Trial Made Easy

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 Trial Made Easy.

What is Trial Made Easy?

We learned that many consumers like to try out new things, but often don’t know how to prepare them or don’t know what to try. This makes it difficult for them to sample something new, so they end up sticking to their old habits.

Wouldn’t it be great if consumers could get help with trying out new foods they would otherwise not dare try by making it easy and fun? This could lead to them changing their eating patterns, leading to more sustainable and healthier habits when it comes to food.

Circumstances and environments should be created that make it easier for consumers to try new products. Making it easy to try new things will reduce uncertainty and will remove the barrier for people to experience and evaluate new foods.

What does Trial Made Easy look like?

  • All of the ingredients readily available (including the unknown ones) in the right portion size
  • Recipes and instructions in clear and easy to understand language
  • Complete with explanation of where the ingredients came from and why the product is healthy and/or sustainable

This is where restaurants can play a part: chefs offer some sort of a guarantee that they will provide an interesting culinary experience. This removes part of the risk for consumers, compared to their attempting to cook something new at home.

Currently, eating meat and eating out are associated with ‘special occasions’ and ‘treating oneself’. Flexitarians as well as omnivores are more likely to eat meat at restaurants than at home (1) . There’s room for restaurants to up their plant-based game and help create the association between plant-based eating and delicious food.

1. Biermann, G., Henrike Rau, H. (2020), The meaning of meat: (Un)sustainable eating practices at home and out of home, Appetite (153), https://doi.org/10.1016/j.appet.2020.104730

What’s the catch?

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

Rising Costs

The burden on the parties in the food chain shouldn’t be so high that it will lead to price increases. 

What did community members say about this?

“I have learned lots from recipe ideas, to food inspiration, tips on sustainability and nostalgic childhood memories of how we used to eat compared to now. It has all made me focus a bit more on making healthy food choices and giving more thought to how sustainable the foods I buy are.”
Lisa, 48, Ireland

“At a young age I learned what good and healthy food is. I still rely on that knowledge. I agree with this because even though in those days healthy and innovative eating was not as widely developed and available as now parents and grandparents taught the awareness of healthy eating.”
Mateusz, 29, Poland

“I don’t see any new ways of producing food. The ancient knew better than us how to cultivate the land and raise animals. They were close to the land and knew to listen to the nature and take from it what it had to offer.”
Noelle, 78, France

Best practices: who is already doing this?

Hello Fresh (EU)

One of the best examples of Trial Made Easy is Hello Fresh. By providing all the ingredients and a recipe, food boxes are a great way to remove availability and knowledge barriers. As they are often customisable and provide some choice for the consumer, they can create a very personal experience.

Recipe Suggestions

Manufacturers or distributers of products often provide an example recipe to encourage consumers to buy their products. These actors include more sustainable recipes. For example, instead of suggesting a recipe based on chicken or beef, they could recommend beans or tofu.

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