inBelly

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inBelly

Stockholm, Sweden
Year Founded:
2009
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$50,000 - $100,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

inBelly aims to improve food quality. Our website and mobile app make scientific and legal info about health risks of certain food additives available to everyone, in a second, in a shop. Educated consumers vote with their feet, thus producers are motivated to remove harmful additives.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

In the EU food additive legislation is harmonised. However some additives allowed in the EU are restricted in other countries i.e. CA, US, AU. Some of them are classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer as possibly carcinogenic, or linked to ADHD. Although food additives are the main concern regarding food for Swedish consumers, there is no solution enabling you to check if a product has harmful additives, while shopping.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

inBelly contributes to raise consumer awareness of additives in food. inBelly app enables users to understand product content, and provide consumers with additive free alternatives. The app database compares legislation and scientific articles on food additives. This helps consumers to avoid products with additives that are restricted in other countries or may be harmful to children or people with poor health. To make it financially sustainable, producers of additive-free products are offered to show their products as alternatives in the app, at the time of purchase in the shop. It both helps consumers to know what they eat, and enables additive-free food to be shown as premium.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

A shopper that wants to avoid dubious food additives will scan the barcode of a product in the shop with inBelly app on his/her smartphone. Sodas and processed meat often contain e. g. the preservative E211 that may react and create benzene, a known carcinogen. E211 is restricted for kids in some countries. The app will show a red symbol of caution and provide information about the additive. The app will also suggest additive free products, if the consumer asks. This is a market based mechanism to improve the quality of food. The app makes the information on the ingredient list understandable to consumers. If the product is not in the database users upload pictures of the product and its ingredient list.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

We started the web-based initiative in Lithuania in 2009 and now every third Lithuanian has visited our online guide (1mln unique IP addresses, Pop. Lithuania 3 mln). The demand for additive free products has doubled within a year after our launch. The campaign has lead to banning 39 additives that are harmful, according to scientific studies, in schools and preschools in Lithuania. Our app in Sweden has been downloaded 2500 times. When we reach a large audience in the second country, the campaign can influence legislation on EU-level. In the future we want to apply the same model to safe cosmetics. This is also a new tool for additive free producers to advertise their products, and show that real food without additives is available and non-toxic.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

Additive-free food producers will have the opportunity to buy product placements. When a user shakes his/her phone for a healthy alternative their products will be prioritized. The pricing model is pay per ‘shake’ (Google rev. model). We have two interested customers and 2500 app users. Web and app is in beta version. We have an angel investor and applied to Swedish governmental funding. Most costs are IT/marketing/staff.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

inBelly’s competitive advantage over other food consumer guide mobile apps are scalability and objectivity. Only inBelly use crowd-sourcing to expand the product database, and an IT-system categorises products based on additives with objective criteria based on legislation and scientific papers. As we don’t assess each product individually inBelly can scale without extra resources. Other guides, i.e. GoodGuide and FoodUcate get information about each product from manufacturers for their assessment. Thus their evaluation is based on cooperation, and not objective criteria.
Team

Founding Story

We often believe that the products in our supermarkets are safe. When Kristina realised that some of the additives approved in the EU are not approved in some other countries she got curious. She also learned that some are in fact possible carcinogens or cause ADD. Together with friends in IT, they started to gather an additive database. Then they encouraged citizens to gather ingredient information on a website. Over 1 mln users got involved and it had the desired impact of removing 39 additives from schools and preschools in one EU country. The demand for additive free products doubled within a year of the launch. Now we want to replicate the impact across Europe, let consumers choose with their feet for better food.
randomness