Speaking to FoodNavigator, co-founder of www.MesGoûts.fr Vincent Huret said he and two other French dads started paying attention to what was in the food they were buying after they became fathers, and they became concerned about what they were feeding their families. However, they also recognised that what was important to them, such as foods’ nutrition and quality for example, may not be priority attributes for others.
As a result, they launched a personalised tool for assessing food products, either by scanning them using a mobile app for iPhone and Android phones, or by searching for a product on their website. The searchable attributes include quality, nutrition (based on French government standards), origin, environment, price, ethics/social, and ratings from other users.
Depending on which of these a user chooses, a food is given a particular grade.
“You can change your parameters and it will change the grade,” Huret said. “We have a basic profile but our aim is that people personalise their profile.”
With 11,000 subscribers to the free service already, Huret and his colleagues were looking for a way to tap into consumer desire for natural, healthy foods, but also appeal to consumers who want to save money or know which foods are appreciated by other consumers.
Manufacturers of processed foods may be at a disadvantage to fresh food providers under the quality parameters of the programme, which judges ingredients as higher quality the closer they are to what could be found in the home.
Referring to the service’s three co-founders, Huret added: “We have kids, so we started to care more about what we eat at that moment, but each of us has different criteria for buying.”