MyFoodways [AFFILIATED]: A smartphone app that helps young adults enjoy healthy and sustainable meals
Public awareness of the importance of sustainable and healthy nutrition is on the rise. But translating this willingness into simple every day actions isn't always easy. There is no shortage of knowledge available, but it is dispersed and sometimes inaccessible. Individuals also need the skills and confidence to put their knowledge into practice. Supported by Engagement Migros development fund (https://www.engagement-migros.ch/en/pioneers/myfoodways) and the Swiss Federal Office for Agriculture, Foodways is developing MyFoodways (https://myfoodways.com/): a smartphone app that offers its users simple, healthy, sustainable and flexible recipes. Firstly, the app asks users about their individual dietary preferences and values and then suggests suitable recipes that support a shift towards more sustainable eating patterns. Secondly, users can either search for recipes that use the products they have at home or, using our flexible recipes to adapt their favourite meals to the items they have to hand. MyFoodways provides a framework to support young people in developing their confidence in relation to managing and preparing the food they buy, enabling them to enjoy more variety, eat in line with their values and waste less.Completed activities: - Design Thinking exercise completed to identify the target group's needs - Collaboration with a steering group of stakeholders to creation of a framework to define "Good Food" and "Food skills" to inform app content development - Creation of a MVP and beta testing - Launch of the first iOS version of the app in German in June 2018 (Switzerland) - Launch of the app on iOS and Android in German, French and English in October 2018 (Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France, UK) - First impact evaluation completed Planned activities: - Optimisation of the existing app to maximise user retention and impact - Continued development of the app's content (e.g. recipes, product tips) - Development of partnerships to increase the app's reach and impact This project makes a contribution to the attainment of Sustainable Development Goal 12 by giving individuals the practical information they need to select, prepare and reuse food in a more sustainable way. So far, our users have cooked over 5000 Good Food recipes and 60% have fed back that the tool supports them to eat in line with their values. An evaluation of the impact of the app, conducted by the FHNW, one of Switzerland’s leading universities of applied sciences, found that active users showed a growing interest in sustainability related values (e.g. eating seasonally) and increasingly selected meals that reflected their values. The longer and more frequently users used the app, the larger this effect became. Interviews with users revealed that just entering their dietary style and values helped users to reflect on how they would like to eat, without feeling judged. The inclusion of a range of recipes (e.g. including recipes with a small portion of meat) helped users feel that the app was suitable for them and could offer them suggestions that would fit with both their value-based (e.g. lifestyle) and practical considerations (e.g. the products they tend to buy and have at home.) A further impact evaluation will follow in summer 2019. We would love to hear from partners who might be interested in working with us to disseminate MyFoodways in their country and/or incorporate our app as a complementary digital offer, alongside their own products or services.