Work package 6 aims to understand markets’ development as well as the consumers’ behavior within the context of alternative protein sources in Finland and in Europe. This information will be delivered and discussed with especially the project’s commercial stakeholders. The eventual goal is to provide the food industry and retail with more tools to serve the consumers changing needs. The market for plant-based proteins attracts a lot of interest currently, and is constantly growing in volume, but moreover in versatility.
So far we’ve looked into consumers’ eating tendencies, preferences and awareness of possibilities on a general level, studying e.g. diets among consumers of various demographics in Finland, Sweden, UK and Germany (total n=2015). The initial focus has been to understand:
- How people in these countries eat now (what kind of diet, if any, are they following) and how they intent to change their diets within the next year
- How they get their protein and how well they actually know other, alternative sources for protein, etc.
- What are the drivers that most affect their shopping tendencies
The research setup was based on a series of focus group interviews conducted in Finland.
Along with the conceptual studies, we’ve conducted a 9-markets’ analysis on what kind of products/companies are present. With this, the aim is to put our own, Finnish market in to context of reference with some of the main European markets.
In 2017, more conceptual research will follow, but at the same time focus will shift slightly from overviews towards more practical case studies: WP3 will develop new concepts and products utilizing alternative protein sources, which will then be tested with consumers to see whether they would be viable in the consumers’ perspective. Although just case studies, this research will contribute to the product development work of our stakeholders. 2017 will also see studies conducted with experiences related to changing diets (linked with the clinical studies of work package 5), also contributing to the development of new products.
The future of work in WP6 will be largely dependent on the results gained along the way. The pace at which the market changes these days requires us to be agile and reactive in order to respond to the needs of our stakeholders.