Exploring the transition to a plant-based diet
MA Service Design (Royal College of Art),
Client: Telefónica Alpha
Service Design Public Health
Exploring the future visions on health and happiness with Alpha.
This project was conducted in the context of a cross-platform research project of the Royal College of Art with Telefonica Alpha to explore future service visions on health and happiness. Alfa believes, that individuals should be supported to achieve greater health, such that they achieve the goals that are important to them and consequently reduce their likelihood of ill health and the burden that this places on healthcare systems.
The Desk Research
say being plant-based is cooler than smoking.
are attracted to the idea of having a vegetarian partner.
Our research focused on individual Gen Z living in London or any other big city. Importantly, gen Z is the major representative of increasing vegan trend. They are driven largely by concerns about animal welfare, environment and health. 76% of gen Z worry about protecting the environment, 54% of vegan gen Z become vegan because the animal welfare and environment reasons.
have tried going vegan in the past year.
more likely to go vegan than their parents.
FOOD AND BEVERAGE INDUSTRY IS CHANGING THE GAME
As the consequence, there will be a huge change in veganism market since gen Z is 40% of all future customers. The plant-based protein market is estimated to value up to 16.3 billions dollars US worldwide by 2020 , therefore the food industries are now changing the game to target on these vegan beginners. These are for example McDonald, Tesco, and for example M&S is inventing a various types of vegan products on its own.
TREND: GEN Z GO VEGAN
Veganism is on the ride, especially for gen Z. According to the data compiled by Google search claimed that vegan is the fastest growing culinary trend since 2012. Veganism has grown 360% in the past ten years. The sale of meat-free product increased by 20%. Surprisingly, 44% of gen Z think that being vegan is cooler than smoking, and 25 % of them try being vegan in the past year.
THE RISK WHEN VEGANISM BECOMES MAINSTREAM
Due to the sales from the leading supermarket, there is a high demand of unhealthy vegan products. The vegan ready meal & snack at Tesco increased by 40%. Sainsbury sales of vegan cheese surpassed the company prediction by 300%. The fake meat grew by 451%. This is an evidence to confirm that these trend will create a problem for the vegan beginners such as gen Z.
On one hand the appropriate planned vegan diet can reduce the risk of heart disease by 25 % up to 19% less likely to die from heart disease 12% fewer death from diabetes and kidney failure when compared to normal people and people who eat unhealthy vegan diet. On the other hand, If you are unplanned vegan you are at risk.
The unbalanced vegan diet can cause nutritional deficiencies and slowly develop the chronic diseases. The unhealthy vegan products (like high processed food which contain a lot of sugar, sodium and fat) cause obesity, diabetes type 2, high cholesterol and hypertension which are the major causes of heart disease. The American College of Cardiology claim, that an unhealthy plant based diet will increase the risk of heart disease by 32 %.
The Customer Research
What experience young people on the transition a new diet?
In order to explore what people experience on the transition to a new diet, I was conducting interviews with two groups of people: 'habitual' eat meateaters and vegans. Together with the team, we interviewed 10 representatives of the generation Z, mostly students living in London.
We have got better picture of what is happening on the transition. On the pictures below you can see the user journey which shows the main paint points what people experience nowadays. When we compare these data with the market trends above, we can easily predict the future pain point, which will be kind of loosing orientation within products. Also the barriers to become vegan will be much lower in the future and it will consequence less knowledge about nutrition. But, that means higher risk of irresponsible eating of products which contain too much sugar, fat and sodium which leads to some major chronic disease in the long-term.
“I have become vegan because of the environmental, ethical, and health reasons.”
“I don’t see any risk of my current diet. I am not fat. Once I will see some, I will start to think about a change of my diet.”
“Vegan products are expensive and it takes too much time, you have to cook at home.””
The Conclusion and Problem Statement
In 2024, many young people will tend to take veganism for fashion. The barriers to adopt this lifestyle will be lower than in 2019 such as the price and availability of vegan products and services. The demand for unhealthy vegan products is increasing. Young Gen Zs will be in much higher risk to develop some of chronic diseases.
How might we maximize the use of AI to empower city-living Gen Zs to seamlessly transit to healthy flexitarian, vegetarian or vegan diet that are customised and balanced in 2024?
We were prototyping an image recognition mobile app for the real-time use which will help to find the high quality plant-based products, and restaurants. We measured the quality by its impact on health and environment. Furthermore, the app aims to support peer-to-peer missions with the purpose to burn out calories and learn about nutrition together. By following the rules properly, individuals are rewarded by coins, which might be then spent in an Eatopian Market. The market is a great opportunity to make a real impact in the world, because the coins can be used to support a not-for-profit projects which makes the world better.
The Key Features
How the app might solve the customer needs
The Pitch to Client
We were given an opportunity to talk about Eatopia in Telefonika´s tower in Spain. Our service idea was chosen from other 23 projects to be presented in Barcelona.