retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Sifter, a technology that allows shoppers to literally "sift" through a store's product selection to easily access items relevant to their personal circumstances (and, perhaps more importantly, marginalize those that they cannot or will not eat), yesterday announced a partnership with FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), described as "the nation’s leading non-profit organization engaged in food allergy advocacy and the largest private funder of food allergy research."

Some context from the announcement:

"Using Sifter’s robust, science-based shopping platform, food-allergic individuals and families can make better food decisions and save hours of time when grocery shopping. In addition, the platform is accurate and easy to use, giving peace of mind to those with even the most restrictive dietary challenges.

"Specifically, the FARE-Sifter partnership recognizes that many individuals with food allergies are also challenged by other diet-related health conditions. The Sifter shopping platform, available on the FARE homepage, will allow a person with complex diet needs - for example, a dairy intolerance, a nut allergy, and diabetes - to discover a wider variety of suitable foods when shopping online or in-store. Built by a team of Sifter nutrition experts and software developers and powered by algorithms that support dietary standards of practice, the Sifter technology is designed to help the food allergy community make better food decisions and also take the fear out of grocery shopping."

KC's View:

Since the first time I learned about (and then reported on) Sifter, I've thought that it is one of the most interesting technology innovations available to an industry that needs to find ways to be more relevant and resonant to their shoppers.  This approach to allergens, an increasingly vexing problem for a lot of people, is just the latest example of how they're doing that.

For some background, you can access my two-part interview with Sifter's founders - Andrew Parkinson and Thomas Parkinson, who in 1989 created Peapod, the world’s first online grocer - here and here.