GOOD

Can an App Make Grocery Shopping Fun and Educational?

An app teaches kids about the food they eat—while they're in the store.

The next location for story time may not be bedside, but among the bananas and cabbages in the produce aisle at the local market. Taggie, a smartphone app developed by recent Dutch design school graduate Niels van Hoof, allows users to direct a smartphone camera at the barcode of food items to learn about their origin, growth process, and different varieties. After recognizing the scanned barcode, Taggie launches a 3D augmented reality animation to engage children with a short, fun lesson about the food.


While Taggie is still in development, the idea comes at the right moment. Globally, there are more than 1 billion overweight adults, 300 million of whom are clinically obese. By allowing children to engage in the shopping experience, Taggie helps them make informed decisions about what’s not only good to eat, but good for them, too.

Van Hoof developed the app as a graduation project for the Design Academy in Eindhoven, Netherlands after being inspired by Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution. "He went to schools and tried to find out if kids know where food comes from," van Hoof says. Perhaps needless to say, most of them didn't—which set van Hoof's wheels in motion. Van Hoof hopes that by using the app, children will "discover more about fruits and vegetables and [will not be] afraid of the product anymore, which results in living healthier."

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