Buycott app scans groceries, tells their corporate tales

By Brady Quirk-Garvan

How many times have you read a news story and said “I never want to support that company”? Many of us have had moments where we’ve felt compelled to join a boycott of certain industries or companies. However, for those of us trying to lead intentional lives it’s sometimes difficult to sort out who “the good guys” are. Luckily in this day and age there’s an app for that!


A free Android and iOS app, Buycott, lets you scan items right there in the store and see who the corporate owners are. Scan some Dixie Cups and you’ll learn their manufacturer, Georgia-Pacific, is owned by none other than Koch Industries!  The app also includes connections with activist campaigns; for example, the Demand GMO Labeling campaign is included, and will let you know if that box of cereal you’re about to buy was made by a company that’s contributing to anti-labeling initiatives—or, conversely, supports labeling laws.

As reported by Forbes:
The app itself is the work of one Los Angeles-based 26-year-old freelance programmer, Ivan Pardo, who has devoted the last 16 months to Buycott. “It’s been completely bootstrapped up to this point,” he said. Martinez and another friend have pitched in to promote the app.  (An update notes that the small company has been overwhelmed by the surge of new users—it’s #10 in Apple’s App Store, with up to 600 new signups per minute!—and it had to be removed from the Android store temporarily to fix some glitches.  Pardo says he’s working to “get in in decent shape but I’ll eventually need some sleep!”)

While as in all things, an app can’t be much more than a simple tool, it’s a great step in the right direction for transparency and consumer rights. While we still might advocate for getting your food from a local farmer who you can actually meet in person, this is a fun and powerful way to bring more intentionality to your shopping trips.


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Brady Quirk-Garvan

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