The application, available from last month to consumers in China, has seen “tens of thousands” of downloads in China’s tier one cities such as Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Liam Winston, managing partner of Mobile Now, told FoodNavigator-Asia that the application was developed together with Greenpeace, after the environmental activists expressed concern over easy Chinese consumer access to GM foods.
GM foods are becoming pervasive in China from Baby foods, to beer, wine and snacks as well as fruits and vegetables.
This level of exposure prompted Greenpeace to choose to launch the app in China, a country it has made a priority.
Don’t upset NoGEMo
Mobile Now and Greenpeace want to do more than scaremonger about GM and health.
“The idea of the application is for the consumers to engage and have fun with the application while learning about the dangers of GM foods,” Winston said.
Similar to the popular Tamagouchi in the 1980s, the gameplay revolves around feeding a small monster called NoGEMo and gauging his reaction to everyday brands. NoGEMo loves non GM food, but will get upset if fed GM brands. GE stands for Genetically Engineered, another way to say GM.
More than 400 brands as well as 20 supermarkets are listed by Greenpeace, resulting in a wealth of information to be digested by the user.
Greenpeace will regularly update its database of GM-using brands in China.
Professor Yuexin Yang, vice-chairman of the Chinese Nutrition Society told FoodNavigator-Asia that Chinese consumers are becoming more interested in healthy foods.
“Nutrition will be playing a more significant role in consumers’ lives and this application will become more popular as awareness on health foods grow,” remarked Yang.
NoGEMo is a free iphone application but Winston does not rule out developing more food applications for mobile consumer in the future.