Behavioral Change and AI for F&B

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.

We were designing a future service for Gen Zs on improving eating habits in the next five years. 

In the context of the Double-Diamond model, the project is currently situated in the middle of the first half of the second diamond.

1. RESEARCH: WHAT PEOPLE EXPERIENCE

ON THE TRANSITION TO 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.

 

I applied the findings on several health and change behavioural models such as the Health Belief Model, and the Transtheoretical Model (also known as the Model of Change). 

In general, we have explored, that many young people take veganism more as a fashion, they have to learn a lot about the diet because in the last years there were not many vegan products on the market, so there was need to study a lot about cooking and nutrition. 

“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.””

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.

1.2 DESK RESEARCH

 

44% of Gen Zs think that being vegan is cooler than smoking. Veganism is the fastest culinary trend since 2012. As a consequence, there will be a huge change in vegan market and Gen Zs are 40% of all future customers. In the 2025 the plant-based protein market will value up to 16.3 billions $ worldwide.

 

Due to the sales from the leading supermarkets, 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%.Research shows, that vegan diet can reduce the risk of some chronic diseases. On the other hand, the unbalanced vegan diet can cause nutritional deficiencies and slowly develop some of the chronic diseases.

2. DEFINE: RESEARCH ANALYSIS AND THE 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? 

3. EXPLORE: PROTOTYPES

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.

Primary actors of the platform are individual Gen Z living in London or any other big city. Eatopia aims to solve the key problems they might face on the journey to plant-based-diet.

 

Secondary platforms´ actors include food and beverage wholesalers and retailers. They will have a chance to promote their products and services through our platform. Our platform has the potential to learn from users´ behaviour, which is useful for designing the future customer-oriented bids. Furthermore, being part of our network will be sign of trust in the eyes of our end-users.  

 

There is another segment  - government and NGOs, which might have an interest of keeping health of vegans. Unbalanced vegan diet can cause nutritional deficiencies, or increases chance to have some of heart diseases by 32%. We want to cooperate with local schools and healthcare departments to engage young people interested in vegan lifestyle. Our platform will promote healthy eating habits and prevent chronic diseases.  

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. Great opportunity to get feedback from them!