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I love flipping through recipes to find exciting new things to cook – if I didn’t, I probably wouldn’t work at a food magazine, right? – and I love actually cooking. But the stuff in between, all the steps from shopping list making to mise en place, can be kind of a drag, especially on busy weeknights when I would much rather spend any free window of time I can claim for myself chilling with a glass of rosé than braving the supermarket parking lot. Enter Manna. Already a very cool recipe-discovery app, it’s just added a shopping functionality that makes shopping effortless.
Here’s how it works: You log in to the app and swipe Tinder-style through recipes that it thinks you might like and meet your stated dietary needs. You can tell it you’re a vegan, for example, or gluten-free. Once you find your perfect matches, you can tap to add all the relevant ingredients directly to an Amazon Fresh shopping cart. You can modify brands or make swaps and then check out with Amazon to have your groceries delivered. Before you know it, you have everything you need to get cooking, and you’ve never left the house.
It’s especially helpful if you’re hosting a spring dinner party or doing something like Whole 30 and want to meal-prep a whole week of meals at once, because if you add multiple recipes to your list, it understands how to ‘stack’ the quantities (i.e. if one recipe calls for one cup of cashews and another calls for half a cup, Manna knows to put one and a half cups-worth into your cart).
Right now, Amazon is the only grocery vendor connected to the app, which isn’t going to sit well with some users. The team at Manna is aware of that concern and is investigating working with other supermarkets, including local and independent grocers. But, they say, there are some upsides to the Amazon partnership, even if you’re wary of gazillionaire-owned mega-corps, namely that Amazon can bring ingredients directly to people who live far from full-service grocery stores or have health concerns that make in-person shopping a challenge. In most states, Amazon Fresh can accept SNAP EBT for eligible items and waives the Prime subscription requirement for SNAP EBT shoppers. And, of course, shopping with Amazon is not essential to using the recipe functions of Manna.