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.
An upcoming paper shows that Front-of-pack nutrition labels have little impact on consumer choice in a retail setting. The study: “Effects of nutrition label format and product assortment on the healthfulness of food choice,” examines the choices of 1000 German and Polish consumers.
This evidence review, commissioned by DEFRA and undertaken by the consultancy Best Foot Forward, critically assesses and summarises data around two key objectives:
- What are the ‘hotspots’ (i.e. points of greatest environmental impact) along the food consumer journey?
- What mechanisms are available and most effective for influencing consumer behaviour at those hotspots?
This study presents different ways of presenting information on food calories and assesses how useful consumers find them. It showed participants of 3 groups the calorie content of a ham sandwich, displaying this information in different formats as shown in the diagram below.
Eating out, in restaurants and canteens is growing in importance in many countries. This raises the need to understand and to put in place measures to address the environmental impacts of this development.
Consumers influence climate change through their consumption patterns and their support or dismissal of climate mitigation policy measures. Both climate-friendly actions and policy support comprise a broad range of options, which vary in manifold ways and, therefore, might be influenced by different factors.
This report says that Europe’s high consumption levels of products such as meat, dairy and textiles that require large areas of land, mean that Europe’s 'land footprint' remains one of the largest in the world. The report finds that the EU is importing the equivalent of 1,212,050 square kilometres to meet its demand for food.
Another study highlighting the benefits of the Mediterranean diet. This one reports on the findings of a randomised controlled trial finding that a Mediterranean diet high in fruit and vegetables, seafood, whole grains, mono-unsaturated fats and very low in meat and dairy delivers better health outcomes as regards prevention of cardiovascular heart disease and strokes than a low fat diet.
This paper looks at the attitudes of different consumer segments to reducing meat consumption / consuming alternatives to meat consumption. It finds that general awareness of the environmental impacts of meat consumption is fairly low, and that while there is some acceptance of consuming less meat or consuming alternatives, this is not the case for all consumers and varies by consumer segment.
This paper has been widely reported – and also misinterpreted. It has been publicised as a study which suggests that healthier diets (which seems to be conflated with one containing lower levels of meat and dairy) do not necessarily lead to reduced GHG emissions; however, a closer reading of the conclusions reveals otherwise.
The environmental organisation, WWF has published a new report entitled A balance of healthy and sustainable food choices for France, Spain and Sweden. It builds on the Livewell project undertaken in the UK which considers what a healthy acceptable and lower GHG diet might look like.
A study conducted by researchers at McGill University, Canada, and published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, shows that changing diets have accounted for a 38% increase in the world’s per capita ‘phosphorous footprint’ between 1961 and 2007. Researchers analyzed annual country-specific diet composition data to calculate the amount of phosphorous applied to food crops. Their findings indicate that a sustainable supply of the essential mineral is in question.
A report by Low Carbon Oxford and LandShare entitled “Foodprinting Oxford” calculates the resources and risks involved with Oxford’s food supply, and explores how best to make the city’s food system more reliable. As part of LandShare’s “How to feed a city” programme, the report aims to help people understand where their food is coming from and how to make it more secure.
The FoodPrinting Oxford project takes a systematic look at two aspects of the city’s food system:
An article in Insights, the magazine of the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), explores the complex issues of increasing livestock production and consumption. As consumption is flattening in the developed world, over the next several decades demand for meat will continue to increase in the developing world. The article also explores the need for raising livestock sustainably in order to mitigate negative impacts on human health and the environment.
This study by CE DELFT, a Dutch independent research and consultancy organisation , examines how food consumption patterns might be influenced in order to reduce food related GHG emissions. Its stated objective is to identify and analyse policy options which offer potential for achieving this goal.
This paper starts with a summary of why food waste is an issue, from an environmental and economic perspective, reviews other developed country estimates of food waste losses, and then calculates the volume and economic value of retail and consumer stage food losses in the US, looking at this at an aggregate and individual consumer level (it doesn’t quantify environmental impacts).
Oxfam have published a new report entitled ‘The Food Transformation’. This report, written by Brook Lyndhurst, examines the global food system and the social and environmental injustices inherent in it, and at the potential of consumer action to effect change.
FCRN mailing list member Kurt Schmidinger has recently been awarded his thesis on the following subject: "Worldwide Alternatives to Animal Derived Foods – Overview and Evaluation Models", subtitle "Solutions to Global Problems caused by Livestock".