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Shaping Smarter Consumer Behaviour and Food Choice

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FoodSMART (Shaping Smarter Consumer Behaviour and Food Choice)

Periodo di rendicontazione: 2017-01-01 al 2018-12-31

The aim of FoodSMART is to develop an innovative technical (ICT) menu solution that enables informed consumer choice that takes into account individual characteristics (such as culture, dietary requirements and age group) as well as product (specification).
This aim will be achieved through the evaluation of consumer orientated intelligence (what information consumers require/trust i.e. information quality); the assessment of industry orientated intelligence (impact of customisation) and the subsequent development of data analytics and Quick Recognition (QR) coding for personalised food recommendation. Results will be gathered and modelled to provide strategic intelligence for menu design and better population health.

The FoodSMART project will be achieved by pursuing the following specific objectives within three overlapping research and partnership programme areas of ICT development, foodservice operation and consumer behaviour:
01 Identification of key criteria required by consumers to enable informed choice when eating out (across key stages and countries). (D2)
02 Mapping of the relationship between criteria to provide personalised dish recommendation enabling the trigger for optimum practice.
03 Provision of predictive capacity to foodservice operators (e.g. data analytics).(D3)
04 Production of a flexible customisable and accessible interface (e.g. smartphone app and QR coding) for personalised food recommendation and facilitating the consumption of healthy and appropriate dishes. (D4)
05 Proof of concept. (D5)
06 Interpreting and evaluating consumer food choice through data mining and related measurement/analytical approaches across countries (Denmark, France, Greece, UK), key stages and public sector settings (universities and workplaces). (D6)
07 Synthesising and benchmarking the attributes of a successful human-app interface in preparation for commercialisation. (D7)
08 Providing a platform to promote, inform and educate the general public and industry competiveness within the European business climate. Developing methods for wider applicability and aiding design of potentially more effective measures to improve, enhance efficacy and cost effectiveness of healthy dish selection within the out-of-home market. (D8)

Increasing the pace and scale of innovation within out-of-home eating is fundamental to this project.
Work Package 1 – The objective of WP1 is to provide day to day coordination and management of all FoodSMART activities, providing efficient support in terms of financial and human resources and linking the project to the EU Commission. All deliverables have been completed for this WP; the web site is live at A promotional leaflet has been produced to compliment the website. Social media has also been used to maximise public engagement through a twitter account.
The first in a series of short films based on the field research has been developed and posted on the project website.

Work Package 2 –The objective of WP2 is to identify the information valued by consumers to ensure trust of food provision. This will be achieved by a consumer survey performed in 4 EU countries (Denmark, France, Greece and UK), focusing on the actual use (habitual) of “on package information”, and also attitudes, knowledge, values or social norms towards such information when eating out. The study included a first phase with focus group discussions, followed by a quantitative online questionnaire sent to a large sample of the population. Research has found that consumer’s appreciate messages tailored to their own needs, signposting specific values of interest will enable consumers to utilize labels more effectively without being overwhelmed by the abundance of information given. (D2); Milestone one.

Work Package 3 – The objective of WP3 was to identify the key information that can be provided by operators and the challenges it entails. It was also to develop a system for storage and management of that data that syncs both industry and consumer. This is Deliverable 3. A scalable centralized system was designed and delivered to fulfil the needs of industry and consumers. Specifically, an appropriate database schema was developed and implemented in a relational database management system in order to store and manage efficiently industry data, providing nutrition information about dishes, food classification capabilities and storage for user-specific data.

A video demonstrating the device has been uploaded onto FoodSMART social media YouTube channel, the link is provided;

Work Package 4– The objective of WP4 was to develop a smartphone/tablet human interface. Extensive consumer and industry research has been conducted to fully understand requirements from both perspectives, and a mobile app prototype has been developed and evaluated by SUS. Several user workshops have been conducted where 83% agree that the FoodSMART app would be useful to inform about dishes being offered and in addition liked the full menu functionality and personalisation (D4); Milestone two achieved.

Work Package 5 – The objective of WP5 is to evaluate and validate the application with the end-user in a real-life foodservice situation. Field tests of the app will take place March 2017 in a controlled setting in France, (D5); Milestone three - before full testing in the UK, France, Denmark and Greece by industry in 2017/2018 - (D6 and D7); Milestone four.

Exploitation is now being realised. We have conducted 2 presentations to industry.
FoodSMART constitutes a ground-breaking effort to provide diners with enhanced meal information when eating out. Researchers in the team present a multidisciplinary academic base encompassing computing, consumer studies, nutrition, public health, foodservice and culinary expertise. We are developing cross-disciplinary methodological approaches, fostering innovation and promoting knowledge transfer between different empirical research traditions and business by bringing together different research communities experienced at working within real life situations.
The research has been highlighted in EU Horizon 2020 social media, presented at international commercial as well as academic conferences in the UK, China and Malaysia. Through presenting the research and the application at industry conferences broad food service sector interest has been established. Large multinational companies such Nestle, Elior and Unilever have offered to pilot the application. It is accepted that the implementation of a nutrition tool such as this which is novel, innovative and demonstrates excellence in science has benefit not only for the user but also for the foodservice business, allowing opportunity for industry to become aligned with a lifestyle product and hence corporate health. The research project will provide a creative solution that holds strong potential to satisfy consumer’s personalised information needs, and in addition enable an efficient medium for the foodservice industry to meet allergen legislative demands while impacting on public health outcomes through encouraging a healthier food choice.

Testimonial from ESRs recruited to work on FoodSMART
APP update 2017
Management meeting - Institute Paul Bocuse
Dissemination 14:Live - BU
Testimonials from Industry
EuroChrie 2016 - PhD Award
Kick off meeting - Bournemouth University