How Digital and Health Will Converge for a Better You

by  Denise Morrison (President & CEO Campbell Soup Company)  15.12.2014
When I was growing up, my father helped kindle my passion for innovation and technology. He was a high-ranking executive at AT&T and used our family dinner table as a focus group. I remember how excited I was when he showed me and my sisters the new Trimline phone, which I thought was really cool because it had push buttons instead of a rotary dial!

Today, as the CEO of Campbell, I’m just as intrigued by the convergence of innovative digital technology and the consumer’s increasing focus on health and well-being because it has implications for consumers and our industry. The convergence of these two trends is accelerating the rise of “quantified lives” or as Time magazine called it recently, the “quantified self” movement.

Whatever you call it, this movement will be a powerful force in 2015 and in years to come… a force that will shape people’s lives and help them keep their commitment to fitness, diet and nutrition. I see more people taking charge of their well-being through the use of data and digital sensors, wearable health bands and smartphone apps that can track and quantify everything from their heart rate, blood pressure and sleep quality to steps walked and calories consumed. The word “quantify” is what’s really important because people will use the personal data and feedback from these devices to make healthier lifestyle choices and adjust the way they eat, exercise, work and rest.

Why am I so interested in this movement? Two reasons. First, Campbell has been responding to consumers’ increasing focus on health and well-being by reshaping our portfolio to offer a growing range of packaged fresh and organic foods. Second, I believe it’s really important to understand how consumer behavior is evolving as the digital shift continues to transform our lives.

It’s not surprising to me that Millennials are at the epicenter of digital and food. About 19 percent of them are using mobile apps to monitor their fitness; 17 percent to count calories; and 14 percent to monitor diet and nutrition. That’s ahead of Gen Xers and Baby Boomers, according to The Futures Company.

As our nation aims to reduce obesity, heart disease and other health problems through exercise, balanced nutrition and a focus on prevention – a goal that we support avidly at Campbell – I believe we are moving closer to a future where quantified lives will become the norm.

I’m seeing a dramatic reset in the consumer mindset about health and well-being. The next big step is innovation that will make measuring and managing your health easier and faster than dialing the wonderful Trimline phone my father brought home.


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