The Challenge

The boom in online ordering and delivery is making it even easier and more convenient for families to consume unhealthy takeaway food. The UK takeaway market alone has grown by 34% in the last 5 years and ‘everyday takeaway’ has become the new normal with many families ordering 3+ times a week. However, the nutritional profiles of takeaways continue to reflect their traditional use – as an occasional treat. The average takeaway meal contains 68% of the recommended daily calorie intake, so this new trend of ‘everyday’ consumption can lead to negative health effects.

Our response

We created a series of affordable, takeaway brands serving up proper meals that are delicious, loved by kids and better for you. Box Chicken was a takeaway delivery service offering cluckin’ good chicken and Mama Leys served up cold pre-cooked homemade meals perfect for families.

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

So far…

  • 8+ 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



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.

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

Tori Flower and Tayo Medupin


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.



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