I heard about ContentChecked a few months ago. It’s an app that was created to help people with food allergies navigate grocery shopping. I recently spoke with Victoria Brodsky, Head of Nutrition, to discuss the app, the ContentChecked company, and how they are trying to encourage transparency with manufacturers.As the Head of Nutrition she has created and updated the ContentChecked guidelines for food allergies in addition to giving food allergens values (if there is a product with a food allergen in it, she gives a warning about it).
ContentChecked has a database of over 200,000 products and growing. Their goal is to catalogue every grocery store product on their app. Each product listed will have printed label information and additional details, like the factory environment where the product was made, if there was any cross-contamination or if it was mishandled in any way. ContentChecked believes a lot of food problems happen when in the manufacturer’s control, so they start there.
When Kris Finstad, founder of ContentChecked, was taking care of his daughter and her friend, he realized that he couldn’t give her friend a snack because of her food allergies. He needed something quick and easy that would inform about food allergies. The app was initially created in Norway and brought to the United States in 2014.
Victoria says that she, “believes other countries are better about knowing where their food comes from, in the United States, however there is less transparency. The labels, formulas, and laws about the food allergies are all different. What about cross contamination? The cheaper the better is the way that a lot of the United States population believes. Our app tries to push accurate information.”
ContentChecked defines cross-contamination as any ingredient that is in the same building, because cross-contamination can still have an effect on people with food allergies.They want this to be labeled on products, unless it is a controlled environment. But even then they need to make sure that everyone is made aware of the environment where the product was produced. “We [ContentChecked] want the manufacturers to be honest and tell people about the environment where the products were made”.
Their mission is to create an effective and simpler shopping experience. “People still go to the supermarket, even though there are farmers markets in almost every town, we want to make the shopping experience easier and give people a peace of mind.” The app is also an educational tool to help inform people about the products that they’re purchasing and the hidden ingredients in those products.
Some of the apps other features are:
- Alternatives: when a user scans a product that does not fit the needs of their dietary preferences,the app suggests alternatives for the users that are suitable for them
- Favorites: users can favorite, comment, rate, and share products they like
It is difficult for people with food allergies to navigate the products of a grocery store without having to look at the back of every item, and even then it can be a risk. This app gives freedom to create a grocery list prior to shopping that allows for ease and confidence while shopping.
ContentChecked also has another app: MigraineChecked for those with migraines and is about to launch SugarChecked. An app to help people avoid added sugars. The company has nutrition specialists, data managers, and marketers who all work together to find the truth about each product, so you can be safe.
Click here to download either of their apps