Walk your way to rewards

By Catarina Muia

Fad diets are out and it seems that Canadians are looking for a way to get healthy and stay healthy.

For just more than a year, the Carrot Rewards app has been helping the nation do exactly that, while earning their favourite loyalty points.

“It’s the hottest wellness app in our country with almost 400,000 subscribers with almost a quarter million in Ontario,” says Andreas Souvaliotis, founder and CEO of Carrot Rewards. “The best thing about it besides usability and fun, friendly content, is it offers Canadians their favourite points every single time they do anything with it.”

Essentially, the app encourages users to earn points from SCENE, Aeroplan, Petro Points, Drop, and More Rewards by watching informative videos and doing quizzes on the app, as well as tracking daily steps and achieving personalized step goals each day.

The app started when Souvaliotis and his team “worked with Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) on similar initiatives and had tested the concept of encouraging people to live healthy by offering small rewards in the form of loyalty points and it worked well,” Souvaliotis explains.

Then two years ago, he and PHAC sat down again and decided to create the first national wellness app.

They wanted to replace the government advertising that promotes healthy living, with a more affordable, fun and personal solution.

“Instead of running TV commercials or putting up billboards on the highways trying to convince us to quit smoking, drink less or get our flu shot in the fall, why not teach us in a much more effective, targeted and direct way through our phones?” Souvaliotis says.

Shortly after the approval of the Federal Government, B.C. and Newfoundland started using the app and since then Souvaliotis explains that it’s easy to see that it’s making a difference in Canadian lives.

“We’ve got people walking more entirely because they’re motivated to meet their daily step goals and earn their daily points,” he says. “We’ve got people understanding much more about healthy eating, about physical activity in general, about responsible drinking, about why and how they should quit smoking, even about things like budgeting, financial responsibility and environmental responsibility.”

The next step for Carrot Rewards is making different types of offers available to users. In addition to health offers, they can look forward to receiving offers on topics like how to manage finances, tips on safe bicycling, or protecting the environment.

Souvaliotis explains that they also want to keep their users connected to each other, so they’re creating a ‘Step With Friends’ feature that allows app users to connect with friends, create a leaderboard to track daily step progress, and complete step challenges together.

“Studies show that people are more likely to achieve their goals if they have a support system, so we’re helping our users meet their goals together,” Souvaliotis says.

Ultimately, the goal is to create a healthier, better Canada because “it’s the right thing to do, because it makes sense and because it will save all of us a lot of health care expense down the road,” he says.