HowGood scores $2 mln

New York City-based in-store food rating system HowGood has raised $2 million in funding. The investors included FirstMark Capital, Highline Ventures and Serious Change.

PRESS RELEASE

NEW YORK, Sept. 17, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — HowGood, an independent research organization and the best source of information on the food we eat, today announced it has closed a $2 million round of funding, along with the launch of a new mobile app available for users of both iPhone and Android. Over the past seven years, HowGood has developed the world’s largest database of sustainable food ratings and has developed an in-store rating system that identifies industry leaders in the food system and is the only company that rigorously researches the goodness of food products based on multiple metrics and highlights those ratings for consumers at the point of purchase. With over 60 industry-specific indicators per food item, from ingredient sourcing to labor practices, the site has rated over 100,000 products. The investment included participation by FirstMark Capital, Highline Ventures, Serious Change LP, Jake Lodwick and Joanne Wilson. The new financing will help accelerate the growth of the company’s products into retail markets across the U.S., and fund additional innovations.

“Everyone deserves to know what food is best to eat – you have a right to know how your food was grown, if the animals were treated humanely, if the workers were paid fair wages and if it came from the farm down the street or from across the globe. We wanted to create a simple tool for consumers to get the information they need on food choices right at the point-of-purchase,” said Alexander Gillett, CEO and founder of HowGood. “HowGood has the ability to change the food system from the bottom up. As shoppers shift their buying practices, stores that use HowGood have the opportunity to become leaders in sustainability, offer better products and increase sales. In fact, there has been a 27 percent increase in sales among some of HowGood’s highest rated products.”

Now, with HowGood’s mobile app, shoppers can more easily take advantage of the research and ratings provided for each food product in a store based on sustainability, social impact and environmental friendliness with the ratings on store shelves next to the price tag. Consumers can then become more knowledgeable about the products they buy and ingest.

Key features of the app include:
Simple scoring system. Look for one, two, or three globes (with one being “good” and three being “great”)
Barcode scan. Simply point and scan the barcode and HowGood instantly returns ratings
Search and navigation. Product listings are easy to find with the ability to search for the foods users most frequently purchase
More products. With new products added daily, HowGood provides the largest, most accurate data set about food sustainability in the world

“Grocery is a $600BN a year market and the biggest trend in market has been the shift to health and sustainability. HowGood is using big data to change the food system from the bottom up,” said Rick Heitzmann, Managing Director of FirstMark. “Most ratings systems are confusing for customers. HowGood is simple – give shoppers information they can engage with and can’t find elsewhere to help them buy products that are the best for their health, society and the environment.”

To date HowGood has rated over 100,000 products, with only 6 percent of the industry earning the highest rating. The in-store ratings can be found on the shelves of store in over 20 states and are also accessible via mobile. To download the mobile apps, visit: www.howgood.com/mobile

About HowGood
Founded in 2007 and headquartered in New York City, HowGood is an in-store rating system that identifies industry leaders in the food system. As an independent research organization, HowGood determines the overall goodness of food and awards ratings to the best products, empowering consumers to make fast and informed purchasing decisions. For businesses, HowGood is a powerful tool to help promote sustainable products, attract more customers and strengthen the brand. The company is backed by several investors including: FirstMark Capital, Highline Ventures, Serious Change LP, Jake Lodwick and Joanne Wilson. For more information, visit www.howgood.com.