With obesity levels and the risk of developing chronic diseases on the rise, Canadians will likely welcome any tool that makes maintaining a healthy lifestyle, for both themselves and their families, easier. Show me the carrot! With the belief that one of the best ways to reduce our nation’s healthcare costs is to encourage Canadians to be healthier, the Government of Canada is partnering with the Government of British Columbia, Social Change Rewards, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Diabetes Association and YMCA Canada to create the National Healthy Living Platform: Carrot Rewards app. The program will be launched first in British Columbia in fall 2015, with plans to expand to other provinces and territories in the future. The Carrot Rewards app, developed by Social Change Rewards, will use incentives to reward Canadians for making healthy lifestyle decisions. Canadians will be able to receive their choice of loyalty points for engaging in specific health promotion activities that target the common risk factors associated with maintaining healthy weights and combating chronic diseases. Each time participants complete an activity they will receive points and will be further rewarded for completing follow-up assessments on an annual basis or other ongoing activities. The app also lets participants know when there is a new opportunity to earn points and then allows them to choose the offers that are of greatest interest. “Using leading-edge technology to encourage Canadians to make healthier lifestyle choices is an excellent opportunity for the Government of Canada to work with provincial governments, Canadian businesses and social entrepreneurs to prevent chronic diseases. We are proud to be partnering with the Government of British Columbia and Social Change Rewards to launch the National Healthy Living Platform: Carrot Rewards.” - The Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health Health/rewards combo is right up Canadian consumer’s alley From a consumer standpoint, the Carrot Rewards app should resonate with Canadians as most are consumed with maintaining a healthy lifestyle and/or saving money via bargains or deals. For example, almost two-thirds of Canadians participate in some form of exercise regularly and 57% of Canadians agree that eating a balanced diet is an important factor for maintaining a healthy lifestyle, according to Mintel’s Healthy Lifestyles Canada 2014 report. Additionally, Mintel research indicates that two-thirds of Canadians who engage in regular exercise do so to improve their overall health, while 41% do so to prevent health issues later in life. 41% of Canadian consumers who engage in regular exercise do so to prevent health issues later in life In 2015, Canadians cited eating better as part of their health goals for the year, including 59% who plan to eat more fruits/vegetables. One issue facing Canadians is a lack of awareness on how to accomplish their health goals. Almost a third of grocery shoppers find it hard to determine if a product is healthy or not (particularly among parents with children under-5). The quest for information is also prevalent when Canadians go out to eat, as evidenced by Mintel research that indicates nearly half of restaurant patrons would like to see calorie counts included on menus. Canadians’ penchant for understanding how to better maintain their health in terms of both food and fitness is clearly demonstrated in their use and/or interest in mobile/tablets apps that aid in this regard. Some 40% of consumers already use or are interested in using apps with healthy recipes and advice, while others are keen on online/mobile tools that stores daily calorie intake or tracks activity levels. Mintel data shows that the use of technology also extents to Canadians interest in getting a deal, with half of all Canadians interested in using their smartphone to redeem promotions and/or coupons. All this together suggests that any app or online tool that “gamifies” savings or deals while incorporating learning and knowledge on health and fitness betterment can be wildly successful. This is especially true given the fact that many Canadians site a lack of motivation as a main barrier to being healthier, and a reward system like the one provided by Carrot Rewards should encourage action. Fits the trend The goals set out by the Carrot Rewards app are in line with the Mintel Trend Help Me Help Myself, which discusses how consumers are welcoming of new ways to nudge themselves toward better habits. As consumers and society increasingly turn to behavioural modification, brands can get in on the action by developing the ‘nudges’ they need to stay on track. Establishing a reward system can be more effective than relying on sheer willpower or depending on others. Jason Praw is Research Manager Canada for Mintel. He has worked in market research and retail consulting for over 10 years and is currently responsible for researching and writing reports on the Canadian lifestyle industry. You might also be interested in: No related posts.