All children deserve the right to be healthy, no matter where they grow up. This includes access to enough, nutritious food. But many urban areas with a high proportion of families living on a lower average income are flooded with unhealthy food options. Healthy food is nearly three times more expensive than unhealthy food and, as low-income households spend a larger proportion than average of their income on food, they are more affected by any increases in food prices.Without action to ensure healthier options are available and affordable, people – particularly those living on a low income – will be pushed towards the unhealthy food and drink that floods cities like London and contributes to health inequalities.
We created a series of affordable, ‘better everyday takeaway’ brands serving up proper meals that were delicious, loved by kids and better for you. After quickly adapting our operations to respond to the Covid crisis in early 2020, we forged links with community-embedded networks for distribution and decided to pivot to make ready meals that families could access in different, convenient locations.
Shift have got under the skin of the challenge in terms of understanding the nutrition of takeaways meals, the role this food plays in people’s lives, the nature of the businesses involved and how their owners relate to them. They are crystal clear on what we can (and can’t) hope to influence and what we have to work with in order to effect change.
Adrian Phillips, Director of Public Health, Birmingham City Council
- 10+ years making fast food healthier
- Ethnographic research with 44 families to understand the role takeaway plays in their lives
- Co-design and development with parents, food industry experts and brand creatives
- Online tests reaching 129,066 parents to validate the proposition
- 11 week full service ‘Family Feeds’ prototype in Erdington to test market demand
- Rebooted, rebranded pilot launched in South London in late 2019
- Covid response with meals distributed through local community networks
- More than 20,000 tasty, healthier meals provided
- Reporting on three years work in South London
Making a Meal
April 21, 2023
Learning and reflections from three years making affordable good food for families.
Hot, prepared revolution: A summary of two years work looking at takeaways
December 17, 2018
Shift has developed the UK’s most detailed understanding of takeaway food, families’ relationship with it, the role hot, prepared food plays in their food behaviours, the economics of outlets and the motivations of their owners. Possible avenues for positive change have been tested and the way forward is clear.
Healthy Fast Food: Evaluating a new approach to improving the food environment
November 10, 2015
Box Chicken: Providing some healthy competition to fast food outlets
December 1, 2013
Chicken Shops: Fuelling London’s Youth
October 2, 2013
Infographic on the prevalence and effect of fast food outlets
Tori Flower and Kate Ferrier
Chicken Shops and Poor Diets
October 1, 2013
Summary of research findings including behavioural observation, survey of young people, local environment mapping, ethnography, chicken shop business profiling
Making a Meal: 3 years making affordable good food for families
Making a Meal is a report charting three years of Shift’s work to increase families’ access to affordable good food …
Our takeaway: What we’ve learnt running a healthier local food business
In late 2019, with support from Impact on Urban Health (then Guy’s and St Thomas’ Charity), we launched Medleys, an …
Final year design students set brief for brand strategy for our food venture
BA (Hons) Graphic Branding and Identity students at London College of Communications pitched ideas for our Better Everyday Takeaway venture.
VIDEO: Shift’s Development Director on families and food behaviours at #ShopWellEatWell
Chris Holmes, MD of Shift’s Healthy Food Programme, speaking on BBC News
Chris discusses the rise of fast food takeaway shops their effect on obesity.
Building a social enterprise to tackle childhood obesity Part 2: Validating the concept
Kids are becoming obese at earlier ages and staying obese for longer. We’re taking a design thinking approach to building …
Building a social enterprise to tackle childhood obesity: part 1
Kids are getting fatter. Generations are becoming obese at earlier ages and staying obese for longer. This is a …
Families and Food: how can we help families swim against the current?
Blog from our Food Director Chris Holmes & Sarah Hickey from Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Charity exploring how food environments can help or hinder people to live well.
Giving evidence to the Health and Social Care Select Committee
Our Food Director gives evidence on the role of takeaways in childhood obesity to the Health & Social Care Select Committee.
Shift’s healthier fast food adventure
The story so far… Shift has been working to increase healthier food habits over the last six years. Here we …
Stealthy Healthy Changes: Designing tweaks to fast food outlets to improve health and maintain profits
It’s a bit of a special week this week for the food team as our first intervention tests have gone …
Street Food for social change: why gourmet hipsters are just part of the story
If you walk a few hundred metres west from Old Street roundabout, the new hub of London’s tech start up …
Box Chicken Launch
Hadrian Garrard from Create London and Nick Stanhope discuss the need for practical interventions to tackle poor diets at the launch of Box Chicken, a pilot of a healthy fast food outlet.
Our obsession with chicken shops
Earlier this year, I wrote about our early obesity research, through which we started looking at the way that the …
Overweight by default
We’ve spent a good chunk of the last year looking at how our approach to behaviour change can play a …
The takeaway that wants to be healthy by stealth
Observer Food Monthly, March 2020
Innovative takeaway opens in Erdington
Birmingham Press, July 2018
There’s a new takeaway selling cottage pie and mac ‘n’ cheese in Erdington
Birmingham Mail, July 2018