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As a conscious consumer, scanning through thousands of products at supermarket chains can be a time-consuming and overwhelming task. But now, mobile app turned online marketplace GreenChoice is telling the frustrated sustainable shopper “we hear you” and is simplifying the entire process. Through the platform, users can easily sort through items by dietary filters, view the health and climate ratings of products at Walmart, Target and Walgreens to find exactly what they want – and offset its related emissions too.
GreenChoice originally launched as a phone app back in 2019 as “your digital food assistant” to help shoppers make the most sustainable choices in-store. Since then, the startup has evolved into an e-commerce platform, partnering with some of the biggest U.S. retail chains – Walmart, Target and Walgreens – to help you sort through the thousands of grocery items while also offsetting the footprint of your purchases.
There are 300,000 foods on the site – pretty much all the snacks, pantry staples and ingredients you can find at your brick-and-mortar supermarket – and what GreenChoice lets users do is apply one or several of their 90 dietary filters and check out the “GreenScore” of a product, which reflects the climate and health impact of the item, rated from 0 to 100.
Deciphering labels is exhausting and often leads to misinformed choices.Galen Karlan-Mason, Founder & CEO, GreenChoice
This score is calculated using data sourced from third-party certification bodies, research institutes, government agencies like the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the USDA, as well as information provided by brands and food companies.
Galen Karlan-Mason, founder and CEO of GreenChoice, says the whole platform is designed to make the entire process of conscious, value-led shopping easier for the consumer.
“Stepping into a grocery store we’re flooded with product options, many of which use misleading claims and buzzwords to draw us in,” Karlan-Mason explains. “Deciphering labels is exhausting and often leads to misinformed choices.”
And data shows that consumers do want to be empowered to make the smartest choices. A trend driven by millennials and Gen Zs, shoppers are now willing to spend more on value-led brands and eco-friendly goods more than ever before.
Recent studies have even suggested that the majority of consumers are specifically in search of digital tools to assist them with making purchases that align with their values, which explains the proliferation of startups offering similar solutions, like HEALabel, Evocco and EcoCart.
Like other online marketplaces, GreenChoice users do have to create an account. After filling in a quiz about their dietary preferences, allergies and priorities – things like food safety, nutrition, environmental impact – so the platform can better sort and filter through the hundreds and thousands of food products available.
Users can also figure out healthier swaps for the products they’ve chosen, with GreenChoice recommending similar alternatives that are either better for the environment, more nutritious, or both.
It’s no silver bullet. But it’s an important piece of the puzzle.GreenChoice
Each order does come with a US$3.50 service charge, which goes towards operational costs of the company, but GreenChoice does offer a subscription programs starting from US$7 per month, where members can avoid the fee and benefit from extra perks like live chats with registered dieticians or more in-depth information about specific ingredients in products.
Once users are done, GreenChoice basically makes sure that your entire cart is carbon-neutral, partnering with a U.N.-recognised wind power project in Los Santos to offset the associated greenhouse gas emissions of each order, from the products to packaging and transportation.
“It’s no silver bullet,” the company recognises. “But it’s an important piece of the puzzle.”
All images courtesy of GreenChoice / lead image designed by Green Queen Media.