Over the past 50 years the European diet has changed dramatically. In the 1960’s approximately 40% of dietary protein was consumed from animal sources. Today it has grown to over 60%. Our health and that of our planet will benefit if we eat more proteins from plant sources and less from animals. Consumers show interest in plant-based alternatives, yet meat consumption remains steady. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research provides companies, governments and social organizations with insight into conscious and unconscious consumer drivers behind food choice. This information enables effective selection of interventions and targeted marketing campaigns.
Flexitarian and vegetarian
Why is it that some consumers continue to eat meat whatever the cost? Are people flexitarian or vegetarian for sustainability reasons or to impress friends? Does a ‘sustainable’ label attract or drive away consumers? These are crucial questions for companies and agencies working to drive change. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research provides our partners with in-depth knowledge in the reasoning and motivation of consumers to choose plant-based foods, enabling goal-oriented and scientifically-based campaigns for the protein transition.
Wageningen Food & Biobased Research has been researching consumer behaviour in relation to food products for more than 30 years. What products stand out in stores? What unconscious motivations drive choice at the shelf? How can healthy and sustainable choices become the easy choices? To get a reliable picture, we observe consumers in an environment as close as possible to the real-life situation. We use flexible data collection tools such as mood rooms, and on-location tests in stores, hospitals, homes, or restaurants. In addition, we hold group discussions and in-depth interviews with consumers. If desired, we also develop test products to enable controlled comparisons.
More plant foodstuffs
Reducing the amount of meat and increasing the amount of vegetables on the plate results in restaurant visitors eating up to 113% more vegetables and up to 13% less meat or fish. The guest's satisfaction remains the same or rises. This has been demonstrated in four scientific studies at nine catering establishments. The studies are part of Food Value Impact, a public-private partnership between nineteen knowledge institutions, companies and non-profit organizations.
Want to know more?
Trying to encourage consumers to eat more vegetable foods? Contact us for a no-obligation conversation.