Do you want to have a healthier diet? Whenever this statement is uttered aloud, there can be some discerning voices in the crowd that talk of the impossibility when it comes to affording this type of lifestyle (if you don’t happen to fall in a select tax bracket).
As such, every year as the desire for a healthier plate grows in the world, companies look for ways to bridge the gap and bring healthier products onto their consumer’s tables.
While companies have focused on attempting to make the products more and more affordable for a diverse range of households, certain ingredients and manufacturing practices can still keep costs higher.
For the natural and organic shopper, the sheer demand bore into being applications such as BerryCart. Like a Whole Foods or Earthfare in terms of motif, it provides cash back on clean-eating foods for a variety of diets without any questionable additives.
As ideal as this sounds, I wanted to take a practical look at how BerryCart compares to the current beasts that are Ibotta and Shopkick. With so many receipts, cash-back based applications are always fighting for the space and time on your phone.
Let’s begin to break down what BerryCart is and whether it is worth your time and storage space to begin using BerryCart to save money.
Impressions of a Website: Prelude to Your Download
As someone who both uses BerryCart and loves checking out websites as my first informational stop, I had to start my journey in the usual manner.
In short, if you’re the type of user that (like me) hates websites that barely showcase how the product works, you’ll be glad to know BerryCart’s website focuses on giving you all the information it can.
Succinctness: Almost All in a Page
One of the first things you’ll notice is that it doesn’t take long to get through BerryCart’s website. About three flicks of your scroll pad or mouse wheel, and you’ll have gone from the top of the page to the bottom much like with Makeena. Ibotta has a very similar information spread on its launch page to BerryCart; Ibotta takes about double the scrolls (six to seven) to actually get through all of it.
As an added bonus, despite there being multiple tabs at the top of the website, the relevant portions of how it works and the FAQs page are included by default.
Not having to do any searching through multiple links was an immediate plus when compared to previous application reviews that I’ve done for Gokano.
Overall, if you don’t have a lot of time to evaluate your choice, BerryCart has taken it into consideration while providing you the most relevant information outside of what coupons are offered.
While it may not appear to be like a lot, it shows a company that has its act together and is confident when it can offer all the relevant information up front.
You should look at this page if you ever need a basic refresher on the application, or you can bookmark this review and simply continue reading through as I touch on the major highlights here.
The Basic Need to Know Website Tidbits
So before continuing with anything else, it seems best to simply state the tag-line at work here: “We’ve hand-picked only the best all natural, organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO kinds of foods for you. You won’t see high-fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors here.”
As I mentioned in the introduction, the main hook of the application is to appeal to the wallets of those suffering while on a specialty or medically restricted diet.
You’re going to see all of the same buzzwords that you would on store packaging, but you’re going to have very hand-picked brands that only appear by the company’s choice.
If you have a specific element you need some financial aid with that is in the paragraph above, this application should seem like a pretty good start.
The next mentioned detail that puts BerryCart in the unique category is its focus on the learning element. As described by the website, you are here to “Digest bite-sized insights about each product with a fun fact, quiz, testimonial, and more. We tell the story about products and brands that have a great story to tell.”
Taking time to mention this may seem like an awkward plug for the company since if you read the description it largely sounds like a fancy way to say BerryCart will be offering you an in-app advertisement.
While this is true, it’s not the sole facet of why it’s included. BerryCart wants its users to actually know information about unfamiliar products at least a tiny bit without having to do outside research.
You can compare this to Makeena where you have to know exactly what you’re buying, whether it has to be organic or not, and even sometimes do independent research to learn about the company.
You’re going to give a company about ten seconds of your attention on BerryCart, but you’re also going to be able get something if you’re a layman who doesn’t have a ton of time to do healthy food research and the benefits of certain ingredients.
We’ll discuss this more in detail later within a review of what the actual application and some example deals look like, but I thought it was due some explanation now before moving on.
Lastly, I want to touch on the fact that BerryCart wants you to feel very comfortable about product availability. In the past year, I personally dropped BerryCart a few times because the products it was offering rebates on were never available outside of far off locales. It’s improved a lot at the time of this reveal.
For now, what you need to know is “You can find products offered in BerryCart in over 100,000 locations including Whole Foods, Sprouts, Walmart, Target, Safeway, and Kroger.” It’s improved a lot, so if your store offers a receipt there’s at least a handful of products that are usually carried.
BerryCart’s website also includes a front-facing FAQ touching on most of the questions by extension that a user could have. I’ve never really run across this before on an application of this type.
It feels like it deserves special mention since there’s no hiding away of anything that you may have questions on, and they paint themselves to be a pretty straightforward application.
Whether or not you choose to refer back to it, the website should have most of your questions answered at the front.
Shopping Before You Download
One of the details that I love a rebate application to have is the ability to preview what offers you’re going to be gunning for.
It’s really annoying to have to download the application, make an account, and then look through everything just to realize there’s nothing there that you would ever purchase. Following in Ibotta’s footsteps, you’re able to view all of the present online offers simply by visiting one site address.
After that, unlike with Ibotta, you’re not going to be inputting your location nor selecting any stores in the area. Since BerryCart’s products are fairly spread out, you’re just going to be looking at different dietary certifications for filtering out products.
So if you have different dietary preferences or mandates and want only organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, kosher, or nut-free options then you’re able to filter out for those pathways.
Additionally, if you’re concerned about corporate practices then you can filter out by rainforest alliance certified, fair trade certified, and b-corp. Sadly, you can’t select multiples at this time, however, on the website since it’s all attached to one hyperlink.
Further Filtering Bits
Also, as a warning don’t consider the filters to work one hundred percent of the time if you’re the type that’s super vigilant about meeting any specific requirements for your food.
While they have improved (and usually are updated after a while), there are still mistakes that get through. For instance, there are a few vegan items that aren’t appropriately labeled.
All of the Nasoya Tofubaked are vegan according to the product page on Nasoya’s website.
This could be a simple matter of not wanting to confuse customers because the money back offer on any of Nasoya’s tofu, noodles, or wraps also doesn’t have the label either as an option, but it’s likely due to the fact some of the noodles or wraps contain egg. Still, I did some more investigation to see if was just a Nasoya only issue.
Saffron Road was another area that was easier to investigate since it has a dedicated page for vegetarian and vegan consumers.
In the case of Saffron Road, it’s a pretty fifty-fifty split on all of the products featured on BerryCart, so it continued the trend of crossover likely inhibiting the company from feeling comfortable with listing any of the products with a specific label.
Also when clicking the products, you can look at a generic list of what ingredients are collected. For products with multiple flavor or seasoning varieties, it’s a rather pointless matter as there won’t be carry-over between the different items.
Although it’s not implemented in a way that’s always practical (it’d be annoying to have potentially ten item or more different ingredient lists), it’s still a small consideration added that can be useful if there’s any generic ingredients you need to avoid.
In short, imagine the website’s coupon list to be a nice preview before downloading the application. You’ll get your introduction in the form of what’s being offered at a given time, and you’ll get to look through some of the filters.
However, it’s not too purposeful once you have the actual app since none of the features are particularly strong or impactful without the total package.
If you have any interest or recognize any of the brands here, you’re probably good to just go ahead and download BerryCart. If you’re a tougher sell, however, there’s always the application to look at directly.
So at this stage of the review, we’re going to continue on and actually do that and look at how the application functions.
Move Over Website, Here’s the Application
So, at this stage it’s time to move onto looking how the upfront and mostly helpful website translates into the moneymaking and health-aiding rebate application.
For new users, you’re giving a small slideshow that starts with the words, “Eat Healthy. Get Paid.”
The quick eight-piece slideshow allows you to log-in or a create an account at both the start and end, so there’s a small convenience there for the user in terms of not having to go back to the beginning once they’re ready to begin use.
The actual contents of the slides aren’t exactly the same as the website’s three-step process, but they show actual in-app screenshots to further drive home what the user is in for.
It’s a pretty easy scroll through that takes a few seconds to read, and the user can move on to registration whenever they’re satisfied. Registration is pretty similar to all mobile applications, and it utilizes the Facebook login or enter an email & password combination to get started formula.
Signing In & The First Page
Signing into the application doesn’t take very long at all, but you can expect a few extra seconds if you’re in a location where your phone GPS needs to make some more effort to triangulate your location.
Offers are based around your relative location at the time of launch, so this extra time is necessary for the system to set-up.
After the momentary wait, you’ll be greeting by a nice image showcasing the most immediate things you can do: filter results to a specific store or tap on a product to learn more about it.
Before we go into any immediate filtering or looking into what the product pages look like, it seems most appropriate to begin by examining the overall structure of the application.
Once you’ve made your account, you’re going to always be launched at the all deals page showcasing every single item that’s offered at this time. There’s not usually a ton of products at any given time, so it was probably the wisest design choice for most general use.
Not having to deal with the variety of pop-ups for bonus money-making offers, online store deals, or the like is a welcome change from Ibotta. You know what you’re going to have at any given time.
Additionally, the website and application have always been in sync during my periods of usage, so you won’t have to worry about either misleading you upon launching the application.
From there on out, you can click the three-bar icon in the upper left hand corner of the application, and you’ll be taken to the shorthand menu of what’s available.
All deals remains at the top with redeemed deals, redeem, earnings, invite friends, settings, and help rounding out the pretty minimum style application.
While it seems like a decent amount, most are incredibly short and pointed in their purpose, so you can swipe on through for an idea of everything going on with your account within a minute or two.
So, there’s a very streamlined and quick-loading application so far in the form of how BerryCart’s laid out. However, it’s not all bonus points when it comes down to our start page.
Start Page Filter Fumbles
While the launch page has improved in different ways from when I last used it (they were a lot of stability problems where the application would hang), the filters are rather horrific to this day. If you’re the type to rely on your application to locate the product for you, it’s not a reliable measure.
First off, the product attributes filter has the same unreliability as it does on the website.
As I previously discussed, if you’re a restrictive diet of any kind, whether it’s organic only, gluten-free, vegan, dairy-free, or soy-free then it’s best to double-check all of the product ingredients either in store or on the respective company website.
A lot simply falls through: An easy example is if you select dairy-free, you don’t even have half the vegan options listed at the time of this review (this is despite them being dairy-free since vegans do not consume any animal products).
When you swap to the store filter, you may be a bit annoyed or alarmed at what stores show up on their list.
However it automates the store list hasn’t changed in the slightest from a year ago since I still get my nearby Ingles but not the Wal-Mart located within less than a mile of it; it instead chooses to list a Lowe’s Home Improvement store as the next nearest option (despite it being 18 plus miles away and not carrying any products).
Maybe it’s just some wonkiness in the code that would take too much time to iron out, but the filter features remain pretty useless to me.
Even when I select Ingles, it lists one item that’s not even carried at my store. The Nasoya Tofu, for instance, which has been there for years isn’t listed as an option. Multiple items beyond that are not included, and it’s the same as a year ago.
If you feel so inclined to give feedback and improve the application, there’s no easy method at this time to provide that feedback besides going through the help application (which goes to the website) and filling out the contact us form.
For an uncertain system, I’d have liked to see an option that allowed for more immediate feedback to help out with the application. Ibotta makes it pretty easy to report if an item is not within the store within the application to help with future recommendations, but there’s nothing here of that nature.
This wouldn’t be a big deal if part of BerryCart’s image wasn’t educating about healthier food and making it more easily accessible. It just seems like poor form for the actual assistant filters within the application to be essentially useless after a lengthy period of time.
I’m fine with doing my own research, but this feels like a deliberate lapse simply because BerryCart takes any store receipt (essentially).
I can see where this would be frustrating for multiple users, so I wanted to point this out now before discussing anything about how the actual application works.
The target demographic appears a bit skewered here when it’s trying to welcome in people that might not have otherwise tried it before, and the locators don’t even work. So, it’s not too hard to imagine people walking off from it if they simply see nothing listed in their location (even if it is there).
If you have a bit of patience and don’t mind doing some independent research, I highly recommend you stick with the application. The ease of use starts to return next once you actually go about redeeming your products.
I Found a Product to Rebate
Once you’ve found a product on the master list of deals, it’s as simple as clicking anywhere on the product line to open up a menu.
From there on out, you’re going to have almost all the application options including within each individual product pages (money unlocks, redemption, and added info). The most relevant item here is you’re about to enter the educating and sharing realm by fulfilling the two requirements to receive your full dollar redemption.
The fact/quiz portion requirement of your rebate is pretty obvious, and you’ll glance at a little blurb or answer a question (by trial and error or general knowledge) to receive one half of the rebate amount.
The other half of the rebate comes in the form of a mini rating and review. You’ll select a rating between one to five stars, put a short title, and write a review of your choosing with no word count limit.
Be sure to always complete the rating before redeeming the actual product because you’ll not be able to receive the entire amount of credit without going through customer support.
Once you have the two checkmarks, you’ll be able to click redeem from the same screen without having to go to the main pull down menu.
Additionally before redeeming, you can confirm your purchase has the right barcode for redemption by checking it under the more menu option in the top right (which also leads to more reviews and the ingredient list featured on the website).
If you’re just thinking about purchasing the item, there is a where to buy option; it can be problematic as we discussed earlier with the location system not necessarily being up to date.
Before closing here, I want to acknowledge that adding a rating can be a bit annoying; it never requires more than a sentence review.
However, as added incentive BerryCart allows the user to participate in a weekly review contest on one or two select items up for rebate. If your review is the most helpful as voted by the user base, you’ll receive a free product.
As BerryCart puts it: “If the Most Helpful Review was yours, then you will be notified via email and a rebate in an amount approximately equivalent to a free product will be enabled for you within the BerryCart app. This rebate can be redeemed the same way as all other rebates in BerryCart.” It’s just a nice bit of added incentive for anyone that likes to write reviews and for those that otherwise wouldn’t be bothered to put any effort in. Regardless, you don’t have to feel pressured and can use it in a very low-key manner.
Overall, it’s a pretty quick process, and you can easily meet the requirements. I tend to grab one or two products from the app at a time, so the redemption process doesn’t take too long.
With all of this said, before closing out I want to touch a bit on the personal savings and how it relates to the application.
Shaking out the Savings
So, in personally using BerryCart, it’s been an okay supplement for extra healthy purchases.
The cash out requirement for the app is only $5.00 unlike the usual $20.00 requirement, so you don’t have to buy a lot. Additionally, the offers usually range between a one-shot of $0.50 cents to $2.00 to further hasten what little time it takes to cash out.
If you add friends, and they redeem a product then you’ll also get $2.00 per code signed up with. It’s just the standard sharing affair, but BerryCart at least has all the social media options enabled within the application if you want to shoot into the dark.
With the added bonus that most of the products stay on the application for a longer period of time, you can dodge the Ibotta issue where you can miss out on certain offers simply because it didn’t fit your grocery plan at a given time. The flexibility of how and when you can save is truly the greatest offering.
A Trial Appeal & Closing
Like I mentioned earlier, there’s not a lot of product but you can easily add a few healthy foods to your grocery cart and pay for a few over time by being vigilant.
With the weekly review pool, you even have the opportunity to get some snacks or meals free. For such a tiny app, it’s a really worthwhile short-term investment as long as you’re open to experimenting with different healthier foods.
I suggest taking a moment to go along with BerryCart’s shopping program. Just let them help you eat healthier, and you might just discover a new food to enjoy.