Knowledge for better food systems

Showing results for: Consumer stage

Consumer preferences, demands, needs and ultimately consumption patterns influence global and local patterns of agricultural production and affect all other stages of the food chain. However the consumption practice of individuals is itself shaped by a huge host of influences including national and international regulations and legislation, market prices and food’s affordability, food industry advertising and marketing, technological innovations, and societal norms, mores and taboos.

2 May 2014

On 28 April 2014, Unilever held an event where it discussed its progress on the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan and what more the company could do to help make sustainable living commonplace.

25 April 2014

China’s agricultural system, environment and food supply is under great pressure from an increasing population, an intensive use of agro-chemicals and extensive food safety problems.

9 April 2014

In cooperation with 13 European research and policy partners, FiBL (The Research Institute of Organic Agriculture) analysed ways in which local distribution channels and new networks between producers and consumers could be supported. 

9 April 2014

A senatorial report in France is now pushing for the implementation of a fast food or ‘behavioural’ tax. The tax would target products linked to heart disease, focusing in particular on soft drinks. The report 'Taxation and public health: evaluation of behavioural taxation' argues that a behavioural tax would help combat the surge in diet related diseases and associated costs.

27 March 2014

This study looks at the effects of ‘mascots’ on emotions around brands among adults exposed to these mascots in childhood.

12 March 2014

The Nordic countries collaborate in setting guidelines for dietary composition and recommended intakes of nutrients. Nordic Nutrition Recommendations 2012 is their 5th and latest publication. The recommendations emphasize food patterns and nutrient intakes that, in combination with sufficient and varied physical activity, are optimal for development and function of the body and that contribute to a reduced risk of certain diet-associated diseases.

27 February 2014

The aim of the  THE SMART FOOD GRID project is to improve the efficiency of local food distribution within Amsterdam.  The project grew out of research which analysed the flow of local food in and around the city. This found that while there was a great amount of fresh and processed food being brought into the city, a  link was not being made between this food and the general urban public.  SMARTGRID therefore aims to  link producers with consumers through the use of a smart-phone. Users can scan a QR code on a banner, order local products and get them delivered through sustainable transport modes to their house, office or other location.

27 February 2014

CONSENSUS has been awarded funding by the Irish EPA to further its innovative research on sustainable consumption. CONSENSUS is the first large-scale, all-island research project on sustainable consumption in Irish households. The research will involve In-Home Living Labs which mean that households will be testing novel solutions for more sustainable food practices around food purchasing, cooking, waste management and washing. For example, householders will experiment with new-to-market composting tools, smart food apps, and grow-your-own kits. Researchers will also conduct ethnographic research to evaluate how these interventions affect food practices, advancing knowledge on practice-oriented approaches to behaviour change and identifying R&D, policy and educational initiatives.

27 February 2014

There has been an increase in the number of people requiring ‘food aid’ in the UK. Food aid includes a range of initiatives which provide food to people in need, including food banks, meal projects, soups runs, food vouchers and community care projects such as meals on wheels. Policy makers, along with the media and the wider public, are now engaging with some of the questions such initiatives raise.

18 February 2014

This systematic review examines the most common persuasive techniques used to promote junk food to children on television. The study shows that the approaches most frequently used are: free toys, gifts, discounts and competitions, promotional characters and celebrities, and appeals to taste and fun to promote junk food to children. These persuasive techniques were found to be used more often when promoting unhealthy food. The study authors argue that a ban on junk food advertising to children under 16 would be an important measure to fight child obesity. NB: the study looks at which persuasive techniques were most commonly used – it doesn’t assess which are the most effective.

14 February 2014

This Dutch study looks at consumers’ potential preferences for snacks made from a range proteins with lower environmental impact and segments according to their values and attitudes to food. In this hypothetical experiment, people could choose between written descriptions of a range of snacks containing lentils or beans, seaweed, insects or a combination of meat and a non-specified meat substance. The study found that a hybrid meat product may be preferred by many consumers before insects or seaweed. The researchers found that, overall, people who tended to eat more meat were less likely to choose the lentils and seaweed snacks while those who ate more fish were more likely to choose the seaweed snack.

6 February 2014

The paper is a systematic review of literature describing seven dietary interventions  aimed at increasing fruit and vegetable consumption in overweight or obese children. It points out that in the context of the global obesity problem, dietary interventions can be used to promote healthy eating habits, but taking a narrow and restrictive focus can result in an increased preference for the restricted foods and be unlikely at achieving positive, long-term change.

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