Climate change and the industrial food complex are intrinsically linked. As that sinks in to the public consciousness, more and more people ask the question “What can I do to help reduce my impact?” The answer is pretty obvious: waste less, eat more local, eat seasonally, and watch what’s on your plate. You don’t have to go full-on vegan (but it helps), but eating with greater consciousness is a good step in the right direction. Kuri is a new iOS app that helps you eat better while helping save the planet, one plate at a time.
In short, Kuri is a personalized, climate-friendly cooking app that helps people cook seasonal, low-carbon meals. As part of the onboarding process, it takes you through your dietary preferences, and from there it filters out everything you can’t eat, so you don’t end up with the “vegetarian at a steak house” syndrome that a lot of apps seem to suffer from. The app takes into account what’s in season around you, to make seasonal cooking much easier.
70% of Kuri users are omnivores and yet 80% of the meals the app suggests they cook are meatless.
The app was launched in 2020, and has clocked up more than 2,300 ratings with a 4.9 star average. It’s been featured by Apple’s App Store editors a bunch of times.
“The vast majority of the reviews Kuri gets actually praise the quality of the app, its recipes, its simplicity, rather than its climate-friendliness. I think it’s a sign we’re doing something right,” says co-founder and CEO Baptiste Malaguti in an email to TechCrunch. He jokes that the company passes the “Mr Burns test.” “Too many climate-friendly consumer apps think because it’s virtuous, people will adopt it. Climate-friendly alone isn’t a defensible value proposition. This is why we obsess over how we can help people with their everyday struggle of figuring out dinner.”
To make it convenient, and fit into a household’s grocery shopping habits, Kuri’s founders obsessed over the shopping list feature, where the app makes it easy to take recipes and turn them into shopping lists, to make it easier to turn shopping for dinner into a team sport, whether it’s for a family or a group of housemates cooking together.
The app uses a bunch of prompts and behavioral change nudges to keep users low-carbon. That surfaces in a number of ways. For example, 70% of Kuri users are omnivores, and yet 80% of the meals the app suggests they cook are meatless. The company believes that its users have a carbon footprint that’s 60% lower than the U.S. average.
Kuri is currently entirely free. A paid subscription launches in October.