How do consumers view and understand the food system, and balance their choices against multiple competing factors (including safety and standards, nutrition and health, choice, availability, affordability, sustainability, and welfare)?

Background

The FSA’s mission is focused on protecting consumers and acting in the consumer’s interest. It is therefore essential to understand what influences and drives behaviours across the food system. To act in the consumer interest within food policy and the food system, we must understand and monitor behaviours, changing attitudes and consumer-driven trends, and play our part in supporting safe, healthy, sustainable diet choices for all. To implement effective policies, we need to understand what consumers think, feel, and do, and how these are changing, as well the differences between consumers, and how these impact on food security, food safety and public health. Understanding the role of new and emerging markets and business models, and through these, the role food businesses play in driving behaviour and influencing consumer demand, is essential. This includes the development and introduction of novel foods (such as alternative protein sources or genetically engineered foods). 

Next steps

Please contact the FSA Science Strategy, Research and Capability Unit at ari@food.gov.uk

Source

This question was published as part of the set of ARIs in this document:

FSA Areas of research interest

Related UKRI funded projects


  • Seminar Series on Food Options, Opinions and Decisions (FOOD): Integrating perspectives on consumer perceptions of food safety, nutrition and waste

    Our seminar series aims to understand and improve UK consumers' decisions about nutrition, food safety, and food waste. Our goals align with DEFRA, the Food and Agricultural Organisation and others who use the modern vie...

    Funded by: ESRC

    Lead research organisation: University of Leeds

    Why might this be relevant?

    The project focuses on understanding and improving consumer decisions about nutrition, food safety, and food waste, which directly relates to the question's focus on consumer choices and competing factors.

  • Sus-Health. Sustainable and Healthy diets for all.

    major transformation of the food system is required, which is focused on the production and consumption of healthy and sustainable food. Change will need to be facilitated through a number of means, both direct and indir...

    Funded by: BBSRC

    Lead research organisation: Newcastle University

    Why might this be relevant?

    The project aims to create a systemic strategy and innovative solution for influencing food choices and consumption, aligning with the question's focus on understanding consumer choices and balancing multiple factors.

  • SALIENT (food System triALs for Impact on Environment, Nutrition and healTh)

    The UK food system is neither sufficiently healthy nor sustainable. Poor diet is the second-leading cause of death and ill health in the UK. The number of food banks in the country is increasing, yet cheaper food is ofte...

    Funded by: ESRC

    Lead research organisation: University of Oxford

    Why might this be relevant?

    The project works with the public, policymakers, and food system partners to design tools and actions that can increase purchasing of healthy, sustainable foods, addressing the question's focus on consumer choices and competing factors.

  • Consumer Lab: Building academic-industry partnerships to ensure sustained acceptance of healthy foods

    Poor diet has a dramatic impact on the prevalence of non-communicable diseases such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. In response, researchers can innovate to improve the nutritional quality of fo...

    Funded by: BBSRC

    Lead research organisation: University of Bristol

  • i3food: Information, Interventions and Inequalities in the UK food system

    Every day, the UK is fed by a network of retailers, manufacturers, caterers, transporters, farmers, customs officials, environmental health officers, tech companies and many others. This food system is highly complex but...

    Funded by: MRC

    Lead research organisation: University of Oxford

  • Realigning UK Food Production and Trade for Transition to Healthy and Sustainable Diets

    Recognition of the enormous costs of ill-health, disease and obesity associated with current UK dietary consumption patterns and the environmental damage inflicted by current food production systems have made the transit...

    Funded by: BBSRC

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  • FIO-FOOD, Food Insecurity in people living with Obesity - improving sustainable and healthier food choices in the retail FOOD environment.

    Obesity levels in the UK represent a key public health issue, with 67% of its population living with overweight or obesity. People living with obesity are more likely to experience a range of health issues including hear...

    Funded by: BBSRC

    Lead research organisation: University of Aberdeen

  • Transforming Urban Food Systems for Planetary and Population Health (The Mandala Consortium)

    In this proposal we set out our vision for five years of research that will help bring about important changes in the food system. The changes aim to make food healthier, more affordable, less harmful to the environment,...

    Funded by: BBSRC

    Lead research organisation: University of Cambridge

  • Food Quality and Health - Sustaining the Future

    Demand for food is changing because of population growth, changing diets and increasing affluence. Food production is under increasing pressure as water and other natural resources become scarcer and competition for the ...

    Funded by: BBSRC

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  • FOODMAPP

    Interconnected challenges of climate change, food supply resilience, food miles, food waste and supporting the next generation of producers and operators with a fair income are all highlighted in the EU Strategic Plan. F...

    Funded by: Horizon Europe Guarantee

    Lead research organisation: Bournemouth University

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