Project Everest

Experiment Results

[EXPERIMENT RESULTS]: Hidden Hunger Malawi - Customer segment (A) - December 2018

Reference to Experiment Post:

The customer segment A experiment was designed to validated who the project’s early adopters are by understanding their problem definition, whether or not they’re currently seeking a solution to their problem and whether or not they’re investing in a solution.

Reassert Lean Phase: Customer Segment (A)

Reassert Assumption:  

Our assumed early adopters are: Mothers and pregnant women.

Our assumption that we are testing:

  1. Mothers and pregnant women are actively trying to solve the problem of malnutrition (for example, by growing food for themselves, approaching clinics, village elders, purchase F&V diversity from markets, purchase seeds from local distributors.

  2. Mothers and pregnant women predominantly consume maize and beans because it’s cheap.

  3. Note on their potential characteristics: income less than USD$5/day, rural-urban fringe, access to markets, access to farming land, access to irrigation for cropping variety.


From the sample of 50 mothers/pregnant women interviewed, 27 were identified as meeting the criteria of an early adopter. Only 3 of those interviewed were pregnant women.

54% of mothers/pregnant women are actively seeking a solution to address nutrition.

The criteria for this were several questions that these women would respond to in the affirmative or provide strategies on how they mitigate malnutrition issues they face. These questions were:

  • Whether or not they were seeking professional/non-professional nutritional advice.
  • If given a scenario of no monetary limitation, whether or not they would add more nutrition to their diet.
  • Whether or not they were proactively consuming nutritious food.

28% of mothers/pregnant women are actively seeking a solution to address nutrition and are investing time, energy or currency in a solution.

This was quantified by the assumed early adopters responding in the affirmative and providing a metric to the following questions:

  • Whether or not they were paying for nutritional advice
  • Whether or not they were investing time, energy or currency in improving the problem.

Three factors (problem definition, seeking solution and investing in solution) were given a score of 1 each, with the maximum score obtainable for an early adopter being a three and the minimum being a zero.


Table 1.1 Early Adopter Key Factor Criteria

Problem Definition

Score Value

Seeking Solution

Score Value

Investing in Solution

Score Value

No response


No response


No response


Problem definition score 0 - 9


Not seeking solution


Not investing


Problem definition score 10-20


Seeking solution




It was determined that to be an early adopter, a mother or pregnant women would have have to achieve a minimum score of 2, thereby being identified as having at least two of the key factors. It was determined that a score of 2 was appropriate because the initial model from the survey was inflexible and unrealistic, and the success metric was based on those seeking a solution.

Conclusion: Green light successful. It is recommended that offer testing proceed as the next step for the project.

Results on workhub: : (Refer to sheet 2 for final results: ‘Final Results: Survey 05 RP/SK”

Validating Learning:

Our results confirm that mothers are early adopters. Only 3 of those interviewed were pregnant women so pregnant women will be excluded from future experiments.

Conducting the Customer Segment A experiment enabled Hidden Hunger to confirm assumptions about who would be those that most desire to address malnutrition in a Malawian context:

  • Over 50% were seeking a solution to the problem of malnutrition.
  • Over 33%  of those interviewed are actively committing resources - such as currency, personal items, energy and time - to seeking a solution.

Problem definition  

  • Obtaining nutritious food: 52% experienced substantial hardship in accessing nutritious food.
  • Food security: 42% struggled securing food for 3+ months of the year
  • Weekly disposable income: Over 25% earned less than 4000 Kwacha/week.
  • Importance of nutrition: Over 75% said that nutrition was very important to them, the highest ranking in the scale.
  • Quality of health: 6% defined their health as being below satisfactory

This information validates the problem definition and provides context as to why the problem exists:

  • While nutrition comprehension and understanding wasn’t precise, fundamental concepts and the importance of nutrition were in the majority
  • The problem was more associated with price of food and availability of resources such as land in order to grow different kinds of foods

Seeking a solution

  • Seeking professional/non-professional nutritional advice: Over 33% sought third-party advice or consultation on nutrition
  • What they would buy/grow if they had more money: 46% would increase the diversity in their eating habit with vegetables and fruits, while 58% would increase their protein consumption.
  • Proactively consuming nutritious food: 50% base their consumption on health/nutrition benefits.

The most well-known solution for the women interviewed is to consult medical professionals. This consultation doesn’t necessarily stem from a self-awareness of a lack of nutrition, but when women are accessing these locations for a different health reason they directly or indirectly receive information on how to improve their nutrition.

Investing in a solution

  • Paying for nutritional advice: Under 10% access and pay for direct nutritional advice.
  • Investing time, energy or currency in improving source of food: 55% of women willingly invest their resources into solutions to addresses gaps such as poor crop results, insufficient budgets or poor supply.

A minority invested currency as a means to a solution. The majority of women couldn’t or were unable to justify that type of investment. Rather, they found part-time work to increase their purchase power, researched different distributors for nutritious foods and focused their energy on increasing their ability and success as subsistence farmers.

Next Move:  

The advised next move for future experiments is to:

  1. Offer testing: To validate your understanding of mothers’ problems by making an offer to solve them.

  2. Currency testing. To determine how much or what early adopters would be willing to invest for a solution to malnutrition.

edited on 20th December 2018, 12:12 by Sebastian Kastner Lanjus

Ella Grier 10 months ago

Status label added: Experiment Results

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