Influencers

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 Influencers.

What is ‘Influencers’?

We learned that many consumers feel encouraged to try new things and change their behaviour if are supported by people they believe in.

Influencers are “followed” by people voluntarily. They can be perceived as driven by a passion for doing good (environmental activists, animal rights activists) rather than driven by profit.

Wouldn’t it be great if the power of influencers were used to get more consumers to eat more healthily and adopt more sustainable eating patterns?

What does ‘Influencers’ look like?

  • Influencers who are trusted, admired, and looked up to, show consumers the way to a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle
  • Celebrity chefs take on the responsibility of not only delivering taste, but also health and sustainability
  • Influencers can “micro-influence” – particularly on social media. They do not need to be part of a large campaign. A single post, tweet, or story can trigger followers’ curiosity

Celebrities, celebrity chefs, and locally known chefs, who work in popular restaurants, are also influential.

A 2019 study found that 41% of consumers say they find at least one new brand or product from an influencer weekly.

What’s the catch?

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

Impression of ”selling”

You don’t want the consumer to feel they are being sold to or lectured at, but rather given an authentic tip or recommendation those that of a friend.

Credentials

Influencers need to have a certain level of credibility, by profession, education, or experience.

What did community members say about this?

“Today, however, social media plays a significant role in controlling the food chain. Through it, one can quickly even influence the demand for a product and even destroy a company’s reputation. I would see that this could really act as a deterrent for many companies to do better.”
Païvi, 63, Finland

I follow quite a lot of Instagram accounts that constantly share new recipes with old and new products, I will probably look for new recipes there rather than other sources.” Cristina, 35, Spain

“I got inspired by this the most by reading food blogs and reading up about the (health) benefits of eating more veggies that are locally and sustainable grown.”
Tim, 38, Belgium

Best practices: who is already doing this?

Foodmaker

Foodmaker offer a food box service where they deliver boxes with fresh ingredients or ready to eat meals at peoples houses. In February 2021 they were including meals selected by Olympic champion speedskating Kjeld Nuis. ”Eat like your champ” was communicated, suggesting that using the boxes selected by Kjeld Nuis will be very good for your health.

Earthling Ed

Animal rights activist Earthling Ed is known amongst his followers for his not-for-profit work. Through different directions such as instagram, TED talks, podcasts and e-books he educates people about veganism. 

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