Discovery Vitality members can now save up to 25% on healthy foods at Pick n Pay

18 September 2008 Discovery

Consumers can buy products that meet nutritional criteria based on internationally-accepted and clinically sound dietary advice

Pictured right : Adrian Gore (Discovery) and Nick Badminton(Pick and Pay)

Discovery Vitality members can save up to 25% on healthy foods when they shop at Pick n Pay from 2009.

Foods such as fresh fruit and vegetables, fish, foods low in ‘bad’ fat or with the ‘right’ fat content levels, foods low in salt and high in unrefined carbohydrates (low GI, high fibre foods) will be cheaper for Vitality members.

Discovery Vitality today announced its bold HealthyFood™ initiative, which aims to remove price as a barrier to healthy eating, educate consumers about healthy nutrition and create powerful incentives to encourage them to embrace healthier diets.

It comes amid a global epidemic of lifestyle diseases and burgeoning rates of obesity, diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain types of cancer among South Africans.

According to the World Health Organisation, over 60% of deaths worldwide can be attributed to these chronic lifestyle conditions. In South Africa, 20% of males and 26% of females are overweight, while 9% of males and 30% of females are obese. High blood pressure, stroke and diabetes are among the top 10 causes of death in our country.

Mounting scientific evidence points to a diet high in energy dense foods, saturated fats and low levels of unrefined carbohydrates, coupled with our increasingly sedentary lifestyles, as one of the leading causes of the problem.

Adrian Gore (pictured), Discovery’s CEO says the situation can and must be addressed – the solution is for South Africans to change their eating and exercise patterns.
“We want to make healthy eating more accessible and affordable for our clients. So we approached Pick n Pay, as South Africa’s leading retailer, to partner with us in making this a reality.”

Discovery Vitality is a science-based wellness programme designed to create behavioural change through a combination of knowledge, tools, preventive screening and incentives. More than 1.3 million members in South Africa currently enjoy its benefits. Vitality has been successful in incentivising healthy behaviour among its members and reducing healthcare costs, as shown in recent studies by researchers from Wits University, the University of Cape Town and Harvard Medical School.

Gore said: “With all the hype around healthy eating, label reading and conflicting information, we believe consumers are often left confused and unable to make an informed choice when buying food products in a supermarket. With this initiative, we aim to simplify the process and educate consumers.”

Nick Badminton, CEO of Pick n Pay, agreed: “Pick n Pay has a proud history of delivering low prices to South African consumers. The Vitality HealthyFood benefit not only gives us the opportunity to partner Discovery in this unprecedented offer on healthy foods but enables us to jointly improve the health of all South Africans.”

“By developing the technology backbone required to deliver a benefit of this nature and supporting the identification of Vitality’s healthy foods, we hope to contribute to consumer awareness and better health.”

The partnership, says Gore, will help consumers make well-informed, credible, easy nutritional choices. The Discovery Vitality Nutrition Panel, chaired by Tim Noakes – Discovery Professor of Exercise and Sports Science at the University of Cape Town – has overseen the compilation of an extensive ‘shopping list’ of everyday healthy foods available at Pick n Pay. These foods, selected in line with World Health Organisation healthy nutrition guidelines, will all carry the Discovery Vitality HealthyFood™ mark in store – making it easy for consumers to identify healthy options in store.

The panel includes leading nutrition consultants Anne Till and Jane Badham, along with respected academics Professor Vicky Lambert (Sports Science Institute of South Africa), Dr Nelia Steyn (Medical Research Council), Professor Christine Venter (University of the North West) and Gerda Gericke (University of Pretoria), and Rene Smallberger of the Association of Dieticians in South Africa and Professor Barry Popkin of the University of North Carolina.

Discovery Vitality members will save up to 25% on all HealthyFood purchased at Pick n Pay from February next year.

Vitality members will receive a HealthyFood™ card, which they will present at the check-out to qualify for the savings. They will receive savings of 15% on the price of the HealthyFoods – increased to 25% if they have “activated” the full HealthyFood™ benefit by completing an online Vitality Health Review, which is aimed at educating Vitality members on their key health risks.

Members will also earn 10 Vitality points for every HealthyFood™ product they purchase, up to a maximum of 500 points per month. DiscoveryCard holders have the added benefit of up to 10% cash back (on all purchases made at Pick n Pay) at the end of the month equating to even greater savings.

Vitality and Pick n Pay will also work together to roll out healthy food shopping tours, healthy food shopping lists, cooking demonstrations and other initiatives to help educate South African consumers with regards to nutrition.

“While healthy eating should be its own reward, resulting as it does in a healthier body and mind, the extent of the worldwide obesity problem indicates that the ‘Supersize generation’ needs added encouragement.”

“With this initiative we hope to make healthy eating accessible, simple and rewarding for Vitality members and South African consumers in general, with a lasting, positive impact on their health,” Gore said.

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