Knowledge for better food systems

WRI launches Better Buying Lab

The World Resources Institute (WRI) has formed a partnership with major companies including Google, Sainsbury’s, Hilton Worldwide and other leaders in the food industry aimed at finding ways to encourage consumers to buy more plant-based foods.

By bringing together key thinkers from consumer research, behavioural economics and marketing strategy, the Better Buying Lab will develop new strategies and actions that enable consumers to choose more sustainable products. Daniel Vennard, director of the Lab, writes:

‘Shopping for food at the supermarket or ordering from a favourite restaurant involve deeply habitual and subconscious decision-making processes. Shoppers tend to rely on routine. Rarely do they notice new information and remember it, let alone act on it. When it comes to food, many people make buying decisions on auto-pilot.’

The first results of their research are expected in autumn of this year.

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While some of the food system challenges facing humanity are local, in an interconnected world, adopting a global perspective is essential. Many environmental issues, such as climate change, need supranational commitments and action to be addressed effectively. Due to ever increasing global trade flows, prices of commodities are connected through space; a drought in Romania may thus increase the price of wheat in Zimbabwe.

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