In 2019 we conducted the largest study so far about sustainable food consumption among Dutch consumers. We interviewed more than 1.500 consumers and many industry experts. Marketers, product developers, buyers, researchers, start-ups, caterers and knowledge institutions can use the insights and inspiration that the report offers. In September 2021 we will published the updated results from the new study we are currently running.
These are the 5 main lessons from the May 2019 study:
Consumers do not yet have an unambiguous, clear and correct picture of what exactly a sustainable diet is. The impact of packaging is overestimated, while the impact of eating less animal products is greatly underestimated compared to the impact determined by experts. The wrong perception about what is sustainable, among other things, leads people to think that sustainable food is always more expensive.
Prevention of waste is high on the agenda of consumers and experts. There is currently a lot of momentum to make a steps in this area by moving along with this. Consumers are open to it and actively looking for ways in which they can contribute.
There are four consumer groups, each with its own view on sustainable behavior. We have called them Idealists (33%), Trend Followers (19%), Blocked (26%) and Conservatives (22%). Reaching each group effectively, with the right message and the right product, requires a smart, segmented approach.
Arguments that deliver a visible, concrete and personal benefit work better than general messages. Arguments for sustainable behavior aimed at abstract benefits that are far away from the consumer work less well. There is also little support for measures that compel consumers to eat more sustainably. This is especially the case when it comes to cutting down on meat.
Consumers are not (yet) thinking about improving efficiency in the context of sustainability. New agricultural technology is greeted with a dose of skepticism. Only a third of consumers think it’s a good idea. Technology would make agriculture less natural, take the farmer’s sandwich, produce lower quality products and be less efficient. Proponents see it as a good way to meet the growing need for food.
Do you have a question about the Future of Food study?
Please contact our research director Durk Bosma.
+31 (0)6 14 23 24 41
Laan van Meerdervoort 36 - 2517AL - Den Haag - The Netherlands - Info@futureoffood.institute
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