Written by on . Pegasus.

Eating By Numbers

We’re in the digital age, when everyone has access to dozens of metrics on what we’ve eaten, what we’ve taken and even our sleeping habits, writes Stuart Hehir, Creative Director.

This data will become more important with each technological innovation, guiding the decisions we make about our health and allowing us to track the impact of our choices.

Two areas to watch will be greater sophistication around what we track – such as vitamin levels – and how we blend multiple data sets to give us a more comprehensive picture.

Apple’s Health app is a good example of this, in that it gathers multiple sources of data to a centralised dashboard. But this data only has value if it has meaning in the context of our everyday lives.

The same aspiration is shared by those who communicate health messages, as we strive to find better ways to creatively articulate information.

Pegasus worked with supermarket chain Morrisons to track data for an in-store pilot project. We explored low-cost, low-tech, sustainable ways to motivate shoppers to make healthier choices as they browsed the aisles.

In collaboration with the National Obesity Forum, we created a series of behavioural interventions – including life-size cut-outs of doctors – to guide shoppers to the fruit and veg sections. We tracked data for our ‘intervention store’ against a ‘control store’ and the results were astonishing; fruit sales rose by 20 per cent and smoked fish by 10 per cent.

Smart technology in the home and wider world will offer greater possibilities to track our health behaviour. For example, data from our smart fridge combined with a wearable tracker and in-car data might conclude that we buy healthier options when we walk to the shops in the morning rather than driving in the evening. Throw in the data from a smart thermostat, and we may find eating habits change with the temperature in our homes.

From the planning phase (when data can be used to better understand people’s motivations) through to campaigns that collect new data to play back to individuals and communities – these insights can only lead to better outcomes for audiences.

is Creative Director at Pegasus and leads our digital, social & creative services.