NEWS Healthy UCoins

Dieter De Waegeneer and Erik Saelens, and the story behind the Healthy UCoins project®

Dieter De Waegeneer, EVP Operations at Delhaize and Erik Saelens from Unbox put their heads together and very soon they came up with the Healthy UCoins project®. They will tell us how the project came about.

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How did the idea of the Healthy UCoins project® arise?

Dieter:"At the end of last year, Erik and I had a little get-together. Exchanging stories between drinks, I told him about a number of initiatives we had recently launched at Delhaize to help our customers adopt a healthier and more balanced lifestyle. For instance, we talked about the Nutri-score, and the fact that you can now discover the Nutri-Score of a product by using the Delhaize app."

Erik:"Very soon I noticed that there was a good match between Delhaize and Unbox. Unbox's mission is to adapt work to the changing society: working longer, sustainable mobility, digitization and automation, lifelong learning... We want to encourage people to get more out of their lives and we believe that a consistent and positive approach works best. We encourage behavioral change through UCoins, the "currency" at Unbox."

Dieter:"It is difficult to have a more balanced diet. Eating habits are often difficult to change. However, a positive stimulus can help. We quickly made a link with UCoins and the idea of the Healthy UCoins was born."

Erik:"I checked the idea with the Executive Committee of Unbox, as did Dieter with Xavier (CEO Delhaize), and by the end of the year the matter had been concluded."

Why Delhaize?

Dieter:"At Delhaize, we believe that living better starts with eating better. This is our motto and it is the core of our strategy. We are convinced that we have to keep playing an active role in promoting a balanced diet, and not only for our customers. More than ever people pay attention to nutrition and exercise. So, as an employer, it is also important to work on this. With the Healthy UCoins, we want to give them an extra push."

Why now?

Erik:"We are both overweight, and we understand the importance of a balanced diet and sufficient exercise. Figures* show that overweight and obesity cost society vast sums of money, not only for medical care, but also when it comes to reduced productivity or even inability to work. It is therefore in our interest to tackle overweight and obesity. It might be a challenge, but it is not impossible. By launching the Healthy UCoins project® we want to make a balanced diet more accessible by significantly increasing the purchasing power of our customers. We certainly do not want to point the finger. On the contrary, if you deliberately choose a balanced diet, you will be rewarded."

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