Grocery shopping can get frustrating when you’re shopping for yourself or someone who has a lot of food allergies. Reading every label and trying to decode which ingredients contain which allergens is a time consuming process. That’s what led Kris Finstad to creating the app Content Checked.
He was grocery shopping with his daughter and her friend who had a lot of food allergies, and the frustration developed. Finstad and that girl’s father started Content Checked in Norway, which lets users scan the labels of each product and warns them of the existing food allergens that might not be listed on the label. If the food contains the allergens you’re trying to avoid, it suggests alternatives for you.
It was so successful there that they brought the app to the US almost 2 years ago.
“There was some difficulty moving it because, here in the US, obviously the sheer number of products—there’s so much more than there are in Norway and so many different manufacturers and different labeling laws,” said Tori Tedrow, the Registered Dietician for Content Checked.
Despite the extra workload, the team has managed to build a database of over 200,000 items and contracts with over 200 manufacturers that consistently update them on changes in ingredients. To put those numbers in perspective, that’s over 70-percent of all food products in the US.
The FDA only requires the top 8 allergens to be listed on the label, though Content Checked identifies 16, so users not only avoid misleading labels, but have the opportunity to educate themselves on ingredients and label reading in the process.
“The additional 8 allergens that we list aren’t required to be put on the label so if people aren’t very nutritional or ingredient savvy they might not realize even looking at an ingredient list that a food contains an allergen.” Tedrow tells ConnectWithLife.com.
Content Checked has two sister apps. Sugar Checked helps users identify added sugars in food and manage sugar intake; and, Migraine Checked helps users identify foods that might be migraine triggers.
As a Registered Dietician, Tedrow also works with a number of patients who are diabetic. She recommends Sugar Checked to be used as an educational tool.
The app is just under two years old and growing in positive directions. Stay tuned for a pocket nutritionist as an added feature. Tedrow tells us that users will soon be able to connect with the teams nutritionists get all of those off-the-beat dietary questions answered.
Content Checked is available on iTunes app store.
Sugar Checked is also available on iTunes app store.