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Cambridge Global Food Security

An Interdisciplinary Research Centre at the University of Cambridge

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I’m a Confused Consumer, Get Me Out of Here!

We discussed consumer behaviour, what food manufacturers and retailers are doing to catch our attention, and how we can help each other to make the right food choices.
When Mar 12, 2019
from 05:30 PM to 07:00 PM
Where Department of Plant Sciences Main Lecture Theatre, University of Cambridge
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Every time we go to the supermarket we are overwhelmed by information, new products and marketing strategies, ever changing prices and complicated labelling. Food manufacturers and retailers are more interested than ever in understanding our preferences and behaviour as consumers but, with so much information, how can we healthily navigate between choices and what can the food sector do to help us? In this series of short talks, we will discover the science behind consumer behaviour and how both industry and consumers can benefit from it.



Professor Dame Theresa Marteau DBE, Director of Behaviour and Health Research Unit, University of Cambridge

Supermarkets could be re-designed to make healthy shopping effortless. Theresa will talk about evidence for the impact of three cues that lead us to buy unhealthy food. Understanding the effect of product size, place and labelling could help some of us achieve healthier shopping. Re-designing supermarkets to remove cues to unhealthier purchases would achieve this for many more.


Dr David Good, Lecturer in the Department of Psychology, University of Cambridge

David has worked on a wide variety of topics on the design and evaluation of novel technologies and social interventions. When consumers make choices, enduring factors which predate and persist beyond that moment of choosing influence the decision. These relate to our understanding of our social relations, and our beliefs in our capacity to control outcomes. Patterns of choice can be importantly influenced by addressing these factors.


Dr Jag Srai, Head of the Centre of International Manufacturing, University of Cambridge

Around 30% of consumer shopping is now delivered direct to our doorsteps, but do the benefits of convenience and speed represent unchecked consumerism without regard for the environment? Or do these digital platforms in fact provide new opportunities to connect consumers with their local retailers and farmers for personalisation, a more informed shopping basket and less waste?



This is a public event, hosted by Cambridge Global Food Security IRC and supported by EIT Food, as part of the #AnnualFoodAgenda project. It takes place within the University of Cambridge's 2019 Science Festival.


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