Curiosity

One of twelve strategies developed in the Trust Study, with the goal of helping consumers eat more healthfully and sustainably.

The Trust Study

In collaboration with EIT Food, Future of Food Institute conducted a study to gain a deeper understanding about consumer attitudes towards the food chain, and particularly the role trust plays in that relationship.

One of the outcomes of this study is a set of twelve strategies, co-created together with European participants in the Citizen Participation Forum 2020. 

One of these strategies is Curiosity.

What is Curiosity?

We learned that curiosity can overcome barriers to try out new things. When you are in a positive, open-minded mood, you’re more likely to try things you wouldn’t normally try. Think of the food you try when you are travelling abroad or when you’re with a group of friends who are into trying new things.


Wouldn’t it be great if we could get more people to be enthusiastic and curious about trying new types of food and ingredients that benefit their health as well as our planet?
• Create enthusiasm for trying new things in a fun and exciting way
• Focus on positive elements of food: fun, excitement, taste, and less on healthiness and sustainability

What does Curiosity look like?

When it comes to novel foods, information about health and sustainability is not necessarily the strongest appeal. Focusing on taste, appearance, and pleasure can be more effective. Triggering curiosity can be achieved by creating campaigns for innovative foods usingelements of unexpectedness, scarcity, and excitement.

People are more likely to try new foods when they are with their peers than when they are alone. Occasions like festivals or even seminars and congresses could be a great opportunity to introduce novel foods.

What’s the catch?

For this strategy to work, the following points need to be taken into account:

Biased Information

Whenever commercial parties get involved in providing information, there is a chance that the information they give is biased. It means there must be an impartial party that verifies the content.

What did community members say about this?

“I think an important and central point has been raised here. I can attest that on every trip abroad, already on the plane I dream of trying new delicacies of the local culture. Curiosity also pushes me to try things I would not dare to taste before. […]Curiosity to discover new food worlds motivates us to make small revolutions in our eating habits, especially when it comes to a modern consumer culture based on technological advancement in many fields and in the food field in particular.”
Ruslan, 44, Israel


“Seeing other people try new foods helps spark curiosity. So events like food festivals or restaurants that offer shared dining (get smaller meals to share) can play a big part.”
Anonymous participant


“I think you are more open to new food If you are either abroad or at friend’s house and they cook you something new that you fall in love with and then take that experience home with you.”
Phil, 54, Great Britain

Best practices: who is already doing this?

Eat With

Eat With is a community for  “peer-to-peer dining”. Locals offer authentic culinary experiences in private homes or venues. This can be a three-course meal, a fancy dinner, a cooking workshop. It is an accessible and affordable way to try new cuisines or ingredients and spark curiosity.

 

Free to Feed 

Free to feed (FTF) is Melbourne’s first pop-up cooking school with all classes hosted by people seeking asylum. Guests follow workshops about cuisines and foods from all over the world in a social setting, and afterwards eat together. This social enterprise supports people seeking asylum while they settle in Melbourne, and helps them build skills and work experience in the hospitality sector.

 

Our mission is to help accelerate the transition to a more sustainable food system, by including the consumer as equally relevant stakeholder.

We offer accessible and clear consumer insights that help all actors in the food chain to effectively support & seduce the consumer to make the sustainable food choice.

Laan van Meerdervoort 36 - 2517AL - Den Haag - The Netherlands - Info@futureoffood.institute