Carrot Rewards: New Smartphone App

Ontario gives $1.5 million to app that rewards healthy behavior.

Ontario has joined three other Canadian governments in funding a smartphone app that gives users points for popular consumer reward programs in exchange for engaging with government-approved messages about wellness.

Ontario recently announced it is spending $1.5 million on the Carrot Rewards smartphone app, which tracks user’s steps and offers quizzes and tips on topics including healthy living, personal finances and the environment.

When users reach their step goal or complete a quiz on home budgeting, for example, they’ll receive points in their account for the reward program of their choice: Aeroplan, Petro-Points, MORE Rewards, or Cineplex’s Scene.

Carrot Rewards became available to Ontarians in February and the company says it has about 200,000 active users in the province today.

Andreas Souvaliotis, CEO of Carrot Insights, said the app launched with a focus of health, but the company and its partner governments quickly realized it was effective at modifying behavior in other areas as well, and expanded to a more general focus on wellness that includes personal finance and the environment.

Eleanor McMahon, Ontario’s Minister of Sports said her government intends to use Carrot Rewards to help people make good choices that lead to healthier lives.

The information distributed through the app originates with the governments, but charities that work with the company, The Heart and Stroke Foundation, YMCA, and Diabetes Canada, help make the content more authentic

The goal is to give people an incentive to act and think differently.

Downloading the Carrots Reward program works by sending users healthy challenges and rewarding them with points in their favorite rewards program.

The primary way users acquire points is by meeting their daily step goals, which is why the app is only available on smart phones or devices with built in pedometers.

In addition, users can choose to complete quizzes to earn even more points on top of their daily step goals. These quizzes largely test users on subjects like healthy eating, active living, etc.

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