Meet Santiago Schmitt, Co-Founder at FoodLama: A Browser Extension Simplifying Grocery Shopping With Dietary Preferences

Hi Santiago, it is great to meet you. Tell us a bit about your inspiration for FoodLama

 
Santiago: The idea for FoodLama came to me when I was just 14 years old, motivated by what I saw around me. Coming from a household with complex food preferences;  I’m corn intolerant, my brother is gluten-free, and my mum is vegan, finding new products was always a challenge. Especially during my mum’s weekly grocery shop.

I decided to do something about it and founded FoodLama. FoodLama was built with the underlying principle that grocery shopping shouldn’t be a hassle.
 
 

 

What makes FoodLama unique? 

 
Santiago: For people with allergies and preferences, there are two options for a weekly shop. The first is to scroll through hundreds of products on pages, and read through the long list of ingredients on each product that interests them, only to find the product selected doesn’t fit their requirements. The alternative is to be limited by the dreaded ‘free from aisle’ where prices are escalated and there’s a distinct lack of choice.

FoodLama was built to be the easy solution, both removing the need to read long ingredient lists, and making product discovery seamless. By pre-setting your household preferences, you can easily see what you can and can’t have as you scroll, and the extension also shows you product substitutions and individual recommendations. To make it as easy as possible, we work as a layer over your grocery food shop and don’t change the shopping experience you’re used to.
 

 

How has the FoodLama browser extension changed over the last couple of years? 

 
Although the idea started as a simple filtering process – where you see a green/red light next to the scrolled products – over the last couple of years it evolved as the question of food recommendation emerged.

The idea was simple: what if buying food could be hyper-personalised? What if users could immediately see what they could and couldn’t eat, and get suggestions of alternatives based on their dietary preferences?

With that, FoodLama as I know it was born.

The journey from that moment to the FoodLama launch took vast amounts of persistence but was grounded in my desire to build a product that could help not only my family but all those with the same challenge. To build a solution for the 60% of shoppers with dietary preferences.
 

What can we anticipate from FoodLama in the future? 

 
This month, FoodLama launched in a trial phase, rolling out to users for the first time. The extension works as a browser plugin, which puts a layer over your normal shopping experience. As you scroll, you see stickers indicating the products you can have, and we have product recommendations personalised to your family.

The road ahead is long, but I’m excited about what comes next. I look forward to a world where finding the food that works for your dietary and lifestyle needs is as tailored as finding shows you’ll love on Netflix. With FoodLama, we get a little bit closer.