Nudging the nation towards healthy and sustainable diets with IGD
15th November 2023
Nudging the nation towards healthy and sustainable diets with IGD.
We worked with IGD (The Institute of Grocery Distribution) and their stakeholders across the food industry in an exciting programme of research aiming to identify how to help consumers transition towards healthier and more sustainable diets. We discovered that there is appetite for change – with many people in the UK already thinking about changing their diets. But change is hard, and as behavioural science tells us, interventions need to be easy and targeted.
Applying behavioural science thinking throughout the research programme, we could better understand the subconscious drivers of consumer behaviour and the possible triggers for change. Using Shortcuts – our behavioural science framework – we showed how we can leverage the power of behavioural principles to encourage behavioural change and target consumers at different stages of change. We worked closely with IGD and ran numerous behavioural science workshops to upskill teams and engage stakeholders with the research, in order to take forward the findings and test in real-world settings.
The original research was published in early March 2020, however consumer behaviour has transitioned rapidly as the pandemic hit. To gain prompt insight into this we explored how consumers desire to change their diets for health or environmental reasons has evolved in the wake of COVID-19 and how to adapt interventions to these evolving needs.
This extensive research programme that blended traditional research methodologies with neuroscience tools and behavioural science allowed us to support the industry in their quest to empower better eating habits. On the back of this research IGD has established a project group of 17 organisations spanning manufacturers, retailers, food service and nutrition experts to test and implement the most effective behaviour change initiatives. Companies include Waitrose, Sainsbury’s, Unilever and Premier Foods. Walnut continues to have close dialogue with IGD as this research agenda continues to evolve.
The insights generated from the research combined with Walnut’s behavioural science expertise, allowed us to bring the grocery industry together to better understand human behaviour and equip us with the knowledge and actionable solutions to shift people towards more healthy sustainable diets.
HANNAH PEARSE, HEAD OF NUTRITION AND SCIENTIFIC AFFAIRS, IGD
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