OptUp gives each of your grocery store purchases a score based on nutritional value.

By Elisabeth Sherman
Updated July 16, 2018
Credit: Wolterk/Getty Images

If you’re trying to adopt a healthier lifestyle, the grocery store can be a battlefield: As you push your cart down the aisles your mind might be racing as you try to figure out what, exactly, you should buy. Are those protein bars actually healthy, or are they packed with sugar? Which type of fish is most nutritious—or should I stick to chicken? It can be tough to tell on the fly. That's why Kroger wants to make the entire process of figuring out which foods are the healthiest easier with the launch of it’s newest mobile app, OptUp.

Credit: Kroger

Kroger already has its own mobile shopping app, but OptUp, which is compatible with many grocery stores within the Kroger network, including Fred Meyer and QFC, aims to promote healthier shopping choices among customers. Here’s how it works.

Credit: Kroger

The app keeps track of your purchases, then gives each product a score ranging from 1-100. Products in the 1-36 range are marked red, those from 37-70 are marked yellow, and those from 71-100 are marked green. For instance, pancake syrup might earn you a score of 28, while apples land on the healthier end of the scale, with a score of 88. Once you’ve shopped enough, OptUp will tally your total household score—the goal is to remain in the green with a score of 600 or higher.

Credit: Kroger

Scores are based on nationally-recognized nutrition standards and are reinforced with input from Kroger’s in-house dieticians. According to a statement from Kroger, foods in the green category are “lower in saturated fat, sodium, sugar, and calories, and may be higher in fiber, protein, and fruit/vegetable, or nut content.” Kroger recommends that customers’ carts are at least 50 percent filled with products that fall into that category.

The app simplifies the shopping process for you as well: While you’re grocery shopping, the app can offer you personalized suggestions (once it gets to know your shopping habits, of course) and lets you scan any item in the grocery store to give you a breakdown of its nutritional value. Kroger doesn’t stop there on its quest to get people to eat better: The app also offers the option of booking an appointment with a dietitian near you (so far the service is only available in Ohio, Tennessee, and Kentucky).

The app is part of the recently launched Wellness Your Way Kroger campaign, which encourages customers to customize their own nutritional program.