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  • British Council

The Task:

Provide human insights to augment the scientific data for a School’s Nutrition program design symposium sponsored by the British government



Our Role:

Field a video ethnography exploration of nutrition and schools feeding programmes with students, teachers, administrators and parents nationwide. Conduct a post film incubation process to identify behavioural insights and potential opportunities for impact.

The goal was to inspire policy makers and nutritionists better understand the complexities of succeeding in a country unique challenged by equal numbers of obese and starving citizens.


The documentary we produced has featured in numerous academic fora and was screened at the Durban film festival.

Key insights from the incubation:

You are what you eat.
Even primary school kids in deep rural schools rejected traditional foods in favour of fast food. KFC and pizza have become visible symbols of the modern cool life while traditional fare is “for grandparents and old fashioned people”.

Those ubiquitous informal roadside food stalls operate outside the control of health regulations.
They are wildly popular with young and old alike; thus pose a health hazard as well as a nutritional intervention opportunity.

Not everything found in the traditional diet is nutritious.
One example: White sweet potatoes have little to zero vitamin A compared to non-traditional orange fleshed sweet potatoes which feature a much higher vitamin A content.

A high percentage of South African children are zinc deficient, which leads to attention span deficiencies as well as hampering the absorption of other important nutrients.

A higher income doesn’t directly translate to a better diet.
In a shopping challenge, teens at the lower end of the income scale were given increased budgets and consistently purchased more junk foods versus more nutritious items.

What the client saw:

  • Non academic approach to generating insights
  • Innovative audiovisual learning tool

What Matchboxology saw:

  • Opportunity to deploy 100% objective curiosity
  • Ideation interaction with a variety of audiences
  • Video ethnography capable of inspiring real impact


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