SmartWithFood (SWF) promotes a balanced diet and provides custom advice while you shop. As part of the Colruyt Group, this start-up soon decided to join forces with The Reference. We helped them develop their mobile app – from concept and wireframes to Android and iOS development.

The Challenge

SmartWithFood had a clear goal in mind: consumers needed easy access to food products that meet their personal requirements and lifestyle. The idea was to develop a mobile app that keeps account of users’ intolerances, allergies and preferences, and helps them find products that meet their needs while shopping for groceries.

SmartWithFood also wanted to focus not only on individuals, but also on (blended) families, where everyone has their own food preferences and needs.

The Solution

The Reference has been SWF’s partner since the very beginning, and as such, we’ve helped develop the smartphone app. We jointly came up with the concept and we developed the wireframes that boosted the tool’s user-friendliness.

The SWF app allows you to scan food product barcodes to check whether the ingredients of the product in question match the preferences set for the different user profiles.

If a product is found to contain allergens that do not match the active profiles, such as glucose or lactose, the SmartWithFood app displays alternative products that are safe to consume. Have you found gluten-free biscuits that everyone in your household loves? Then don’t forget to add them to your favourites!

SmartWithFood scours different databases for product information and can rely on a team of experts, including dieticians, retail experts and IT specialists, to complete the scan result data. Have you stumbled on inaccurate product information? Notify SWF with the feedback function and help us continuously improve the quality of our data!

The SWF app recognises virtually all products sold at Colruyt, Bio-Planet, OKay, as well as the Colruyt Group range offered at the affiliated Spar shops.

Sharing is caring, and that also goes for food preferences! You can send one or more profiles to third parties as PDF files to ensure that allergies or intolerances don’t catch anyone off guard!


SmartWithFood believes that every person is unique and can use highly customised food advice. With this in mind, the company developed an Integrated Food Platform (IFP), a digital platform that integrates data from several sources, including the Belgian food composition chart and the Dutch food composition database (NEVO). The SWF app provides a visual match between the profiles created and the scanned products, allowing consumers to easily find products in line with their preferences.

The Reference worked closely with our team of software developers, which allowed us to seamlessly integrate the app into our back-end system. We are thrilled with the result!, says Edwin Speckamp, Digital Product Owner at SmartWithFood. 
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