Late in 2019, politicians decided that health star ratings would not be mandatory for Australian food. However, a company has taken matters into their own hands with the launch of the app Init, giving Australians more transparency of ingredients in the food we eat and the products we buy.
The free app has tapped into consumers’ increased desire for knowledge surrounding nutrition, ingredients and organic provenance of food, as well as cosmetics’ chemical composition.
It’s this hunger for transparency that drove Init co-founder, Tim Macdonald, to create a product that goes beyond the marketing spin to give people a taste of what they’re really getting!
“With Australia’s alarming obesity levels, coupled with people’s desire to do the right thing by themselves and their families when it comes to making healthier choices, this app is designed to empower consumers with choice. It’s a dietitian in your pocket.”
Init takes the guess work out of deciding what’s best for your body with a simple ‘traffic light’ approach and a more detailed breakdown of ingredients for those who can’t interpret product labels.”
“We believed that the current Health Star Rating being advised by the government is not sufficient. For starters this is only a voluntary measure and therefore part of the reason we don’t see many products with low scoring ratings on supermarket shelves. We believe our free to use app provides the best solution on the market and provides the transparency and ranking many nutritionists have been advocating for many years now.”
How does it work?
For food products, Init takes the current Health Star Rating, which only considers nutrition, further by also identifying the level of food processing, by looking at specific ingredients, food additives and any organic properties of the food.
The app works to simplify the often-confusing purchase cycle by showing a simple four stage colour coded rating system of ‘bad’, ‘mediocre’, ‘good’ and ‘excellent’. These are independently based on global nutrition guidelines. The app aims to provide a rating for all food and beauty products that are available in Australia.
Since going public in late 2019, Init has been used over 250,000 times by more than 10,000 people, there are currently 800,000 products on the database, and this is growing. The most popular scanned item is Vegemite within food and Sorbolene moisturizer for cosmetics. Init is 100% independent and Australian owned.
Init can be downloaded for iOS and Android for free from their website.