Children's health and food

New SMASH App aims to reduce youth obesity

22 September 2020
3 min read

The first round of funding has closed for new app SMASH, a business we’re supporting to help young people Save Money and Stay Healthy. SMASH will help fight childhood obesity by giving 13 to 24-year old’s up to 20% discount on healthier food options at ‘food to go’ outlets. 

Funded through our children’s health and food programme, the app aims to rebalance promotions from less healthy products towards healthier alternatives.

We know young people frequently visit food-to-go retailers. Rather than stop them, in this project we’re aiming to help them choose healthier, lower calorie options when they’re there. We’re the cornerstone investor for SMASH and I’ll be taking a seat on the Board to help steer the company to being as impactful as possible.

Jessica Attard Portfolio Manager for children's health and food

A new approach to tackling youth obesity 

Launching in early 2021, SMASH is the brainchild of ex-KFC board member Chris Holmes, who was most recently MD at Ask Italian. Paul Lindley, Chair of London’s anti-obesity Taskforce and the founder of leading organic baby food brand Ella’s Kitchen, is Chairman.

Chris Holmes came up with the idea for SMASH while at KFC, realising that a system that bans the bad and doesn’t promote the good could be slow at effecting change. 

He was convinced that there was a better way to meet the challenge of childhood obesity – SMASH is his solution. Targeting the 9 million 13 to 24-year old’s in the UK, Holmes’ ambition is to reduce the billions of unnecessary calories consumed every year.

We are already actively engaged in conversations with a number of the UK’s leading food to go brands in order to nudge SMASH users into a surprisingly broad range of lower calorie options with up to 20% discount on all healthier items. It’s a simple idea applied to a massively complex problem shaped by environment and income inequality. So, we need to change the dynamic and make healthier food the cheaper and most accessible option.

Chirs Holmes SMASH founder

Helping young people make healthier choices

SMASH is supported in its mission of creating a demand for healthier food by another of our partners BiteBack 2030, a youth-led alliance which is redesigning the food system to put young people’s health first.

This investment represents an exciting development in our children’s health and food programme and a potential ‘in’ to some of the fast food outlets we’ve struggled to reach.

We’re very excited to be supporting this new platform. The places kids hang out are flooded with prompts to eat unhealthily — especially in poorer areas. We need new thinking like SMASH to put healthier food centre stage. We're delighted to see businesses and investors stepping up to their responsibility to ensure that all children grow up healthily, no matter where they live.

Keiron Boyle
Kieron Boyle Chief Executive