Disclaimer: This is NOT a post sponsored by Yuka.
I first hear from Yuka app at the beginning of 2019. In one of my roundups around the Google Play store, I saw it was getting trendy, so I downloaded and scanned a couple of products but did not put much of interest. After a few weeks, I stopped using it and uninstalled while cleaning up my apps.
I cook a lot, almost every day, but as much as I like to prepare everything from scratch, sometimes I need to buy prepared stuff; things like flour, canned food that is not available in the fresh market or even dairies like cheese or milk.
I always read the food labels, and I believe nowadays many people do (I see a lot of people checking). But do we understand everything that is in the list? The answer at least for me is no. There are apparent items like sugar and carbs that almost everyone realises, but what about preservatives, additives and other stuff?
So went back to Google Play searching for an app that helps me understand what is in the products I buy and what did I find? Yuka topping the list
What is Yuka?
Yuka is a food database that contains thousands of products with detail indication of their composition. They cover food and cosmetics. As of June 2019, they had 10 Million users and 3 million daily scans.
How does Yuka work?
Simplicity is a fundamental element of Yuka. You just need to open the app and scan a product. Then you will see the detailed product information displayed on your screen.
How does Yuka help you?
The winning point of Yuka and the feature I like the most is the recommendation. When a product receives a low score, you get recommendations for similar products. Such a function not only gives you an indication but also saves an enormous amount of time.
How do I use it?
I scan everything I have never bought before or that I am not sure what it contains. I have been astonished by the results of many foods and products that I considered healthy.
How do Yuka scores products?
Yuka has posted on its website the scoring system.
In a nutshell:
- Nutritional quality is 60% of the score.
- The presence additives is 30% of the score.
- The organic dimension is 10% of the score.
Who is behind Yuka
Benoît Martin, François Martin and Julie Chapon founded the startup in 2017.
I think they are French and what I find fantastic is that they do not promote that fact, they are just helping people. It is challenging to find any reference to nationality or origin of the app founders (except for their names :-). Well done, guys.
What are the downsides of Yuka?
Although they have more than 600k products in their system, the app frequently does not find any match. So when you scan something imported, or from abroad sometimes you get a message saying “this product doesn’t exist in our database.”
The product recommendation is excellent, but many times it cannot find any suggestion. Not sure if it is because there is nothing better or because the database is not extensive enough.
What things would I like Yuka to do?
- Expand their database and have more international products.
- More products in the recommendation
- Tell me where to find the recommended products (a map, maybe?)
- Add diet labels: ie. Keto-friendly,
- They do not have alcoholic products in their database, not sure about the reason but for wine, for example, I would love to know which of them have sulfite or other additives.
But, can we trust Yuka?
The founders have bold trust claims on their website.
- No influence from brands
- No advertising, nor data exploitation
- Healthy financing
In principle that says already a lot about the intentions of the app creators and I can confirm that they are following their beliefs.