Client: Self-initiated Hackathon project
Timeline: July 2019 (2 days)
Role/Field: Strategy, UX Research, Wireframes & HiFi Prototype
Live link:

The #PersonalizedNutrition hackathon organized by NUTRITION HUB at the EDEKA Food Tech Campus in Berlin brought together 60 nutritionists, designers and business people to ideate on and try out new solutions towards personalised nutrition. Our winning idea BEVUST transforms retailer-held shopping data into personalised product recommendations to guide grocery shoppers towards better nutrition. Our team consisted of two people - my teammate Kristin, a nutritionist, ensured the validity of our content and food recommendations and led interviews with shoppers; I took the roles of designing the mockup & ideating on the business model.

The problem

At the beginning of the hackathon, we brainstormed to identify the biggest opportunities in personalised nutrition. We came to the conclusion that grocery retailers must have a large quantity of shopper data available, yet the currently used loyalty programs are mere discount cards while great loyalty programs use analytics and insights to enhance customer experiences and purchase journeys.

On the shopper side, a variety of calorie counting apps and apps for diabetics exist, showing a clear need by the shopper to conveniently track and optimise their consumption behaviour. These solutions work on a per-item rate: each item is analysed individually to judge whether or not a product is healthy. But what about the shopper’s overall consumption pattern? Which products should she avoid in future and which new products that align to her goals could the service recommend to her?

We formulated the following two questions to solve in the course of the next 48 hours:
  1. How can we make best use of retailer-held shopper information?
  1. How can we improve the user experience of tracking food consumption?


Our short-term goal was to convince the audience and win the hackathon, which for us meant to deliver a pitch deck and a click-dummy prototype within 48 hours.

It was imperative for us to create a solution that is in the interest of retailers and not against. From my experience in the FMCG industry and as a startup founder, I knew that this multiplier effect of aligning interests of all stakeholders would be essential to convince investors down the road and simplify the go-to-market strategy.

Our proposed solution for our challenges is a data-driven loyalty program to help grocery shoppers eat better. We simplify the food tracking experience by adding purchased articles on an aggregated level, rather than scanning items individually. We then help shoppers to find the products that align best to their lifestyle, based on previous purchases and personal consumption goals.


I wanted to better understand our two most important stakeholders: retailers and shoppers. Due to the limited time we had, I limited my research to an industry search on the internet, as well as apps smart nutrition apps and grocery retailer apps available in the German iOS app store.

Market opportunity shopper loyalty: 
  • Shopper loyalty is one of the largest problems of retailers because acquiring a new customer is anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one
  • Bain & Co. calculated that an increase of only 5% in shopper retention increases profits by 25% to 95%

True loyalty is about satisfying needs, not about more rewards:
  • A study claims that true shopper loyalty is a myth and grocery shoppers treat stores like a polygamous relationship, with 90% of shoppers in US visiting four or more chain stores over the course of a year
  • An international study on loyalty programs confirms this finding: despite their popularity with retailers, just 5% of customers said they would switch stores if their favourite grocer ended their loyalty program
  • Statista suggests that shoppers in UK have been conditioned to expect coupons and discounts, and do not see them by any means as a differentiator (40% say that discounting is losing its impact as more and more retailers are having sales all year round)
  • The Food Marketing Institute found in a report on shopper loyalty that “consumers don’t believe loyalty is just a card, program or initiative, but rather the effort to satisfy their needs better than the competition. If retailers can satisfy those needs, shoppers will consistently allocate more of their food budget and time to the retailer.”
  • UK-based market research agency Harris Interactive found that rewards-driven loyalty programs struggle to attract shoppers from higher socio-economic groups, younger age groups, and men. Their influence over store choice is secondary to range, quality, service and convenience

Shoppers demand accessible food transparency
  • Statista states that half of Germans look for health value, for packaging material, regionality, or nutrition content when purchasing food

Smart Nutrition Apps
The popular feature of smart nutrition is to register intolerances and preferences and let the user know how well a product fits to her or his lifestyle. MyFitnessPal allows to track daily calories and integrates with restaurants; Vivino helps the user deciding which wine to buy through ratings. SpoonGuru offers tailored product recommendations, and Yuka analyses food products according to their nutritional quality, presence of additives and biological dimension; unfortunately, both were not available in the German iOS AppStore. 

We couldn’t find any smart nutrition app in the German market that integrates with retailers (e.g. scanning a receipt or loyalty card).

The most popular features of retailer apps are: redeeming generic or exclusive coupons, finding the closest store, reading recipes and creating shopping lists. Aldi was the only retailer to offer a scanning feature and Edeka was the only one to offer a digital receipt. Only few retailers offer their own loyalty card, with most belonging two either one of the two largest German discount cards Payback and DeutschlandCard