Barcoo - German food-rating app

Barcoo: exploits publicity from damning reviews

The German company behind a controversial and hugely popular mobile phone app that rates products on price, health, availability and environmental impact will launch a UK version next year, The Grocer can reveal.

Barcoo has racked up an astonishing 11.8 million downloads in Germany, Austria and Switzerland since its 2010 launch by collecting official data about products and using it alongside reviews from bloggers and journalists.

Consumers use Android phones as barcode scanners to access the information.

Managing director Benjamin Thym told the IGD convention this week that Barcoo was riding high on fears over food chain transparency. “Horsemeat in lasagne was great news for us,” he said. Barcoo also features traffic light nutritional information based on the system developed in the UK by the FSA.

Thym admitted Barcoo relied on media publicity around its sometimes damning reviews, and admitted it had previously been threatened with legal action by some companies. “That’s very much part of our business and we will look to do the same when we come here,” he warned.