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British Nutrition Foundation

The BNF was tasked with the challenge of promoting healthy eating by encouraging consumers to think about portion sizes as well as food types. A suite of impactful design materials was required to complement the Government’s Eatwell Guide, educating consumers about nutritional groups, and recommending the amounts of each type of food that they should be eating as part of a balanced diet.

The challenge

Market research feedback from consumers indicated that portion size was a challenging subject because they assumed portions would be different for everyone and might be tricky to measure. Many respondents were resistant to advice and it was clear that the campaign needed to challenge established habits.

Taking on board the feedback, we presented several alternative creative routes and tested them through further qualitative research to explore what worked best in terms of visual, language and format. The research told us that consumers are wary of limiting portion size as it might mean not getting enough to eat, lacking the energy they need to exercise, or missing out on valuable nutrients. The design challenge was to persuade consumers that portion control can be both desirable and easy to achieve.

The agencypds design team presented a range of options including images based on spoons and plates, and an origami bowl that could be cut out and used as a measuring device. When tested in research, a concept based on a human hand graphic to gauge portion sizes was judged to have the most impact.

The hand graphic makes use of silhouettes showing how food types can be measured using a fist, palm, thumb or finger. Consumers could easily relate to this concept and it satisfied their concern that portion sizes are different for everyone.

The concept made use of colour coding to differentiate between food groups, to reduce perceived complexity in the information design and to instil a sense of fun. The hand graphic concept was rolled out to create a handy fridge guide and was also developed into more detailed materials, presented as eight page and 16-page booklets, that could be downloaded from the British Nutrition Foundation website.

We were proud to see our design featured in the media by the The GuardianBBC , Sky News, The Independent, and Evening Standard as part of the campaign to get the message out.

the results

“We challenged the Agencypds design team with a project to help consumers understand healthy food and drink portion sizes. We had built an extensive database of resources based on perceptions of portion sizes, and the relationship between healthy eating and portion size across the range of food groups. We were looking for a design concept that could translate these resources into information that consumers could easily understand and use as a tool to help them choose appropriate portion sizes.

The design team observed some consumer focus groups before scoping their initial ideas and producing draft designs. It was a challenging task to represent so much information in a single concept but Agencypds was able to create a design that worked effectively as part of both simple and more detailed formats, using imagery and infographics to highlight the different food groups. The concept has also translated well for use online and in presentations.

Lead designer David was highly engaged in the entire process, working closely with our market research and PR agencies and feeding back ideas from the wider Agencypds design team. He was instrumental in helping us to meet a print deadline on the last day before the start of the Christmas holidays.

The concept was launched in January 2019 and we are in no doubt that the engaging design helped us to achieve extensive media coverage across the BBC, Sky and many national newspapers.”

the project team

David Nelson (Lead Creative), Rob Digby (Artworker), Ian Knighton (Studio Manager) and Scott Bailey (Account Executive)

our creative toolkit

If you are thinking about starting a new project we have created a few simple items that might help you. Our creative’s guide to getting the best out of your agency is full of helpful advice and our top tips to writing a creative brief is a perfect prompt when completing one of our project briefing sheets. All three are available to download below.

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