Author: Eva Hoogstins

Consumer Observatory: ahead in consumer insights on agrifood topics

Consumer Observatory: ahead in consumer insights on agrifood topics

Future of Food Institute is a leading partner in the new EIT Food Consumer Observatory. Being part of this European hub for consumer insights on sustainable food topics allows us to make an understanding of sustainable consumer behavior available for every marketer, policymaker, innovator, entrepreneur, scholar and advisor in the food system. 



The Consumer Observatory brings together research and consumer insights organisations from across the food system to curate and produce bespoke research, up-to-date analysis, and unique insights from across the agrifood community.

By making consumer insights accessible to the agrifood community the Consumer Observatory aims to help educators, policy-makers, food manufacturers with their strategy. In this way, the agrofood system will be truly consumer-centric. 

Our approach:

The Future of Food Institute is responsible for the research that will lead to consumer insights.

This will be done primarily with the help of the CPF, an online community with approximately 300 participants from 13 European countries, selected on a basis of a medium-to-high level of interest in the food chain. Members of the community take part in regular open discussions, photo assignments, questionnaires, polls and focus group sessions to inform consumer insights on topics and themes such as food innovation and novel foods.

Next to qualitative research, Future of Food Institute will also conduct large-scale quantitative studies with a representative European sample. This includes the TrustTracker® study, an evidence-based questionnaire of consumers from 18 countries to measure consumer trust in the food industry, as well as upcoming issue tracking studies. These studies will cover topics that can be tracked over the years, for example interest in plant-based diets, or openness to cultured meat. 

Furthermore, the Consumer Obervatory will be responsible for setting up and maintaining the new Knowledge Management System of consumer insights for EIT Food. This will be a large database with consumer insights gathered by the observatory, as well as consumer insights gathered by EIT Food before it was established.

Additionally, this project will be monitoring (meta)trends in the food chain through a trend-spotting program to be ahead of the curve in future food system scenarios. Finally, a food expert advisory board, made up of 10 food system stakeholders from across Europe, will take part in regular agrifood trend consultations.

The first study conducted by Future of Food Institute for the the Consumer Observatory has been published.  

Find out more:

You can get in touch here to find out more about how the Consumer Observatory can tailor consumer insights to answer your questions, whether you are a product owner, educator, policymaker or other stakeholder in agrifood.


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Majority of Europeans support international eco-labelling system

Majority of Europeans support international eco-labelling system

Our most recent study for the Consumer Observatory, just under 10,000 consumers across 18 European countries, shows that more than two-thirds would welcome a universal label signalling the environment impact of food products.


The research has been released to mark the launch of the new Consumer Observatory, a project powered by EIT Food.


There are currently no internationally agreed-upon standards for environmental sustainability labelling and no agreement on what sustainable production should measure. Authorities are discussing the development of a common eco-label that would inform consumers about the impact that food products have on the climate and society. But are Europeans interested in such a label? And would they use it?

Our approach:

In total, 9,787 European consumers took part in the survey between. Participants were over 18 years old and weighted to be evenly split across the 18 countries to be nationally representative in terms of age and gender. The 18 countries were: Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey, and the UK.

Findings in a nutshell:

We found that consumers want to be more informed about the sustainability of food products, with two thirds of Europeans saying they would like to understand better how sustainable food products are.

Particularly older consumers (65+) say they struggle to assess how sustainable a food product is, while under 35’s are more confident.

Two thirds of Europeans (67%) say they would welcome a universal eco-label to help them make more sustainable choices, while just 13% felt they would be unlikely to do so.

The information that is currently available on food packaging is not widely trusted, with under half (40%) of participant trusting existing sustainability labels. Vegans were particularly mistrusting of such information (51% do not trust labels).  

So what kind of information should this label consider? The recyclability of the packaging, animal welfare, pollution, and the use of chemicals and fertilisers were the areas that consumers most wanted to see covered by an eco-label.

Finally, consumer trust in the credibility of EU authorities needs to increase. Only a third of Europeans (33%) believe their government is transparent about regulating sustainability labels on food.

Find out more:

Contact us to find out more about the results, or how we can tailor consumer insights to your product or company. 

Picked up by media:

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Concept testing for a soda brand that uses a novel ingredient: cocoa juice

Concept testing for a soda brand that uses a novel ingredient: cocoa juice

Kumasi is a soda drink made from the fruit pulp around the cocoa bean. It was invented while making a documentary about the cocoa industry in the Ashanti region of Ghana, where it became clear that many farmers depend on selling cocoa but live below the poverty line.

Kumasi helps farmers earn 30% additional income by selling their cocoa pulp, which would otherwise end up as food waste. But to what extent does this story resonate with consumers? How credible and relevant are the claims made?

The brand wanted to find out which of their strengths they need to focus on in their brand positioning and if there are any other hidden strengths that they can promote. So we conducted a concept test to find out.


Kumasi, in collaboration with their investor group Unknown Group.


The goal was to find out which benefits are most relevant to consumers and why, as well as which specific consumer need they fulfill. Through this concept test, we also explored:

  • Hidden strengths
  • Perceived uniqueness
  • Clarity of the concept
  • Effectiveness of Kumasi’s messaging

Our approach:

To answer these questions, we asked our Food Forum for unbiased feedback. Our Food Forum consists of hundreds of real consumers, eager to share their opinions on food related topics.

Participants were asked to complete a series of activities that had two goals:

  1. Generative research: Understand what consumers need when it comes to soda’s and refreshing drinks more broadly. What is it they are looking for? Why choose one soda over another?
  2. Concept test: Understand how clear, appealing, relevant and believable Kumasi’s benefits are to consumers.

Findings in a nutshell:

We found that consumers are not at all familiar with the taste of cacao fruit and for this reason they do expect a chocolate-y flavour, even when the opposite is emphasized. 

At the same time, consumers have certain association with tropical fruit juice that do not necessarily match the drink Kumasi, so the brand needs to steer clear from those.

We also discovered which of the two benefits (farmer income or food waste) resonates more with Kumasi’s target audience and how they can take away doubts or concerns when it comes to these benefits.

How can we help you?

We help you choose the most impactful strategic direction, develop the most effective sustainable product innovations and communicate the most effective message. Find out more here.

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A search for inspiration in food packaging with the help of students from Wageningen University

Inspiration in sustainable packaging

A diverse team of 7 master degree students from Wageningen University and Research, specializing in environmental science, sensory science, and consumer studies went on a journey of inspiration seeking for Future of Food Institute. In the context of their course Academic Consultancy Training, they worked full-time on a project focusing on finding and analyzing appealing and sustainable packaging solutions. 


Consumers tend to evaluate food packaging intuitively rather than through reasoning (at least at a first glance). Consequently, their actual buying behaviour is often less environmentally sustainable than they intend.

A successful packaging strategy should consider both the true environmental footprint of a packaging practice and to what extent consumers want it. Overall, consumer preference should lead them to choose these more sustainably packaged products over others.

We asked students to have a look at what is happening in the world of sustainable packaging. The students explored inspiring examples of alternative packaging to what is conventionally used today.


The students measured the actual sustainability of 12 inspiring packaging practices to ensure that, next to appearing as sustainable packaging, they are actually sustainable.

They evaluated this using 4 criteria: the calculated carbon emission of the package, the potential toxicity, material recyclability and composability of the package. These scores were combined and formed an overall score of how sustainable the package is in general. 

The students then created a sensory questionnaire  to gather data on how consumers perceive these packages. Over 300 European consumers answered questions on 6 of the 12 packaging products, judging the packages on elements related to appeal and perceived sustainability. 

Een paar inspirerende voorbeelden:


NotPla created a biodegradable coating for their takeaway boxes to replace plastic coatings. The boxes are made of kraft bleach paper and are both recyclable and home-compostable. 

The coating is made of brown seaweed that grows up to 1m per day, doesn’t need fresh water or fertilizer and actively contributes to de-acidifying the sea. Furthermore it absorbs carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. 

Importantly, Notpla packaging has the same grease and water-resistant qualities as traditional takeaway packaging.   


SAIKAI is a concept brand that was created by design students from Mid-Sweden University. The fact that the packaging is modular allows for versatile uses and additional functionality other than simply holding products and keeping them fresh. In this case, the packaging can be used as a serving tray. Additionally, the unconventional hexagonal shape makes it stand out on store shelves as it draws attention by being unique and visually appealing. 

Hence, next to being sustainable, packaging of sustainable foods can benefit from being visually unique and modular to attract consumers. 

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The box has an original unique shape that is appealing and convenient to pick up and carry around. This is particularly interesting for children that can easily pick it up and play with.

However, a significant sustainability issue with this product is related to the individually wrapped gummies within the box. If this is avoided, the packaging still scores well on sustainability as it can be recycled and potentially reused by children as a toy. 

Find out more:

Find the best practice packages and the results of their evaluation in this free download


Contact us to find out more about the results, or how we can tailor consumer insights to your product or company. 

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Deposit fee on drink cans: A simple expansion from plastic bottles or a messy hassle for consumers?

Deposit fee on drink cans: A simple expansion from plastic bottles or a messy hassle for consumers?

Earlier this spring, the Dutch government imposed a deposit fee of € 0,15 on drink cans. The goal of this measure is to collect and recycle the approximately 2 billion cans that are sold over the counter every year and in this way preventing part of it from ending up in the environment. We find that while consumers overall support this policy in theory, they run into some practical problems that can inhibit them from returning the cans. It may even lead consumers to avoid cans (and the 15 cent extra costs that they do not intend to get back) and replace them with unrecyclable options.

Not too long ago there was an introduction of deposits on small plastic bottles, which led the number of littering bottles to decrease by more than 50%. As a result, it is expected that the impact of deposits on cans will be large as well.

But how do consumers feel about this change? Have they started making use of this deposit system? If so, how have they experienced it?

We brought it up in our Food Forum and had a discussion with 43 members from around the Netherlands.

Consumers are aware of this change and are generally positive about it

“Firstly, all participants were aware of this development with the exception of one. They have seen the campaigns and have read about it in the news. 

“There’s a lot of advertising on TV right now, so you can’t miss it.” Linda, 61

Most participants like the idea in theory. They want to see less trash on the street, and believe that such a system will encourage people to recycle.

“I think it is very good that there is a deposit on cans. This will hopefully prevent people from just throwing the cans everywhere.” Robert-Jan, 54

However, there are some practical concerns that have come up.

However they do have a few concerns

The biggest issue that participants have experienced is that cans are messier to keep than bottles. It is hard to empty them completely, and the (often sugary) remains in the can make a mess in the bag that they are kept in.

“I do think it’s dirty honestly, they get smelly and sticky.” Peter, 32

Some participants also express doubt whether 15 cents are enough motivation to put up with the mess these cans create at home.

“I do notice that people think 15 cents is too little or that they are not willing to go out of their way to store dirty cans.” Martijn, 43

Will consumers opt for bottles over cans when possible? Some seem to have made that switch already.

“I haven’t returned cans yet because I prefer to buy bottles now.” Tessa, 44

Finally there is some concern that supermarkets and other return points are not facilitating this increase in returns. A couple of participants complained about long queues at the supermarket points of return.  

“I went to the AH to turn in my bottles and there was a mega long line at the drop-off point! People with garbage bags full of bottles, small bottles and cans to turn in. And there was no end to it and in misery I just went home.” Cynthia, 52

Finally, the fact that dented cans may be rejected at the drop-off point is also a point of friction for consumers. 

“But in the supermarket, I’m told, it’s frustrating. It sticks, the cans often come back because they are not accepted because there is a dent in them.” Palmyre, 66

The reason for which cans must not be too damaged or dented is that the collection machine will not be able to read the barcode for the deposit. It is not related to the actual ‘recyclability’ of the can. Unlike glass bottles, aluminium cans are not reused but crushed, shredded, remelted and solidified again. Aluminium does not degrade during the recycling process, which means it can be repeatedly recycled.

What does this mean for the chance of success of this program?

From behavioural research we know that people need motivation, ability, and a prompt to encourage them to perform a specific behaviour. If the motivation is too low, or the barriers are too high, then chances are the behaviour will not take place.

In the long term, aluminium can recycling may need to become better facilitated for consumers, or pay more, to make the effort worth their while. For example, supermarkets can increase their capacity for returning bottles and cans, and perhaps accept cans that have been dented or are completely crushed. This will make it easier for consumers to collect their cans, store them in a smaller space and perhaps end up with less stickiness. What may happen otherwise is that consumers opt for bottles, or worse packaging with mixed materials that are much more difficult to recycle.

Find out more:

Contact us to find out more about the results, or how we can tailor consumer insights to your product or company. 

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Innovating for food transition: ‘We could step it up a notch’

Innovating for food transition: ‘We could step it up a notch’

Our food production is connected to almost all major challenges of our time, including the nitrogen discussion, climate crisis, biodiversity problem, our health, and the energy transition. There is a shared recognition that our current food system needs to change to address these challenges, and that requires innovation. Three experts in product innovation in the food industry (Bas Allart of Brave New Food, Mark van Noorloos of Schouten Europe, and our own Durk Bosma of Future of Food Institute) shed light on the opportunities and challenges that await this sector.

The role of consumers in food innovation.

The limits of our knowledge are being explored through market trends, startup activities, and scientific research. New technologies, ideas, and solutions are being brought to market by startups. However, this is often done with a lack of understanding of the consumer, who will buy it and why. Failing to adequately understand the needs and barriers of the consumer is a major pitfall for many startups and smaller food companies. Many of the innovations arise from sustainability considerations. However, they can only succeed if they also take the consumer’s needs into account, which is frequently broader than only the sustainability concerns.

Durk: “That confirms our vision: before you launch an innovation in the market, you have to have a good story and know your target group very well.”

It turns out that the enthusiasm around the “plant-based revolution” is decreasing. Consumers have more of a desire for traditional meat substitutes, such as plant-based chicken pieces, sausages, schnitzels, and burgers, while the more innovative products have yet to catch on. Successful developments are mostly products that have an improved taste and texture compared to existing products. Innovating takes time and money and only becomes really enjoyable and successful when you know the consumer’s desires well. That’s why it is increasingly recognized that external expert agencies and consumer panels are a vital component in the road to successful innovation.

Future trends and challenges in the food industry:

Due to recent developments in the social and political landscape, companies find it harder to look to the future. The field of product innovation moves fast and requires continuous adjustments and a proactive attitude. In the short term, the price of products will become especially important, but we will also produce differently: vertical agriculture, on building roofs, and home production in our vegetable garden or own windowsill. There will also be products based on new ingredients, such as cultured meat, insects, and algae, that will be further developed. However, for the time being, these are still too expensive for mass production, do not meet the taste and texture requirements of the consumer, and there is still insufficient enthusiasm for them. Food should be delicious above all, or the price should be more attractive than comparable options.

The transition to a more sustainable food industry is inevitable. If you don’t keep up, you will fall behind. But with collaborations and an open-minded approach to ideas and concepts, the transition will, and should, go faster. 

Read the original article here:

Find out more:

Contact us to find out more about how we can tailor consumer insights to your product or company. 

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Conviviality and tradition more important than price or sustainability during holiday meals

Conviviality and tradition momentarily more important than price and sustainability

holiday meal

December is the time of the year that people associate with cold and dark, but also cosiness, lights, warmth and the holiday season. We wanted to find out more about the role of food during the holidays, and what people pay attention to when deciding what to eat for their festive meal. So we asked our Food Forum community. A total of 49 participants gave us an insight into what the holidays look like for them.

Everyone has a different way of spending the days together. One participant names decorating the house, being fully in the festive mood and being together around the Christmas tree. Some participants name gift-giving, making a sumptuous meal, or just sitting on the sofa with a Christmas movie.

“I celebrate with friends and family. Cosying up around the Christmas tree and the fireplace, giving each other gifts, and then having a nice dinner together.” Eva

Companionship and meal sharing

For many participants, eating a meal together is an important moment and something that comes with it every year. Where some opt for an elaborate feast with the whole family, others are more likely to choose a smaller gathering, as long as it is with the people they care about.

“I often celebrate the December holidays with family. Not too big, but just small and cosy. We do like traditions, so we think something like a buffet or gourmets really do belong to Christmas.” Bob

Not everyone wants to spend as much time and effort on the meal,. Therefore, the choice is then made to share this burden with the whole party, in order to still have a fully set table.

“We usually do an “American style” dinner, so everyone makes a contribution and that saves a lot of work and we do have a nice meal together which everyone likes.” Tiny

Eating out is also an option for many, especially on Boxing Day. This means not having to think up a menu, spend time in the kitchen or clean up after the meal.

Even if there is actually no time for it, participants still choose to make the most of it, with the Christmas thought in their heads.

“I almost always have to work (work in a hotel) and so does my flatmate (read: my sister). We try to just enjoy the possible few free hours we have with each other: doing fun games, munching on some goodies.” Bianca

Supermarkets are an important source of inspiration for the holidays

Most participants actively look for meal ideas around and during the holidays, and supermarkets are a source of inspiration for finding festive recipes for many of them.

“I already have an idea about the full menu and have put together the menu based on super tasty products and info I discovered in supermarket advertising.” Sandy.

In the Netherlands, all major supermarkets are giving attention to plant-based dishes for Christmas this year. Albert Heijn, for instance, has a fully vegan magazine with recipes on its website, and supermarkets like Jumbo, Lidl and Aldi also have a vegetarian category with recipes.  However, recipes centred on fish or meat are still the most promoted, on both websites and magazines. And this is reflected in the choices participants make for their festive meals.

What should not be missed at Christmas?

For most, the main course is meat. One of the frequently mentioned must-haves is gourmetting, where you prepare your food with everyone at the same time and choose what you like.

“I think gourmet is really something that suits Christmas and then finish with a nice bowl of ice cream. Not difficult, but cosy.” Nicolette.

There are only a few participants who will consciously not eat meat this holiday season.

“Trying new dishes, preferably with different vegetables and without meat.” Mark

Other must-haves that should not be missed according to participants are mainly sweet dishes, such as desserts. Examples mentioned include: biscuits, chocolate tiramisu, stewed pears, ice cream cake and plum pudding.

Most participants choose to cook and eat their familiar, traditional dishes during the holidays, or a combination of traditional and new.

A chance for chefs to showcase their skills

For a smaller group of people, the Christmas holidays are the time of year to go all out. Among cooks, there are participants who like to stick to their traditions, but also those who like to experiment.

“We think it would be fun to cook a three-course dinner for us together. We love trying new things and extensive cooking.” Romy

What do they pay attention to when planning a meal?

Even though community members have previously told us that they have adjusted their weekly shopping to the price hike, when it comes to meals during the holidays, the price was not mentioned once. Apparently, conviviality may cost something.

Participants did say they take into account what their guests like and can eat. Over the years, the number of vegetarians and vegans has increased, as has the number of people avoiding gluten or lactose, which makes cooking a little more challenging.

“An extra challenge this year, as we now have a gluten-free and lactose-free family member in addition to vegetarians.” Ellen

Sustainability momentarily less important

Judging from their description of the festive meal, participants did not explicitly consider sustainability. There was no explicit mention of reducing or avoiding eating meat during the holidays. A single participant said not to prepare too much food to avoid throwing it away (or eating the same thing for 3 days). So the climate impact of the festive meal does not seem to be a concern for participants during these specific days.

For most participants, the holidays are a time to get together with family and friends, eat together and, above all, not stress about sustainability, finances, or messing up a very complicated or new dish.

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Rising food prices: how Dutch eating behaviour is affected

Are Dutch eating patterns altered by increasing supermarket prices?  

The recent inflation has caused a surge in food prices in supermarkets and other food distribution points. We studied how inflation has affected Dutch consumption behaviour. 


This study was completed on our own initiative to study recent trends in the food industry.


The price increase on average 18.5% on products in supermarkets is a reality for consumers. To what degree has this influenced the food shopping behavior of consumers? What are the main changes?  

Our approach:

We ran small-scale study in our Food Forum, concerning the role of price in buying food in The Netherlands. Ninety-eight participants filled out a poll, supplemented by a forum discussion where 60 participants interacted with each other and the answers that were given.   

Findings in a nutshell:

The majority, namely 58% of the participants in the study, indicated that their grocery shopping behaviour has changed because of price increases.  

More private labels

The adjusted purchasing behavior means for most participants an increased attention to weekly discounts and buying private labels. These are deemed just as good as the A-brands that the supermarkets offer, but for a lower price. However, the participants do declare that it should not be at the expense of other properties of food (such as taste and health).  

“I sometimes try private label, but I refuse to compromise on taste or quality, and I have increased the number of vegetables, fruits and herbs that I grow on my balcony and windowsill”.  Nancy

Compromises on convenience 

There is a minority of the participants that buys larger packs of non-perishable goods and freezes perishable goods. On top of that, a number of the participants describe an increase in self-sufficiency, baking their own bread and growing their own vegetables and fruits. They avoid pre-cut vegetables and complete meal packages, to save money. 

Focus on discounts 

The folders with weekly offerings are checked more profoundly and are used to plan the meals for the coming week. Participants choose to invest more time in doing groceries, to be able to save money.  

“I use the different folders of different supermarkets to make a list, letting my week menu depend on the discounts offered”. Linda 

Products that are discounted because of an approaching expiration date and the so-called ‘misfits’ are bought in increasing numbers, to counteract the waste of food, but most of all to save money.  

Less luxury 

Approximately one-third of the participants indicate that they think more profoundly about the need for certain unnecessary luxury products, like candy and crisps. These will not be bought, or bought less, to save money. The focus is therefore placed on the preservation of quality and taste of essential products, instead of luxury products. The luxury products are now predominantly purchased for special occasions. 

The 42% of the participants who indicate that they have not changed their purchasing behavior, mostly say that they already were very price conscious when buying food. 

“I have not actually adjusted the way I do groceries, because I was already a price-conscious buyer, that will not be drastically changing. Perhaps I will leave some unnecessary things out”.  Micha

The keyword that emerges, considering the changes in the purchasing behavior of consumers, led by the increasing product price is consciousness. Consumers think more consciously about what is necessary for a healthy diet, try to replace the needed products with cheaper versions and do not buy products that are not needed.   

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Diversity on our plates helps biodiversity on the planet. But does it matter to consumers? 

Diversity on our plates helps biodiversity on the planet. But does it matter to consumers? 

First Step Towards Agricultural Biodiversity

The biodiversity of our ecosystems on earth is diminishing at an alarming rate. Ecosystems, species, and within-species genetical resources are becoming increasingly less diverse.

Agriculture is a major driver of biodiversity loss. Whilst modern agricultural systems have boosted food production, they have also caused considerable damage to biodiversity. Today, many of the world’s biodiverse landscapes have been replaced by monocultures. This shift towards modern agricultural systems has also influenced our diets. Currently, just 15 plants and eight animal species make up 90% of the world’s food, even though there is an estimate of over 30,000 edible plants!

What can consumers do to prevent the loss of biodiversity?

Changes in the way we produce and consume are needed. One way to stop and reverse biodiversity loss, is nature-inclusive agricultural systems. Consumers’ choices play a critical role as they influence what and how producers produce, meaning that consumers should be encouraged to make more biodiverse food choices and maintain more varied diets. 

Our approach:

This study explores participants’ current attitudes towards highly varied diets, and their current eating patterns.

Based on current consumer attitudes and behaviors three ways to promote biodiverse food choices were developed and tested. The study was conducted using the Food Forum, our very own online community of Dutch conscious consumers. 

Findings in a nutshell:

The study revealed three main findings regarding consumers’ knowledge, attitudes, and behavior:

  1. There is a general lack of awareness amongst consumers regarding the topic of agricultural and dietary biodiversity. Participants were aware that having a balanced diet (not too much sugar, enough fruits and vegetables) is important, however there is little awareness about the importance of eating a highly varied diet (for example 30 different plant foods per week, including grains, herbs and spices). A first step in guiding consumers’ behavior in the right direction would be to clearly define a varied diet and increase awareness on what a varied diet entails.
  2. In general, participants had a positive attitude towards eating a varied diet. Most participants want to eat a variety of different foods, and state that they already pay attention to this. However, the study showed that even though consumers eat balanced, there is only a little variety between the different types of fruits, vegetables and grains they consume. Out of 41 listed foods only 11 were consumed more than once in the past month by more than half of the participants.
  3. Participants were unaware of the environmental benefits biodiverse diets can have. After clarifying the difference between a balanced and varied diet, participants were asked to discuss the advantages of a varied diet. Most participants recognized the health benefits of eating varied and mentioned that eating more varied is tastier. However, participants were completely unaware of the environmental benefits of eating more divers and having more biodiverse agriculture. People who aim to make sustainable food choices are not yet aware that eating varied can have a positive impact on our food system.

Developing messages to promote biodiverse food choices

To add more diversity to one’s diet, consumers can do two things.
First, they need to pay attention to switching between familiar foods and ingredients regularly.
Secondly, they can try-out and introduce new foods to their diet. 

In the second part of our research, we developed three different platforms that aim to promote highly-varied food choices. To find the right messages for these platforms, we further investigated what barriers and motivations consumers face when making food choices and trying new products. We also examined what aspects of biodiverse diets consumers find most appealing. 

Three key aspects of having a biodiverse diet stood out, including the health and sustainability aspect of eating varied diets, as well as consumers’ need to discover and experiment with new ingredients. 

  • Variety for a healthy diet: a message concerning the health benefits of maintaining a biodiverse diet. 
  • Variety for sustainable agriculture: a message about the sustainability aspect of agricultural biodiversity. It provides the receiver with specific information on how agricultural biodiversity benefits the environment and highlights how his/her own food choices impact the food system. 
  • Variety for discovery: a message about the flavor options a biodiverse diet offers. This description places taste and discovery in focus.

Choosing the right message to promote biodiverse food choices

Variety for a healthy diet was appealing to many as most participants place great importance on eating healthily. Also, highlighting benefits which directly influence oneself can be particularly convincing. 

Variety for a sustainable agriculture convinced participants, as many identify with the sustainability goal the platform highlights. The message was particularly relevant for consumers as the information provided was new to the vast majority. The link between biodiverse food choices and sustainability is not yet established. As such, this platform can help spread awareness and target a large consumer group that prioritizes making sustainable food choices. 

Variety for discovery was particularly appealing to individuals who are curious to try out new foods or dishes and are interested in cooking. It can also be used to motivate individuals who are interested in eating varied but generally lack the inspiration to implement variation in day-to-day life. It can therefore be particularly appealing to individuals with limited time, such as young professionals or families with kids. 

Overall, as each platform addresses one specific benefit of having a diverse diet, and therefore appeals to different needs of consumers, it is important to identify which consumer group or which needs are targeted before picking a message. 


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Is funny packaging compatible with high-quality beer?

Is funny packaging compatible with high-quality beer?


Uiltje, beer brewery


Uiltje asked to gain insight on how Dutch beer drinkers (real aficionados as well as regular drinkers) view ‘fresh’ beer and the benefits it offers. Furthermore, to understand whether Uiltje is perceived as a high-quality beer, and whether its comic packaging gets in the way of that. 

Our approach:

We gathered a group of beer fans from our online community, Food Forum. These members participated in a series of online activities, including polls, online discussions and photo assignments. Participants were recruited through a professional research panel.

Findings in a nutshell:

We helped Uiltje by giving them a better understanding of how their target audience views the brand, and how to communicate the high quality of their beer – in a way that fits their style.

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We help sustainable food companies to innovate faster and communicate with more impact. We do this by offering accessible and crystal clear consumer insights

We love working with mission-driven food companies and non-profits that have a positive impact on society and our planet. Together we empower consumers to make food choices that are good for them as well as for the planet.

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