Giki app launches ‘Hero badge’ to identify most sustainable and healthiest products in UK supermarkets

Giki, the social enterprise committed to making it easy to find sustainable, healthy and ethical products, just released its new Hero badge, available on the Giki app. The Hero badge rewards the most sustainable and healthy products available in major UK supermarkets, drawing together information from all of Giki’s badges. Each product must have a combination of sustainability and health badges to earn its ‘hero’ status. Giki’s Hero badge has already rewarded over 9,000 products across food and drink, skincare and haircare, and household cleaning, giving users many options to choose from in order to make choices that are better for the environment and healthier for them. 

Giki’s connects consumer values with their shopping decisions, allowing them to scan products’ barcodes through the app and see which badges have been awarded. It encourages full transparency and sustainable consumption by drawing on a number of different data sources such as product information, government guidelines and scientific research. The app provides accessible, independent, transparent information to help people change their habits to live more sustainably.

Giki stands for ‘Get Informed Know your Impact’. The mobile app launched on iPhone in May 2018 and on Android in October 2018 and now counts over 280,000 rated products from all major UK supermarket retailers and brands (including own label), with 14 badges, including Low Carbon Footprint, Animal Welfare, Healthier Option, Better Packaging and the Hero badge. As of July 2019, the Giki app had over 18,000 downloads, with users surveyed showing that over 80% made changes to their buying decisions as a result of using Giki. 

‘The idea for Giki first came in 2016, when my husband James and I were thinking about why so many people were concerned about the environment but struggling to work out what to do about it,’ said Jo Hand, co founder of Giki. ‘They were not able to buy in line with their beliefs. We built Giki to change this, so that everybody can make decisions based on what is important to them and to protect their health and the environment.’

The new Hero badge follows a strict screening process using Giki’s 13 other badges to select products that do not have a very high carbon footprint, don’t contain palm oil which is not sustainable and where applicable, support animal welfare, fair trade and sustainable fishing. Once a potential product has passed these restrictions, it must get four badges out of the following to receive its Hero status: responsibly-sourced, organic, better packaging, low carbon footprint, animal welfare, no additives, healthier options, or be supergreen (which means green on pack traffic light indicator for salt, sugar and fats).

A basket of Hero products will help materially reduce the overall environmental impact of shopping compared to the UK average (up to 30%) with less carbon, water and land use as well as greater biodiversity when it has a strong spread of organic products too.

‘As the food and drink we consume makes up around a quarter of our total environmental impact, choosing sustainable food is a really good way to reduce our impact,’ explains Jo Hand. ‘In addition, a sustainable diet can cost less than a regular one, due to the reduction in meat and cheese which tend to be an expensive component of the weekly shop.’

The app uses a combination of human research and raw computing power, translated into a point system that awards badges to sustainable, healthy and responsible products. With the new Hero badge, Giki now highlights star products helping to live a sustainable lifestyle. 

‘It can sometimes seem really daunting when we hear all the news coverage around environmental problems,’ adds Hand. ‘We genuinely believe though that we can all make a difference. We can choose to buy sustainable products, over unsustainable ones, and we can support businesses which protect the environment. Often the best place to start is in your home. You can check all your supermarket products on Giki and change them next time you shop for more sustainable options.’ 

For more details on Giki and the Hero badge, visit Giki’s website.