This project, which is part of a wider SUSFOOD project (SUSDIET), aims to determine how to encourage changes in consumer behaviour towards more sustainable diets, by pursuing two main objectives:
The first objective is focused on the identification of major barriers preventing consumers from making sustainable dietary choices. This requires better understanding of the role of education, motivations, attitudes, values, price, taste, convenience, how it is presented to consumers and other food attributes in influencing food consumption, and how those factors could potentially be influenced to enhance the sustainability of diets. The tasks funded by Defra under this objective comprise (tasks’ numbers corresponds to their number in the SUSDIET project):
• Task 2.1 - Choice-based experiment focused on the meat sector. This aims to determine how a set of meat attributes influence consumers’ choices.
• Task 2.2 – Choice experiment focused on the fruit sector. The purpose of this task is to examine consumers’ trade-off amongst environmental, safety attributes and taste.
• Task 2.3 - Estimations of a complete system of demand for food for different sub-population groups to investigate the substitutions between food categories.
The second objective is to analyse policy instruments (Task 3.4) and interventions (Tasks 4.1 and 4.2) for the promotion of sustainable food choices and formulate policy recommendations that identify levers and opportunities for change. The tasks funded by Defra under this objective are:
• Task 3.4 - Econometric analysis of the effect that the traffic lights nutritional system has on sustainable choices.
• Task 4.1 - Analysis of factors affecting the uptake of innovative food products that improve sustainability.
• Task 4.2 – Measurement of the impact that changes in prices have on different sustainability dimensions.
The research consortium is composed of 15 teams from 9 European countries. By consolidating pan European experiences and assessing transferability and acceptability in various countries and regions, the project will add value to existing experience and knowledge. The approach will be multi-disciplinary with experts in economics, nutrition, consumer research, public health and environmental science.
The project aims to determine how to make possible large changes in consumer behaviour towards healthier and sustainable diets by pursuing two objectives (these are the SUSDIET’s objectives where SRUC participate and Defra is funding). Together with the objectives below are the SRUC performed tasks. In addition, together with each task are the duration period of each task.
First objective (second SUSDIET objective) - It is the identification of major barriers preventing consumers from making sustainable dietary choices; for this purpose, we need a better understanding of the role of education, motivations, attitudes, values, price, taste, convenience, and other food attributes in influencing food consumption, and how those factors could potentially be modified to enhance the sustainability of diets. The SRUC work on this objective will comprise three tasks (the task numbers corresponds to the SUSDIET’s task numbers).
Task 2.1 (Coordinator: J. M. Gil) - A Choice-based experiment will be focused on the meat sector to determine how a set of meat attributes influence consumers’ choices. An optimal design will be obtained that allows us to estimate all the main effects (i.e. of each attribute) as well as the two-way interaction effects (i.e. of interaction between two attributes). An additional analysis (Structural Choice Modelling) will allow a more detailed analysis of choice and causation, and provide deeper insights into individual decision-making choices. (Month 6 – Month 30)
Task 2.2 (Coordinator: E. Giraud-Héraud) - An experiment focused on the fruit sector will be carried out to include environmental and safety attributes as well as taste in the consumers’ trade-off analysis. This evaluation will use experimental auctions. Apart from measuring the impacts of sustainability attributes on the consumers’ willingness to pay (WTP), the research will explore a methodological issue, with the aim of improving WTP elicitation when choices are between close substitutes. (Month 7 – Month 24)
Task 2.3 (Coordinator: Y. Surry) - The aim is to investigate the substitutions between food categories, we will carry out estimations of complete systems of demand for foods in different sub-population groups. This task will characterize food preferences by estimating the relationship of demand for various foods to income, prices and other observable socio-economic variables. Furthermore, the model will show how these relationships vary among countries and within populations in each country, depending on socio-demographic variables such as education or household structure. In Finland, the empirical work will rely on the Finnish Household Budget Survey. In France, Sweden and in Scotland, the empirical work will be implemented by using consumer panel data. In Italy, scanner data will be used (Month 1 – Month 22).
Second objective (third SUSDIET objective) – It is to analyse policy instruments for the promotion of sustainable food choices and formulate policy recommendations. It will consider two types of policies: provision of information (e.g., information campaigns and dietary recommendations) (Task 3.4), as well as policy instruments and innovations affecting the market environment (Tasks 4.1 and 4.2).
Task 3.4 (Coordinator: C. Revoredo-Giha) - Prescriptive labelling based on coloured logos (Green Keyhole, Traffic-lights, etc.) is increasingly envisaged by policy makers to reinforce the impact of labels on consumer behaviour. We will study the impacts of this type of prescriptive labelling in two studies. As “traffic lights” have been already implemented in the UK on a voluntary basis, an econometric analysis will be carried out to determine the impacts of these labels on sales, depending on the consumers’ characteristics. (Month 13 – Month 25)
Task 4.1 (Coordinator: R. Hoffman). - It will examine the potentially vital role that product innovations can play in moving towards more sustainable food consumption and under which conditions sustainable product innovations are more likely to succeed (in terms of their uptake by consumers), taking into account potential thresholds in demand, alternative policies and the strategic behaviour of firms. (Month 9 – Month 24)
Task 4.2 (Coordinator: P. Sckokai) - Based on the results of WP1 and WP2, this task will consists of simulations of how the composition of diets are affected by changes in prices (positive and negative), namely the substitutions across or within food groups. (Month 22 – Month 36)