SOSCuisine.com Goes National
A little over a year ago, in the April 2009 issue of Tidings Magazine to be exact, I wrote about SOSCuisine.com in an article that focussed on how to prepare great-tasting, gourmet meals without the expense. Cinzia Cuneo, SOSCuisine.com’s founder, offered a lot of very useful suggestions and recipes. Once you’ve signed up for membership to the site, her team sends you a weekly menu and shopping list according to the parameters you’ve set. Apart from that, you can also navigate the site to create your own menu. I found that it was a really handy tool those weeks when I’ve been too busy to plan out my own week’s menu or when I’m looking for something different than what’s offered in my old stand-by of cookbooks.
The big news for SOSCuisine.com this week is that the site has gone completely national. Although previously, anyone could access the site and use the recipes, now all Canadians can take advantage of flyer specials at their local supermarkets. Connecting the menu plan to local supermarket flyers was first launched and tested in Quebec. As of now, over 200,000 Canadian families already use the service every week to plan their meals and grocery shopping. Based on their lifestyle preferences or personal dietary needs, and the number of people in their household, a new meal plan is generated each week that takes advantage of locally-available fresh products and flyer specials at local supermarkets. SOSCuisine.com estimates that this feature helps Canadians save up to $17 million per month on grocery bills from their favourite supermarkets, based on an average monthly savings between $50 and $85 per four person household.
“The list of participating stores keeps getting longer,” says Duane Seon, Director of Product Marketing and Product Management at SOS Cuisine. “We have big chain supermarkets in our Smart Shopping System, and now we’re starting to include smaller neighbourhood merchants and grocery stores all across Canada.” Seon says that SOS Cuisine is always looking for ways to provide its members with an intuitive system that caters to their needs, knows where they like to shop and shows them the best deals to save money when they go shopping.
Users from a beginner level to experienced chefs can subscribe for free to a variety of tailored menus such as Budget, Cook for one, Cook for kids, Eat Local, Express, Gourmet, Halal, No Fish or seafood, Pesco-Vegetarian, Semi-Vegetarian, Vegetarian and Bone-Healthy. These are available for 1 to 6 people, and follow the latest recommendations from Health Canada’s Food Guide to Healthy Eating. SOS Cuisine will also soon begin offering personalized meal plans for a variety of ‘moments in life’, for example pregnancy, and medical conditions, such as type 2 Diabetes. “We’re doing our best to cater to everyone’s budget and dietary needs” says Seon. “We want our members to feel that whatever their preferences, SOS Cuisine will come to their rescue.”
Pierre Lamontagne, Vice-President of R&D and Business Development, says that in order to offer this service, and have it accepted by Health Professionals, SOS Cuisine needed to innovate and build from scratch a very reliable system that would provide accurate and complete information – both cost-wise and nutrition-wise – without hiding anything from the user. “After 5 years of hard work, we are very happy with what we achieved.” The team of chefs and nutritionists first developed and tested about 1,200 original recipes focussed on fresh, unprocessed ingredients. Once they had a good base of recipes, they “programmed all of Health Canada’s rules and criteria, exactly as they appear in the official regulations, to automatically calculate the complete nutritional information for each recipe.” On top of that, the site will also calculate the cost per serving based on local flyers.
Do you prefer to plan your own weekly meals? Or would a service like this be a dream come true for you?
Check out SOS Cuisine here.