Organisations in the food industry make decisions about new products and marketing campaigns without having an accurate understanding of consumer eating patterns. In other words: how, what and when food is consumed. They use intensive processes, trial-and-error methods, inaccurate sources and low-quality figures.
FoodProfiler is an app that large groups of consumers can use to enter the food they have eaten. This gives us insight into consumption patterns and helps us understand who ate what and how and when it was eaten. The near-time registration over the past two hours, the long-term measurements and the large groups of consumers provide an abundance of reliable information and insights. This method therefore makes intensive processes and inaccurate sources unnecessary. FoodProfiler provides insight into who eats specific foods and what, where, why and how this food is eaten.
Measuring food consumption and understanding the factors that determine consumer behaviour is difficult and often takes place in an unstructured and ad hoc way in Europe. No infrastructure exists with which to systematically collect this data. There is a growing need among governments and businesses for detailed information on consumer eating habits that can be used to shape policies and strategies in the fields of health, sustainability, product development and marketing. This information allows us to monitor vegetable or meat consumption, for example, in order to understand the policy impact.
Technological developments such as apps offer countless opportunities to collect data in an international context. This data can be used to carry out studies on consumer behaviour in relation to food consumption patterns. Wageningen Economic Research is currently developing a new method for collecting data on food consumption patterns.