How Good

LogoConsumers are starting to care a lot more about what they are eating.  They want to know about companies that are producing their food and if they are supporting local producers and using less carbon miles or perhaps supporting a charity and that the product has good ingredients. 

My gut is that data will support that when people pick up a product off the shelf, examine it and see a label that gives them a rating from a variety of points of information that consumers will choose a product based on that.  Perhaps people are willing to pay more for a box of crackers because they give their employees better benefits?  We will see as data is data.

What I love about How Good is the entrepreneurs behind it are smart, curious, engaging and obviously data driven.  I also like the concept of a good house keeping seal of approval, per se.  It helps the consumer make better decisions when they are walking down the grocery aisle putting purchases in their cart because the information is right on the price tag.  You don't have to look up a thing.

When that data is captured and then returned to the retailer will be when interesting things begin to take place.  In full transparency, I am investor in this company.  Take a look and let me know what you think. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. Sharon

    Great idea…

  2. Ryan Drew

    Good idea, but the 1,2,3 rating system may a little basic. Who is the target market? If it is the typical (possibly interested) consumer, the system is ideal (easy to understand), but if it is a more discerning, food conscious, and data aware customer, provide more a more detailed rating system (ratings by categories and an overall rating).I believe you gain more traction with the more food/data engaged latter category.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Interesting. Will drill down on data input

  3. Guest

    Really like this idea.…  This post reminded me of this TED talk.  It’s worth a watch.  I think you have to get towards the end to see how they relate.  I wish How Good would also have How Bad.  I’d probably put something down if I saw how bad it actually was for me.  NYC putting calories on menus has definitely made me change my behavior.  Funny thing is I’ll be at that same chain in another place and order the less healthy option when the calorie count isn’t right beside it.  🙂

    1. awaldstein

      Tough to build a brand designating levels of bad. Levels of goodness does the same thing by inference but in a more positive way.I like this idea. Simple is great in branding. Tough to pick the right criteria to tell a complex story in such simple terms.

      1. Guest

        I prefer positive too, but I still want to know how bad something is for me in a very simple way.  I think it’s just as powerful, if not more.  On the no globes they list why and that is very helpful, but if I’m in a rush at a store I wish there would just be a red globe for bad products on the price tag so I don’t have to look it up.  I’d imagine they’d run into legal obstacles going this route.  I really love this concept and I’ve already checked some of my grocery store staples to see how they measure up.  This will change my behavior as a consumer.  Love it.  

        1. Gotham Gal

          not only will it change consumer behavior, it will change the inventory that the stores purchase. why would you want to shop in a store that carried products that were bad for you?

          1. Guest

            I thought the same thing!  Will impact inventory at the store level.  I hope you guys don’t end up in TX fighting the beef industry.  Dr. Phil is no longer available to alleviate the stress! hehe

  4. Jill Stern

    Joanne, How much does it cost the retailer to have the ratings put on?  Who applies the ratings stickers to the packaging?  I know as a private label manufacturer, each time a store asked me to ticket my goods using their pricestickers, I have to pay my fulfillment center to do so and my costs go up.  Just wondering….

    1. Gotham Gal

      Not sure as each is different. The to tickets are done in the store

  5. Yaniv Tal

    Big data is coming to a food vendor near you! We make restaurant technology and one of our long term goals is to champion data standards for food distribution/tracking. I hope that in 5 years, you’ll be able to pull up your phone while eating a meal and see exactly where all of the ingredients that you’re eating came from and when they were harvested.Besides supporting local farmers and increasing awareness of what we put into our bodies, this is also a huge health/safety concern. When the next e. coli, or name your favorite menace outbreak comes, how nice would it be to not have a panic that lasts for weeks or even months? It’s time for food to jump on the bandwagon and start producing data!-EDIT-Just noticed the part where you state that you’re an investor in HowGood. This business looks like it requires a lot of hustle but no doubt they’re fighting the good fight! Sustainability is rising on the minds of shoppers and there’s still plenty of room for growth.

  6. Ag

    I really like this idea and hope t can be applied to both more mainstream and high end goods. I agree that a more nuanced explanation would be important to me, especially if I’m going to be buying a more expensive product. One big issue I can see that might arise is one that has arisen with organic cage free eggs and other products of this nature, where terms that once held important meaning in the eyes of the consumer no longer do (cage free can simply mean a cage is opened for some time during the day and animals can potentially roam free–doesn’t do it for me). I guess what I’m trying to say is quality assurance and preserving trust in the label are important

  7. rebeccastees

    Is there an easy way to look at a list of the “Great” foods?

    1. Gotham Gal

      there is one company that does it through an app. i like the ability to see “how good” when you pick up the product.

  8. awaldstein

    The idea of transparency to create customer comfort is an unfulfilled need in food. I’m involved in this in the natural wines sector personally.None of us really know what we are eating unless you individually do the hard work. This is true at Whole Foods as well.Can this really be reduced down to three static labels? I don’t see any mobile loop here. And while there is retailer participation (which I like) I seem to have missed the customer feedback loop.Really like the idea. Concerned about the simplicity of the approach which can be great but cuts both ways.This is a marketing and branding play from the ground up. Data is great. Customer belief is where the challenge always lays.Thanks for this. I’m going to track their progress. Personally I think this is needed. And professionally as a marketer, building brands from the ground up with retailer partnership is an interest of mine. I’m building something similiar although in a different sector.

  9. Cam MacRae

    It’s an interesting idea with a tonne of potential.They might try and connect with Tyler Cowen at GMU if they haven’t already done so, as I think he’d be able to help refine their model. He’s actually got a book coming out on the topic.