edamam is for passionate cooks as well as those who love to eat. It not only saves time, but it also helps users discover new quality recipes. Edamam is completely free to download and there are no hidden in-app purchases.