Buycott App gives consumers companies’ info

Buycott is a free app. It gives information on companies’s products by scanning the bar code of a product. 

Patricia Peterson, is a senior majoring in mass media, [email protected]

My new favorite app to use and to talk about is called Buycott. You know, like boycott only with “buy” at the beginning. It’s the perfect name for it.

The app is designed to scan various types of products and collect data about the company that sells the product, whatever it may be. I like to use it for food, in particular.

With recent laws about pesticides and hearing about Monsanto, abortion and LGBTQ rights and other campaigns in the media, a lot of us want to know where things we buy come from. What are our dollars supporting when we buy our favorite cereal? Do we agree with these causes? Do we care? This app tells you that, and more.

Say you are like me and think it’s good to know if the foods you are eating have genetically modified organisms – the app will tell you. If you don’t want to support Monsanto, anti-abortion, union workers, local and sustainable food and so many other things you will have that knowledge and can decide if you want to support the causes by buying the product.

The app has three sections: Info, Family Tree and Campaigns. After you scan the product, it brings up all of this information, and pretty quickly. I have done it at home, and at a few different stores and haven’t had a problem.

The Info button comes up immediately and gives you phone numbers, a map of their headquarter location and links to Facebook and Twitter. The Family Tree button shows you exactly that, a family tree of the sister companies and owners. The Campaigns button is the most interesting button, I think. Here it gives a complete rundown of campaigns supported by any given company.

I will use Kroger for example. Kroger is a house brand at Dillon’s stores. I scanned a Kroger-brand cereal and it shows me that Smith’s Food and Drug Centers Inc. is their parent company. Sister companies include Fry’s, which are like Dillon’s but in other states, Turkey Hill, Ralph’s and a few others. You can then research each of those companies.

Finally, the Campaigns button shows you information on what types of campaigns the company invests in. You can even click on any campaign and it gives you more information about the campaign and what it means. It links you to websites and articles that support or explain the cause.

You can even join campaigns that you want to support and the app will let you know in the future if you have campaign conflicts. This is my favorite part of the app – the personalization. You can go through the list of campaigns and select the ones you want to support and the app does everything else from there. It’s pretty sweet.

If you have beliefs that you want to uphold with your consumer dollars, it’s easier than ever to check up on “trusted” companies. For example, I went through and clicked one campaign that is anti-GMO and is advocating for GMO labeling on products. I scanned Nestle Pure Life Purified Water and found out that it’s a Sumaclife company that votes no to that particular campaign. Now I can decide if it’s worth it for me to get “name brand” bottled water, or if I would rather buy Kroger brand, and avoid donating to companies that don’t want the same things that I want. Now, with this app, I have the power to decide. That’s why I recommend this app to anyone who buys anything in this country.