Food systems for healthier diets

How can urban food supplies contribute to a healthy diet? This project approaches this question from the perspective of the urban consumer. Urbanisation in Africa is progressing steadily. Current estimations indicate that approximately 40% of the African population is living in cities and metropoles. While malnutrition continues to affect 20-35% of African children, health issues resulting from excessive nutrition are also increasing rapidly, especially in the cities. An increasing number of the urban population suffers from hidden hunger and obesity.

Increasing or improving the range of fresh and healthy products available in cities can remove an important obstacle to the transition to a healthier diet. First and foremost, insight into what motivates consumers is necessary for an effective approach. In Western countries, a great deal of attention is paid to consumer research, but in low and middle-income countries this type of research is still in its infancy.

In this project, methods for analyses are developed and applied to:

  • identify the choice and purchasing motivation for food
  • gain insight into the manner in which consumers determine their diets and intake of nutrients
  • to create insight for chain partners about how the product range and design of the chain impacts consumer behaviour

The research is conducted in Kenya and/or Nigeria, in partnership with local parties and chain actors.