ShopWell Raises $3.4M to Help Consumers Discover Better Food


ShopWell Labs Inc., maker of the nutrition-driven food discovery platform ShopWell, has gained $3.4 million in financing, totaling $11.4 million in funding to date, to support its continued growth and further enhance heightened demand for healthy food among consumers, retailers and food manufacturers.

"The importance of making smarter food choices in managing some chronic disorders and in reaching health goals is recognized by most consumers. In turn, this is impacting how food is grown, how it is sold and even how health insurance companies are evaluating wellness programs," said Spencer Maughan, partner at lead investment partner Finistere Ventures. As the only mobile platform that provides personalized nutritional information in-store to consumers as "a digital nutrition partner," ShopWell appeals to Finistere, for its ability to "disrupt the food value chain," Maughan noted. "Based on its unique offering and underscored by the exceptional leadership team, big data platform, and intuitive user interface, we believe ShopWell is destined to be the winner in nutrition-based wellness applications that will help make all of our food higher quality food."

Better Health Outcomes Through Nutrition-Driven Food Discovery

By providing consumers with an easily accessible, on-demand personal nutrition coach, ShopWell has gained more than 2 million iOS and Android users who rely on the app to make smart food choices based on age and gender, as well as their specific goals, health conditions, and food allergies.

ShopWell's patented algorithm calculates personalized scores for food items and makes recommendations. Instantly evaluating more than 300,000 items in its database, ShopWell scores foods based on a quick barcode scan or product search and recommends "better-for-you" alternatives, in a particular grocery store or nearby, that meet consumers' specific dietary goals and food avoidances.

"Retailers are increasingly looking for a point of difference in the healthy eating space, and ShopWell is now working directly with retailers to integrate our technology," according to Elliott Grant, CEO of San Carlos, Calif.-based ShopWell Labs. While shoppers are looking for assistance with diets and discovery of healthy foods, Grant said, "It's tough for retailers to keep up without adding a lot of RD capacity.  ShopWell solves that problem by putting a nutrition expert in every purse and pocket."

Knowledge and information voids that often surround both new and existing consumer dietary needs "have huge impacts on retailers' marketing, plan-o-gram and merchandising schemes," explains Grant. "ShopWell helps retailers understand whether they have the right mix of products - and what's coming round the corner."

The company has seen steady growth in 2015, reports Grant, thanks to the addition of "wildly popular" features, while the investment infusion will further leverage its critical mass of users and accelerate its reach, highlights to date of which include:

  • More than 2 million downloads of the ShopWell app
  • more than 300,000 individual food items
  • Over 50 percent of ShopWell scan activity happens inside a grocery store
  • Many ShopWell users managing chronic health conditions and/or food allergies are finding food shopping easier, simpler and less stressful
  • ShopWell makes more than 10,000 food recommendations every day
  • ShopWell has been used in more than 137,000 stores, representing over 90 percent of grocery chains in the U.S.

"We are at an inflection point," Grand affirms. "Today's health-conscious consumers want help making smart choices at the grocery store -- and the industry is paying attention. By listening to consumers and partnering with top retailers and food manufacturers, we aim to become the go-to personalized nutrition platform for today's mobile-savvy consumers. We need to work together to make it easier for people to eat well – especially the millions of American shoppers and their families trying to adhere to special dietary restrictions, manage disease states, or avoid the consequences of allergens."

Aside from Finistere Ventures, additional investment funding was also generated from Fairhaven Capital, Munich Venture Partners, S2G Ventures and ATA Ventures.

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