Woman eating sushi with seaweed

Sustainable alternatives: your pathway to a successful market introduction

We are all looking for new and innovative ways to be more sustainable and the transition to different forms of diet is well underway. But how do you bridge the infamous valley of death gap in innovation terms between a superb new product and a successful market introduction?

Are consumers ready for insects?

Insects are a valuable protein source, for instance, and there’s been a real buzz in recent years with the various products designed. Major advances have also been made in terms of fundamental research and technology readiness for these super-sustainable alternatives. The challenge, of course, is how best to take the next steps and scale up.

Insect burgers tick all the right boxes, from high nutritional value to sustainable methods of production. The technology is in place and so increasingly are the regulations as the EU approves specific applications in food. The elephant in the room, however, is whether consumers will embrace such products, even those who are already leaning towards more sustainable alternatives?

Cutting-edge research

Finding bespoke answers to this and other questions related to your specific product is our specialism at Wageningen Economic Research. We have access to a wide range of independent data as well as the enormous knowledge resources available within WUR. We will consult our global network of expertise to explore how they see such a situation. And the very latest analytical tools and methods will also be deployed, including state-of-the-art research facilities.
Our blend of ideal test settings backed up by rich experience and the latest data will tell you all you need to know about consumer purchasing patterns, their motives and their likely impact on your business.

Measuring acceptance

WUR was a pioneer years ago with its Restaurant of the Future behaviour monitoring site and has since taken such work to the next level. A lot of our research is into acceptance of novel products via consumer panels and a range of innovative tools from virtual reality to mobile apps. We set up environments that simulate how people actually buy and consume the product, and can include a test phase in your own canteen for example.

What better way to discover whether you can you replace one product with another in a sandwich at your counter than to test it on your own premises? Nudging experiments in real-life locations where people are entirely unaware can also produce exceptionally clear and detailed accurate results.

This blend of ideal test settings backed up by rich experience and the latest data will tell you all you need to know about consumer purchasing patterns, their motives and their likely impact on Your business.

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This is just one piece of the Market Intelligence puzzle. If you're curious about how the whole puzzle fits together, visit: Market Intelligence: a comprehensive view of the future.

A practical example: onboard simulations

A number of airlines have turned to us for research into how passengers respond to certain food combinations. We’ve established a room that simulates part of a plane, giving testers the experience of eating food in an environment where space is cramped and packaging & cutlery are very different to normal situations (it’s hard to cut cauliflower with a plastic knife). History teaches that people are happier with airline menus tested in a regular environment compared to trials on an actual aircraft. Our simulation facilities allow airline chefs to cook up meals that are accepted in the sky while also containing more sustainable alternatives.
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In a nutshell

Partner with Wageningen Economic Research to:

  • Develop various market scenarios that show sustainable food product sales
  • Clarify which underlying motives play a role when consumers purchase and consume sustainable food products
  • Gain insight into optimal purchasing conditions so you can facilitate the ideal conditions for consumers to buy and consume protein alternatives and green food
  • Be supported with product innovations and launches
  • Develop innovative products and technologies using knowledge from 5,000 WUR experts