Coeliac UK, the charity for people who need to live gluten free, was announced as the winner of the 2019 Memcom membership excellence awards, for its Gluten Free Food Checker app that makes shopping for food and drink products safer and easier.
The Memcom awards celebrate the positive impact that professional bodies, trade associations, membership charities and other not-for-profit membership organisations have on public good.
Awarding Coeliac UK as the winner in the 2019 Best use of an app category, the judges said they were struck by the sheer scale and ambition of the app, that provides access to a database of over 100,000 products and allows the charity’s members to personalise content. They also noted the complexity of the app’s development and Coeliac UK’s willingness to develop the product post launch, trialling the new functionality with its membership community to give users a broader choice.
Produced in conjunction with the food tech start up FoodMaestro, the app is exclusive to Coeliac UK’s members enabling them to search thousands of food products that are suitable for a gluten free diet. The app also gives additional options to tailor search results to include additional dietary preferences. It lists all products that carry the Coeliac UK Crossed Grain symbol, which is internationally recognised by those who need to follow a gluten free diet.
Hilary Croft, Coeliac UK CEO said: “Making life easier for those living gluten free is at the heart of what we do and it is wonderful to have one of our flagship services recognised with a MemCom award, which acknowledges the emphasis on user journey and our continued improvements to deliver more functionality and tailored content for a better user experience.”
Coeliac UK is the national charity for people who need to live without gluten, whether due to coeliac disease or another medical condition. The charity provides support and resources for living gluten free while also campaigning for improvements to the gluten free sector and funding vital research into coeliac disease and gluten related conditions. Coeliac disease is a serious autoimmune condition caused by a reaction to gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. People diagnosed with coeliac disease must maintain a strict gluten free diet for the rest of their life if they are to avoid very serious complications such as osteoporosis, infertility, neurological conditions and although rare, small bowel cancer.
One in hundred people in the UK has coeliac disease but around half a million people in the UK are currently undiagnosed. It still takes an astonishing 13 years on average for a person to be diagnosed.