Monday, June 5, 2023
Colruyt Group has taken a stake in digital health platform yoboo. The investment in this start-up fits in Colruyt Group's ambition to make health and wellbeing more accessible to everyone. yoboo will be part of the health pillar that Colruyt Group has been building for a number of years, in which online pharmacy Newpharma and fitness chain Jims, among others, already play a key role today. Colruyt Group's stake in yoboo adds considerable expertise in the field of health and digital solutions to its portfolio, with the aim of helping people make the best possible health choices. For yoboo, this collaboration is a big step forward in terms of knowledge sharing, growth opportunities and more efficient support for its affiliated pharmacists. Both Belgian companies will now be equal partners in their shared "prevention is better than cure" ambition.
yoboo: personal support programme through accessible digital platform
Almost 70% of Belgians want to do something about improving their health, but are unsure how to go about it.1 The mission of yoboo, a Belgian digital health platform, is to help people optimise their lifestyle through a personal support programme in the simplest and most accessible way possible. After completing an extensive questionnaire, yoboo provides an individual dashboard showing the user six health pillars on which to work. Step by step, yoboo then inspires people to make lifestyle adjustments, based on their needs. The belief that each individual has the greatest impact on their health and thus makes conscious health choices is essential in this process for yoboo.
“Ultimately, the aim of the yoboo programme is that people feel better physically, mentally and emotionally. To achieve this, we work with a network of health professionals such as pharmacists, who can use the dashboard to provide deeper insights and advice on what actions to take,” says Luc Kleynjans, co-founder of yoboo. The unique combination of one-to-one support by a health professional and automated follow-up through the platform ensures that yoboo users receive the most comprehensive health advice possible.
Next step in expansion of relevant health solutions for Colruyt Group
As a major retailer with day-to-day customer contacts, Colruyt Group knows what's on the minds of Belgians. “In recent years, we've increasingly experienced that our customers need support in making conscious health choices. They rely on health professionals for the curative aspects, but lifestyle also plays an increasingly important role. And that's precisely where we can and want to make a difference: we firmly believe in this.” says Lisa Colruyt, responsible for health projects within Colruyt Group. Although originally a food retailer, Colruyt Group looks much further than healthy and high-quality food when it comes to health and well-being. The focus is on the big picture: a healthy lifestyle for body and mind. This includes nutrition, exercise, sleep and mental health, with sufficient attention to relaxation. These focal points in which Colruyt Group is already active today can be directly linked to yoboo's existing health pillars.
“For years, we've been working on a wide range of relevant applications for our customers to allow them to take control themselves. We do this through a multi-channel approach: through digital tools, in the stores, in fitness centres, but now also at the dietician, pharmacy, etc. The aim is to make people's lives easier and look at the needs on an individual level. If we support customers in their health choices and lifestyle, no one has to become a (chronic) patient. Prevention is better than cure: that's our strength. And this is why yoboo is such a perfect fit,” Lisa Colruyt continues. Each Colruyt Group brand adds value to this story in its own way, not only through products but also through services. Colruyt Group's Newpharma has amassed a wealth of information in the field of product knowledge and customer needs in recent years. Jims taught the group a great deal in terms of exercise and personal coaching. Within this entire network of expertise, digital technologies were launched. Examples include the Newpharma relaxation app, skin analysis, nutri-test and the Hello Health lifestyle check for Colruyt Group employees.
Support of independent pharmacists in providing lifestyle advice
Colruyt Group and yoboo are both Belgian companies, share the same vision on health and wellbeing, and complement each other in terms of knowledge. For Colruyt Group, yoboo is a logical piece of the puzzle in terms of the experience they've built so far and their belief in helping customers towards a happy and healthy life through relevant applications. For yoboo, the collaboration means even more growth opportunities and focus on the further development of technologies.
Within Colruyt Group's stake in yoboo (both parties agree not to disclose details relating to pricing or other conditions of the transaction), there is also the acquisition of two physical pharmacies and a medical centre already linked to yoboo. It concerns Apotheek Noorderlaan in Antwerp and Z+ Pharma in Zwijndrecht. Luc Kleynjans: “70%2 of Belgians consider their pharmacist as their first point of contact when it comes to health. 73%3 also expect lifestyle advice from a pharmacist. Independent pharmacists are very experienced in offering medication (guidance), but without support it can be difficult for them to actively engage in health promotion and prevention. And that's where yoboo, with an accessible digital platform that supports pharmacists in providing lifestyle advice, steps in. The collaboration with Colruyt Group means we can close the existing gap between technology and today's health market even better now.”
31 independent pharmacies are linked to yoboo today, and the ambition is to support even more pharmacies in the future. The two pioneering pharmacies in the province of Antwerp have been involved with yoboo since the start and will be used to test new ideas. Luc Kleynjans concludes: “This collaboration offers a unique opportunity to link the experience and needs of health professionals to Colruyt Group and yoboo's joint expertise. We want to strengthen each other in this network and offer added value to both the pharmacist and the end customer. The collaboration with Colruyt Group is an essential step towards a widely, and easily accessible solution to health and happiness. Everything fits together, and we're very much looking forward to building this narrative.”
1+2+3 Prospe(r) survey of Wide, online study with 1,000 Belgians, October 2022.