Technology Update: The “Shop Well” App is a Must!


By: Matt Weik

With so many apps on smartphones these days it almost seems like our phones aren’t only running our lives, but they’re also allowing us to get complacent and lazy as they do a lot of our work for us.

Now there’s a new app. This one actually to helps you make better choices while at the grocery store!

When we hear the word “FREE” it seems people come running from the hilltops. Well, Shop Well has a new app that allows you to access nutritional tips right at your fingertips.  The Shop Well app allows you to use a barcode scanner found in the app itself to scan barcodes found on products in the grocery store.  For those of you wondering where that is, check the packaging on any item you pick up and you will definitely find a barcode.  Not seeing a barcode?  The product probably isn’t for sale then and might be for display purposes only.

So how does it work?  The app itself allows you to enter information about yourself such as age, gender, food restrictions, and any allergies you might have.  Then when you scan a barcode, the app will tell you if the choice is right for you or if you should put the product back on the shelf.  Obviously the decision to keep it in your grocery cart or put it back on the shelf is totally up to you.  Shop Well is able to look at any conditions you might have such as high blood pressure, diabetes, celiac disease, as well as any intolerances to foods (like dairy or shellfish) and tell you if it’s an item you should/shouldn’t consider purchasing.

The app will actually give you a custom score from zero to one hundred on where the food item falls according to the personal information you entered into the app. The scores are based on the nutritional guidelines laid out by the FDA, the US Department of Agriculture, as well as the Institute of Medicine.

Each score for a given food is color coded. The breakdown is as follows: Green means the product matches the individual’s diet, yellow cautions the individual that the product isn’t ideal, and red means the product should be completely avoided.  The app doesn’t just stop with a color coded score.  Should a product come up in yellow or red, the app will actually recommend a similar healthier alternative to what was scanned that fits the individual’s dietary needs and preferences.


Whether or not people utilize this app is completely up to them. Personally, I think it’s a great tool for anyone interested in staying on top of their diet/nutrition and making sure they make the best choices for their individual dietary and medical needs.  It helps people find out what foods are “red” and should be avoided as well as giving them healthier alternatives to make a switch to a similar, healthier option.

More information on this app can be found on their website:

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