The more involved I become with blogging about food, the more research I’ve been doing about awesome food sites and food databases and on and on and on.
A while ago I came across Zeer.com and so I thought I’d talk about them a bit.
So, what is Zeer?
From their website:
Zeer is a food information resource that makes it easy to find safe food. It helps people save time, stay safe, learn particular diets and live better lives.
Basically it’s a product database for people to find out if an item contains an allergen – primarily gluten. There’s a free version of Zeer and a new offering called Zeer Select, which assigns a safety rating to each product, suggests alternatives for products, and allows you to participate in an online community.
How does it work?
Well, you type a keyword into the search bar at the top of the site and you’ll get all products matching that keyword displayed in the results.
Each product in the database is assigned a star-rating based on consumer reviews. But to see the ‘safety status’ you’ll have to upgrade to Zeer Select.
Zeer Select isn’t a huge expense – and apparently they reduced the fees based on feedback from consumers, so that’s cool. It’s now only $4.95 per month with the first month free.
It’s in BETA right now, which might explain why I get lots of time-out errors as I navigate through their site.
I think this is a neat idea and concept. I also love that there’s another gluten-free resource out there. However, I know that I would just not pay for something like this.
I understand the need to monetize community tools such as this but it would be nice if the free version of the site had some real value to consumers as a teaser of what the upgrade would provide. To be honest the free version of the site is basically useless as it is, aside from providing an ingredients list and nutritional information of the product. I suppose it saves me the time of reading the label in the store – but anyone with allergies probably reads labels compulsively anyways since formulas may change and ingredients may appear that weren’t there last time you bought it.
For consumers, such as myself, who are paranoid about checking the labels personally I don’t think this service is for us. I’m curious to know if anyone out there would actually rely on an online community-edited database wholly to base their food decisions on? Is everyone else just as paranoid/OCD as I am?
Share your thoughts please. Maybe I’m missing out here?