Buy Emergency Foods Launches Successful Product Calculator on their Bigcommerce Website

Category: News

Buy Emergency Foods Launches Successful Product Calculator on their Bigcommerce Website

At Oktara we recently implemented a “Food Storage Calculator” for Buy Emergency Foods, an E-commerce company based in Utah, client of our partner Apptys.

One of the key aspects of the emergency food business is to calculate the right quantity of food and drinks needed for a family or group of people to survive a certain amount of time in case an emergency arises.This is a case study of how this was implemented, explaining roadblocks and workarounds faced and executed, to be able to solve the client’s problem using as base a hosted E-commerce framework such asBigcommerce.

Business Need

Goal: Buy Emergency Foods wanted to create an interactive solution that would allow clients to calculate directly on their website how much food an drinks they would need, by selecting from a set of options and variants that at the end would result in a combination of products that covers their needs.

“We need to pull packages and products onto page from Bigcommerce that can be added to the cart based on inputs of time, people, and different options, and include a summary of the currently selected options.”


Based on the client’s need, we implemented a page in their Bigcommerce website that takes two main inputs of time (1-12 months) and people (1-12 people). Based on this number an algorythim runs that will calculate and display the combination of products that will cover that resulting values, with the option to change each of the product quantities, add the individual items to the cart, or add all the items to the cart.

For example, 3 people for 6 months will calculate a value of 3x6x90 = 1620. Using these outputs the calculator will pull products from Bigcommerce onto the page and display them on a table that also gives important parameters such as total number of servings, total cost, cost per pound, total weight, total calories, calories per pound, cost per 2000 calories.

Technical Details

  • Bigcommerce hosted E-commerce framework
  • Bigcommerce restful API
  • CSS/CSS3
  • Javascript
  • JQuery, JQuery Ajax, JQuery UI

Roadblocks Along the Way

The main roadblock that we had to face was the fact that by its nature a hosted solution, such as Bigcommerce, gives us as developers a limited window of options and flexibility when designing the solution, why? because for security reasons, among others, it only gives their clients access to the front-end side/source code of the website (HTML, CSS, Javascript) and a restful API, not to the PHP back-end. This limited our options in a sense that we had to come up with a 100% client side/front-end implementation.


We successfully developed a nice looking, user friendly and efficient solution to the client’s need, while working within our means in terms of the flexibility that a hosted store such as Bigcommerce gives. Take a moment to review it going directly into Food Storage Calculator live website link.

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