Fight food waste or buy a treat: what do consumers want?

SUNT is a Dutch innovative food brand with a mission to combat food waste. SUNT rescues perfectly good bananas that don’t meet our society’s beauty standards from the bins of European harbours, and turns them into delicious baked-goods, such as banana bread and oven-baked banana donuts. 

SUNT wanted to better understand how their customers and other potential target groups think about their brand and what they stand for. We advised them on how to translate what consumers want into product innovation and branding strategies. 


SUNT a Dutch food brand that rescues bananas to turn them into healthy, innovative products, such as banana bread and granola.


SUNT asked us to explore the opportunities for them to optimise their marketing mix and positioning. To do so we needed to understand better why current and potential customers want to buy SUNT products.

Our approach:

Given the broadness of the research questions, we needed to take a multi-layered research approach consisting of three parts.

Firstly, we asked our Food Forum  members for input about their current purchase motivations for buying bakery products, their perceptions of them and their familiarity with the idea of using bananas for baked goods. Two different positioning scenarios emerged: a treat or a snack.

Then, we tested these two approaches in a quantitative study among a representative sample of Dutch consumers to see which one fits better with consumers’ perceptions.

Lastly, we asked current buyers of SUNT product for their feedback on the quality of the products and the perception of the brand.

Our contribution to SUNT:

The three parts of the study together provided a holistic overview of SUNT’s current brand-health. SUNT is now aware of how well they are known among Dutch consumers and the associations consumers have with the brand (and name) were explored. The study shed light on the most appropriate customer segment for SUNT, useful for their future strategies and brand/product positioning decisions.

We also provided SUNT with recommendations regarding potential scenario’s for future innovations, as well as what criteria the potential innovations would need to meet to align well with consumer wishes. 

Interesting tidbit from the study:

Consumers feel responsible for reducing food waste in their own kitchen and but not for helping out the whole supply chain to reduce food waste.

Feedback on our work:

  • Annabel Hoogendoorn
    Brand Manager, SUNT
    “Future of Food Institute helped us identify our current and potential target audience. The results led to interesting insights about our communication strategy & client needs that we can really work with. The team made it possible to frame our extensive query as clearly as possible while generating a wide range of insights. The reports delivered were clear, immediately applicable and relevant.
    Future of Food Institute has given us the ‘water wings’ we needed to take our brand to the next level again.”

How can we help you?

Do you have a lot of tough nuts to crack in your brand positioning and do you want to take your brand to the next level? Do you want to do this in a fact-based way instead of by following your gut feelings? 

Find out more here about how we can help.

We believe that understanding consumers is key to making the food system more sustainable. Successful innovation and impactful communication require a solid foundation of consumer insight. 

We are the insights partner of choice for food companies and non-profits  that aim to 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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