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Shop to Lose app hands out health grades to restaurants, CPG brands

Evincii has launched its Shop to Lose application for Apple’s iPad, iPhone and iPod touch to help consumers make healthy choices when grocery shopping and eating out.

A version of the application designed specifically for the iPad features restaurant reviews that users can share with their guests in a cab or while sitting at the table, in addition to checking  the nutrition factor of each restaurant’s menu. The new application takes full advantage of the iPad’s large screen, leading to increased “sharability,” as well as its portability, letting users connect to the Internet anywhere with 3G or WiFi.

“Shop to Lose is Yelp for health, helping users find the right restaurant for health reasons,” said Charlie Koo, CEO of Evincii, San Francisco.  “The social sharability using the iPad extends expert advice from the user to family members, who can huddle together over the iPad and use the app together, which is a major benefit in contrast to a PC or laptop.

“The portability of the iPad leads to social sharability, which also helps the retailer, which can use the iPad as a communication vehicle,” he said. “The app is also a perfect fit for dietitians to show their patients what they should eat and help them stick to that regimen.

“Social sharability will become an important charactistic for the iPad, making it far more popular, and soon the 3G version will come out, which will make it far more accessible.”

In December, Evincii launched the Pickka Med application for iPhone and iPod touch, a mobile guided search platform to help consumers choose pharmaceuticals.

Shop to Lose is the next application in the Pickka Suite. It is aimed at addressing America’s eating issues, which some have termed a crisis, by solving the biggest problem with nutrition and healthy eating: people eat what they buy.

Nutrition experts have found that even the best-planned diets and eating plans, from Weight Watchers to low-carb diets such as Dr. Atkins, often die on the supermarket aisle, according to Evincii.

To address that problem, Evincii is offering Shop to Lose, a personal shopper for nutrition that Mr. Koo calls “a dietitian in your pocket.”

The platform also presents a new and targeted opportunity for marketers.

Mr. Koo said that the release of Shop to Lose is very timely, as Michelle Obama’s childhood obesity prevention campaign “Let’s Move” calls for a national revolution of how and what Americans eat.

This campaign has underscored the importance of healthy eating and good nutrition.

The Shop to Lose application is designed to help consumers buy the right food by steering them to the proper products as they shop.

When consumers conduct a search of, say, a type of soup, the returned results take into account a person’s diet program and his or her health profile that includes weight and conditions such as diabetes or lactose intolerance.

“The iPad-optimized features put Shop to Lose at the cutting-edge of the new mobile user experience,” Mr. Koo said. “The iPad will cause a shift in how people think about sharing, and the 3G version is going to accelerate innovation for this technology.

“The iPad is more than just buzz, it’s a different type of computing experience,” he said.

The Bet to Lose feature of the application adds a viral capability by letting the user to open up a betting table and encourage friends and family bet on how much he or she will lose, and how soon.

“People can huddle together and participate in this game, bet against the loser, the person who wants to lose the weight, and there’s Facebook Connect integration,” Mr. Koo said. “The application is extending the virtual world into the physical world.”

To get the word out, Evincii will target both Apple users in general as well as iPad-specific campaigns, starting with online media.

Evincii is considering mobile marketing initiatives at some point in the near future.

In addition, Evincii will run campaigns targeted directly to dieticians and the medical community, and reach out to retailers as well.

“We believe the medical profession will benefit from this new form factor,” Mr. Koo said. “We will probably also go back to retailers and educate them about the in-aisle aspect of the app.”