The app will be available to Android and Apple smartphone users in the UK and will help people identify potential allergens and manage food choices.
It aims to help with planning meals, shopping for ingredients and eating out. It can be personalised to meet consumer’s specific health needs and lifestyle choices, the developers said.
Dining with data
FoodAdvisr consists of three data sets: meals, shop and dine.
Meals allows users to set requirements for allergies, intolerances, taste preferences, and nutrition or lifestyle choices. The application then links to a database of “over a million” recipes with the option of creating shopping lists which can be saved or shared.
Shop offers users with the opportunity to understand the “complex information” on ingredients labels by scanning bar codes or searching common items. The data includes “many leading consumer brands” as well as own label items from Asda, The Co-Op, Morrison’s, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose to date.
FoodAdvisr also allows customers to search for restaurants by location, and explore menus and dishes in participating restaurants, instantly highlighting what they can and can’t eat based on their profile settings.
Trustworthy and transparent
Ensuring the app is both easy to understand and trustworthy is crucial, Kieran Lees, co-founder and CEO of Advisr Technologies told FoodNavigator. This comes down to good data, he suggested.
“We only use data provided by external sources and which they are legally obliged to ensure is accurate,” Lees said. “Legislation is helping to ensure that food operators provide information, but there is currently very little help available to the consumer to simply match their needs to the food they’re buying. FoodAdvisr automates this, providing a simple to use, very powerful and accurate way for people to match to make informed choices.”
Community and collaboration
Lees said that FoodAdvisr’s database already includes over a million recipes, over 250,000 barcoded food products and “hundreds” of restaurants. He expects this number to progress to “thousands” in the next three months.
In particular, it is important that consumers can help shape the data included in FoodAdvisr. “Users can click on non-participating restaurants to send a message to us to get them included,” Lees explained.
“We are also building social communities (for example diabetes, pregnancy, etcetera) that allow users to share their findings directly with others. This will be released in the second- or third-quarter of this year.”
The app is free to end users. While it has been developed independently, Lees revealed that the start-up is already in talks with UK retailers over potential tie-ups. “We are currently in detailed discussion with two major high street retailers, although the app have been developed independently,” he noted.