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The political season is heating up with mid-term elections in November and a new app is bringing politics into consumers’ shopping carts. BuyPartisan, a free app available in the iTunes store – an Android version is in the works – allows consumers to scan the bar codes of products to find out which political party the company’s board of directors, its CEO and its employees support. The app also allows users to search by company or by product without scanning a barcode or to compare companies to see which one aligns with the user’s political beliefs.
“BuyPartisan works like a nutrition label for your political values…Simply put, BuyPartisan empowers consumers with awareness of the true impact of the campaign spending by the companies behind the products we all buy every day,” according to the app’s description on its iTunes page.
For example, according to the app, ConAgra’s overall contributions are 64.5 percent Republican, 11 percent Democrat and 24.5 percent other, while H.J. Heinz Co.’s contributions broke down to 16 percent Republican, 9.5 percent Democrat and 75 percent other.
App developer Matthew Colbert compiled 10 years of data of the Fortune 500 companies in partnership with the Center for Responsive Politics, Sunlight Foundation and the Institute for State Money. The companies profiled in the app account for 75 percent of the products available in supermarkets, according to the Los Angeles Times. “We’re trying to make every day election day for people,” Colbert said in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.
With the recent consumer outcry over the political stances taken by Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby, this could mean certain companies’ products being left on store shelves if the market served by supermarkets has a strong political leaning in one direction. Or, it could have no impact at all.
By Katie Martin, Progressive Grocer Independent Editor-in-Chief