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FoodCoach Pre-Study: Financial Rewards for Healthy Purchase Interventions

FoodCoach: A Reward-Based Approach Leveraging Digital Receipts for Healthier Purchases


Consumer behavior is a key determinant for chronic disease risk. Today, one in four adults are insufficiently physically active and obesity rates have climbed to record levels. Unhealthy food choices are a major cause for obesity. Both, obesity and physical inactivity increase the risk of cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, dementia, and depression.

Mobile health (mHealth) technologies are promising in addressing the rise in risky lifestyle behaviors, as they can be leveraged in large population samples without high human resource or monetary requirements. However, there is great need for novel solutions as existing applications are perceived burdensome and time-intensive by many users.

A large-scale study by Sturm et al. (2013) conducted in South Africa, shows that consumer behavior can be positively influenced by incentives. In their program participants received a fixed 10% or 25% discount on healthy food items based on certain criteria. The ratio of spending on healthy food to total spending was increased by 6.0% or 9.3% respectively, depending on the discount, and the ratio of spending on less suitable food was reduced by 5.6% or 7.2%. These are very promising results of an application promoting a healthier lifestyle.


The FoodCoach project plans to explore new ways in how to change consumer behavior towards a healthy lifestyle. It is the further development of the FutureMe application and adopts its approach to data representation by an avatar and its automated mechanism for processing consumer receipts from Coop and Migros.

FoodCoach proposes a novel discount system by which users are rewarded – but also punished – for their food choices and step activity. In doing so, it is being tested if health behavior can be changed for the better even more compared to fixed benefits.

Further, FoodCoach aims to compare study results by Sturm et al. with its similar incentive-based approach in the Swiss market to hopefully also gain better knowledge about the health behavior of the local population.

Participate now

To participate you must have a Supercard (Coop) and/ or Cumulus (Migros) membership. The study is in GERMAN only.

The study explores how to use digital solutions to promote a healthy lifestyle. For this purpose, you can use the app called FoodCoach for 6 weeks at your convenience. You can earn up to 20.- CHF! Find out more about it in the app directly!

Download the app here:



If you need help with the registration process or have other questions do not hesitate to contact us via

PS: Feel free to share with interested people.

Working Group
  • Corsin Gutkowski (Master thesis student)
  • Dr. Klaus Fuchs
  • Jing Wu
  • Simon Mayer

Feb 2021 – Juli 2021


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