Cincinnati, OH — Kroger launched a new mobile app called OptUP, reports Food & Wine, meant to make picking up healthy foods and maintaining a healthy diet easier. This is different from their existing mobile shopping app.
OptUP is “your virtual assistant for healthier shopping.” It encourages its users to make minor adjustments to their grocery lists over time, allowing them to change up their diet at their own pace. The app starts this process by logging each item on the user’s grocery list and offering healthier alternatives where applicable. As the user slowly, but surely, begins to opt for more and more nutritious foods in place of their old favorites, OptUP will track their progress. Until the app-user finally reaches their “target diet,” OptUP will continue to make grocery suggestions, each one more health-conscious than the last.
OptUP ranks the “healthiness” of each grocery item on a numerical scale. This removes the need for shoppers to squint at nutrition labels or reference the latest food pyramid to make healthier purchases.
It eases users into healthier eating habits compared to adopting a new and unfamiliar diet that required drastic changes to eating habits and unfamiliar foods. Essentially it creates a personalized diet for users over time based on their grocery store purchase history and a rating system which calculates the nutritional value of grocery items on an app-specific, numerical scale.
The OptUP scores are “based on a nationally recognized nutrient profiling system that’s been enhanced by [their] team of Registered Dietitians.” Its goal is to summarize the somewhat overwhelming nutritional facts breakdowns of various items and give them a single number (between 1 and 100) to more easily communicate their nutritional value and compare items.
Any food with a number 35 or lower is displayed in red and symbolizes not-so-good-for-you foods. The foods that rank between 36 and 70 are given a yellow number to imply that they “may have lower fiber, protein, and fruit or veggie content compared to green foods in the same category.” A score of 71 or higher, includes a lot of greener foods like fruits veggies and nuts. At the end of shopping, the app calculates a household score, which users are encouraged to keep hovering around 600 or higher.
Customers have already started to say how much they prefer the OptUP system to traditional diet changing strategies. Amongst testimonials, there’s reoccurring praise for the way in which the app allows users to take baby steps toward achieving their new diet goals, as opposed to launching them head-first into a completely new lifestyle where the expectations of “eating healthy” are so high that many would consider them unrealistic.
The app is compatible with many grocery stores under the Kroger umbrella, like Fred Meyer and QFC. Latest edition of the app allows you to book an appointment with a local dietitian, although this feature is only available in Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio.
The OptUP app is a part of Kroger’s Wellness Your Way marketing campaign, which also promotes several curated, specialty shopping lists. These lists point out Kroger grocery items that adhere to certain dietary restrictions (vegan, all organic, gluten free).