Thousands of people are using intelligent meal planning and online grocery shopping app Cherrypick, which recently changed its name from Lollipop, to slash their intake of ultra-processed foods (UPFs) by more than a quarter and reduce their obesity risk.
An analysis of more than 100,000 orders found users cut their UPF consumption by 26% compared to before using the app. UPFs make up 29% of a Cherrypick user’s diet, roughly half the national average of 55-60%.
UPFs are ready-to-eat foods that have undergone industrial processing, and often contain ingredients such as flavour enhancers, hydrogenated oils, and sweeteners. Examples include sausages, instant soups, and fizzy drinks. Research has linked a high intake of UPFs with an increased risk of obesity and chronic diseases including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Cherrypick allows its more than 200,000 users to browse nearly 1,000 recipes and order the ingredients to make them. The app partners with Sainsbury’s for products and fulfilment, and plans to add other grocery retailers in early 2024. Cherrypick uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to learn what’s in each user’s cupboard and avoid food waste by notifying them of ingredients in a recipe that they already have.
As well as reducing UPF intake, Cherrypick has helped users reduce their ready meal consumption. More than half of users (53%) say they eat fewer ready meals since using the app. Three quarters (74%) cook five or more meals from scratch a week, compared to 47% before discovering Cherrypick. Overall, eight in 10 users (82%) say they are generally eating more healthily than they did prior to using the app.
Cherrypick also helps users spend less time and money on their weekly food shop. 80% of families spend over an hour a week on meal-planning and online grocery shopping, while the average Cherrypick user spends less than 20 minutes, saving 35 hours annually on this chore. The average cost per serving from Cherrypick’s ‘spend less’ range is £2.11, 30% lower than the equivalent meal via a recipe box.
As part of its mission to help people eat better effortlessly, Cherrypick is assembling a board of food and health experts to guide feature development. They include:
- Dr Yanaina Chavez-Ugalde, a University of Cambridge researcher who will help develop proprietary data models to show customers the UPF make-up of their food choices.
- Rhiannon Lambert, a Harley Street nutritionist and author.
Tom Foster-Carter, Cherrypick CEO & co-founder, said: “Half of the global population will be overweight or obese by 2035. But people are not to blame. Convenience food is. Ready meals and takeaways are packed with ultra-processed, calorie-dense ingredients. Old-school convenience is killing us, but busy households don’t have the time or tools to fight back.
“Cherrypick is helping to build a new era of convenience where everyone can eat better and health, convenience, and value are no longer in tension.”