Super Marmite is a geolocated social network that enables people to search for or to offer nice little home-made meals in their neighbourhood and proposes an alternative way of eating by going beyond the physical bounds of a restaurant. Anyone who is fond of good home-made food, allergic to kitchenware or looking for a new social experience will thus have access to a never-ending source of cooking creativity.
“One evening, I was coming home from work hungry. As I did not feel like cooking, I had to make do with an unhealthy local offer. But then I started thinking about all these people who were cooking nice little meals a few yards away,” Olivier Desmoulin, a 29-year old engineer with a passion for design and innovation, who invented the Super Marmite concept, recalls. The idea was born to bring together cordons bleus and gourmets that have little time and little ability to cook.
In practical terms, cooks connect to the website, type in the meal they wish to cook that day, its price, the number of portions, the address where to take it. As for consumers, the way to proceed is as simple as pushing the door of a restaurant: the website – and soon the iPhone application – displays all the nice little meals cooking around the place. You just need to book your portion and go take it at the given time. Control operates through a system of marking that enables everyone to find his or her way around and avoid culinary swindlers prowling around the net.
The website is intended to be co-designed with the community
According to its inventor, “the aim was not to design a complex system but rather a basic one, then to put it on the market and make it evolve through feedback; for users will make the platform their own and give it its own particular identity.”
Behind the simplicity of Super Marmite lies a noble intention: bringing together gourmets as a way to strengthen the spirit of the community. Indeed the website’s purpose is to enrich the social aspect of catering through real sharing experiences and thus to promote exchanges between generations and cultures.
An internationally-oriented concept
Super Marmite is therefore what is called a flexible innovation that, thanks to a transferable base model, may be adapted to any city.
Launched at the end of October 2010, the website now has almost 7,000 registered people and is actually planning to target smaller cities. The website already displays an English interface, showing the strong international orientation of the company.
For the time being, the company has not yet completed its business model and Super Marmite users exchange their meals for coin of the realm. Soon the company may be able to employ people, as it will offer additional services, like the opportunity for the greatest cooks to show their talent through an online exhibition, and take commissions on the transactions made on the platform. Incidentally developers are already working on the creation of electronic purses in order to improve the transaction flow.
So is Super Marmite a funny or a brilliant idea? We will have to wait a little bit to see whether the concept will meet the numerous challenges of a world with very strict regulations and impose its own vision of catering. Let’s hope that it will be a success.
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Photo credits: Super Marmite
Translated by Oona Bijasson