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Présentoir réfrigéré de supermarché, contenant des pièces de viande ou de volaille préparées et emballées.. © INRA, SLAGMULDER Christian

Shape practices through supply and demand

Updated on 07/21/2017
Published on 03/17/2015

Nutritional factors and concern for personal health are more often cited as factors that drive choices of consumers. Improving nutritional and environmental characteristics  of food products without altering  hedonistic characteristics is a key challenge for shaping behaviour.

As part of the DID'IT metaprogramme, research focuses on identifying factors that determine dietary practices and food choices, especially those that lead to excessive calorie intake, a preference for high-calorie foods, substitutions between animal- and vegetable-based products, but also contribute to a better understanding of why consumers accept or reject new products (eg alternative sources of protein).The following underlying mechanisms are explored: individual (biological, psychological, physiological, neurophysiological, endocrinal, cultural); environmental (distribution, supply, marketing, food consumption context, etc); product-related (organoleptic qualities, appearance, processing, etc.); domestic (how food is cooked and seasoned, food shopping habits, food storage, leftover and waste management); cultural; social; economic; education-related; or related to the effects of urbanised lifestyles, etc

Researchers will also portray how emerging consumer trends are diversifying, based on new interactions between consumers (buyers’ associations, food sharing schemes, etc.), and between consumers and producers (eg community-supported agriculture, among others). Likewise, research will focus on school canteens, which exert tremendous influence both in terms of volume purchased (more than 60% of children eat at least three meals a week in school canteens) and/or setting supply standards, in order to decipher trends in dietary practices.

Researchers will have to outline the diversity of food matrices in terms of composition and structure at different scales, and find ways to improve their health, organoleptic, nutritional (bio-accessibility of nutrients and micro-nutrients, allergic reactions, intolerance, etc.) and environmental properties, by physical, chemical, (micro-)biological or enzymatic processes. Special attention will be paid to the methods used to make, store, preserve, process and/or distribute food in different economic, social, cultural and technological contexts, but also to finding supply-side ways of curbing waste at distributor and consumer levels.


The metaprogramme intends to:

  • propose strategies for food processes and analytical methods for healthy and sustainable food products;
  • identify effective ways to shape consumer habits and develop supply-side strategies