EIT Food

RIS Consumer Engagement Labs

About the project

EIT Food Consumer Engagement Labs are pre-competitive co-creation sessions carried out by a relatively coherent group of consumers (selected based on specific segmentation criteria) in a joint, physical place and limited in time, focused on ideation/development of new product concepts. Unlike typical sensory panels and consumer surveys, they will not involve testing of sample products but creation of innovative, yet non-existing combinations of product features and benefits.

The development of Labs methodology is coordinated by University of Warsaw with the involvement of industrial and academic partners and subcontractors. Labs activities are pre-competitive in nature, i.e. multiple companies could be inspired by insights into consumer preferences. In 2019, the Labs will be piloted in Poland, Lithuania, Portugal and Spain (countries of EIT Regional Innovation Scheme), engaging elderly consumers. The interactive methodology of Labs, developed in 2019, will be applicable in 2020 to other consumer segments and countries. It uses novel techniques to engage consumers, stimulate creativity and foster the acceptance of new products. It allows non-experts to modify product features without the need to master specialist vocabulary or understand ingredients and manufacturing methods. This collective exercise will yield non-obvious, counter-intuitive combinations of product features and be attractive for consumers involved in the co-creation.

Why it matters

Traditional development of new food and beverage products was based inhouse, and consumers were approached to verify their acceptance of new product concepts, sensory aspects, packaging or promotional messages. EIT Food Consumer Engagement Labs put the consumers in the centre of the creative process, unleashing their creative potential and turning the consumers into genuine change agents, who will propose new products or services to be implemented by companies.

Consumer co-creation is an important learning process, through which a combination of knowledge, lifetime experience, diverse personal value systems and preferences could be turned into innovative ideas and product designs. The activity will elaborate co-creation methodology that could be further used in other geographies, consumer segments and product categories, as well as inspire participants of various activities of EIT Food.

Benefits of the project:

Addressing societal challenges: Labs involve coherent groups of consumers, united by the same societal need, health condition, or economic problem, which might be perceived as a vulnerabilities by the mass marketers, but are important factors to approach the usually overlooked consumer groups in a socially responsible way
– In 2019, the project focuses on encouraging food and beverages companies in Europe to become more sensitive to specific needs and product requirements of elderly consumers, in 4 countries where aging tends to be accompanied by impaired purchasing power.

Pursuing co-creation: new product/service concepts created jointly with consumers, with companies gaining insights into specific preferences and ideas of consumers
– Following the outcomes of 2019 project, 4 new products/services developed in the Labs will be introduced to the market by food producers and retailers in Lithuania, Poland, Portugal and Spain.

• Supporting multiple stakeholders in several countries
– The project contributed to the establishment of 4 consortia, involving scientific organisations, food retailers, food producers, start-ups and non-governmental organisations, in Lithuania, Poland, Portugal and Spain. These consortia gain specialist training and advise, access to Labs methodology and toolsets, as well as support for new product/service commercialisation, and work with consumers to deliver local Labs sessions. Altogether, 20 organisations from 4 countries covered by the EIT Regional Innovation Scheme will benefit from the project.

• Development and piloting of novel methodology
– The project leverages the insights of anthropologists, social scientists, psychologists, socio-gerontology, consumer behaviour and innovation management experts from academia, combined with experiences of industrial partners (food producers and food service providers) and non-governmental organisations. The methodology (scripts, toolsets, guidelines) will be tested in 4 countries, and further adapted to other consumer segments.

Elderly consumers in the food and beverages market

The ageing society induces important challenges for economic systems and consumer markets. A constantly increasing number of members of the society belong to the group described as “elderly citizens”. This calls for better understanding of the socio-economic challenges faced by this consumer group, and for the development of dedicated products and services, often described in the context of “silver economy” or “silver market”. Elderly consumers encounter various economic, social and health-related challenges, summarized below:

The ageing population has specific nutritional requirements, which respond to chemo-sensory decline (e.g. in olfactory, gustatory and chemesthetic perception), challenges posed by dental health, possible drug interactions, changed frequency and quantity of food intake.

Elderly consumers tend to have distinctive pre-existing, personal value systems and eating habits, specific dietary preferences with elements of neophobia (avoidance of new foods) inscribed into their consumer behaviour patterns.

In countries of Eastern and Southern Europe, elderly consumers are characterized by: lower purchasing power, price consciousness and frequent experiences of food insufficiency, which might contradict their nutrition needs for balanced diets. Owing to these characteristics, they present limited monetization potential for major food manufacturers and retailers.

Elderly consumers account for a growing share of population in EIT RIS countries of Eastern and Southern Europe. Even though their specific requirements tend to be overlooked by many food producers and retailers, our project consortium believes that by understanding their needs and involving them in co-creation processes, food and beverage manufactures could better address important societal challenges. Mature market is highly diversified, including small, heterogeneous consumer segments with many potentially attractive niches that are yet to be discovered by food and beverage industry.

Food-related innovations in the silver market can promote healthy ageing, support the social inclusion of the elderly citizens and promote empathy among food system participants.

About us

Project co-ordinator:

University of Warsaw developed the Consumer Engagement Labs concept, manages the project and coordinates the development and piloting of the Labs methodology in 2019.

Project leader

Krzysztof Klincewicz

E-mail: kklincewicz@wz.uw.edu.pl

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Project team

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Rafał Bakalarczyk

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Adrianna Jaskanis

Magdalena Klimczuk-Kochańska

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Monika Skorek

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Magdalena Zatorska

Project partners

6 project partners – members of EIT Food consortium participate in the development and piloting of the Labs methodology in 2019.

University of Aarhus

University of Aarhus performs world class research and Innovation in support of education, entrepreneurship and business development in sustainable food and agriculture including consumer studies. Our research and innovation capabilities cover whole value chains from sustainable crop and livestock production and precision agriculture to biorefinery and circular bioeconomy, to processing, food quality, ingredients, food & health and market acceptance. AU is found in top-ten in several global ranking lists for food and agriculture.

Contact person: Lina Jacobsen
Contact email address: linaj@mgmt.au.dk
Website: www.au.dk

Maspex

The Maspex Wadowice Group is one of the biggest food producers in Central and Eastern Europe, which operates on the food market for over 25 years. The company aims to be the leader in the food industry in the Central Europe in terms of both market share values and brand power.

www.maspex.com »

PepsiCo

PepsiCo is one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies with over $63 billion in net revenue in 2015 and a global portfolio of diverse and beloved brands. Our complementary food and beverage portfolio enables us to provide more choices for our valued consumers; from oats and juice and yoghurts, to snacks, dips and soft drinks. Our products are available around the world and our portfolio includes 22 brands that each generates more than $1 billion in estimated annual retail sales.

www.pepsico.com »

Sodexo

With 425 000 employees in 80 countries, SODEXO provides daily Quality of Life Services to over 75 million consumers at more than 32,000 sites : schools, universities, production, administration or business centres, detention centres, hospitals, senior homes.

We experience daily, at field level where consumers live, that Quality of Life Services and Food Services at a special position, directly contribute to progress of individuals and to the performance of their organization. We also know how much Food Service can contribute to health & wellness for our guests, nutritional education for the youngest, social interaction and sense of recognition, personal development, facilitation for ease and efficiency in daily activities and tasks, for providing a safe and secure living environment.

We also have clear commitments and important role to play for our environments (planet, local communities) in a sustainable development perspective.

Contact person: Laurent Cousin
Contact email address: laurent.cousin@sodexo.com
Website: www.sodexo.com

EIT Food

Project is supported by CLC North-East and CLC South.

University of Aarhus

University of Aarhus performs world class research and Innovation in support of education, entrepreneurship and business development in sustainable food and agriculture including consumer studies. Our research and innovation capabilities cover whole value chains from sustainable crop and livestock production and precision agriculture to biorefinery and circular bioeconomy, to processing, food quality, ingredients, food & health and market acceptance. AU is found in top-ten in several global ranking lists for food and agriculture.

Contact person: Lina Jacobsen

Contact email address: linaj@mgmt.au.dk

Website: www.au.dk

Maspex

The Maspex Wadowice Group is one of the biggest food producers in Central and Eastern Europe, which operates on the food market for over 25 years. The company aims to be the leader in the food industry in the Central Europe in terms of both market share values and brand power.

www.maspex.com »

PepsiCo

PepsiCo is one of the world’s leading food and beverage companies with over $63 billion in net revenue in 2015 and a global portfolio of diverse and beloved brands. Our complementary food and beverage portfolio enables us to provide more choices for our valued consumers; from oats and juice and yoghurts, to snacks, dips and soft drinks. Our products are available around the world and our portfolio includes 22 brands that each generates more than $1 billion in estimated annual retail sales.

www.pepsico.com »

Sodexo

With 425 000 employees in 80 countries, SODEXO provides daily Quality of Life Services to over 75 million consumers at more than 32,000 sites : schools, universities, production, administration or business centres, detention centres, hospitals, senior homes.

We experience daily, at field level where consumers live, that Quality of Life Services and Food Services at a special position, directly contribute to progress of individuals and to the performance of their organization. We also know how much Food Service can contribute to health & wellness for our guests, nutritional education for the youngest, social interaction and sense of recognition, personal development, facilitation for ease and efficiency in daily activities and tasks, for providing a safe and secure living environment.

We also have clear commitments and important role to play for our environments (planet, local communities) in a sustainable development perspective.

Contact person: Laurent Cousin
Contact email address: laurent.cousin@sodexo.com
Website: www.sodexo.com

EIT Food

Project is supported by CLC North-East and CLC South.

Local consortia in 4 countries:

Consumer Engagement Labs are piloted in 2019 in 4 countries, with the involvement of local players: scientific organisations, food retailers, food producers, start-ups and non-governmental organisations. They were selected in an open call launched by EIT Food. The local organisations are supported by EIT Food, receiving funding for their project involvement, gaining access to training, know-how and Labs methodology. They carry out the Labs in each respective country, and are supported by project partners to commercialise Labs’ results as new products/services introduced to the local markets.

Consortium in Lithuania

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Kaunas University of Technology (KTU)  is leading Lithuanian university providing wide range of studies and closely cooperating with business. KTU has 9 faculties and 8 reseach oriented institutes, as well as few schools and competence centres. The University has scientific expertise in engineering, technologies, physical and social sciences, humanities and arts. Few departments carries out research  in  the field of food systems.

Website: www.en.ktu.edu

ABOUT IKI

  • ~6 800 employed professionals
  • ~ 157 000 m2 of total sales area
  • 227 stores in 65 cities
  • Twice a week store is visited by a customer
  • ~ 300 000 buyers every day
  • We are the #2 retailer in Lithuania.
  • We know what proper food is.
  • The quality and freshness of our food are most important.
  • We serve those who want to shop several times a week or even dail
  • We understand the needs and requirements of Lithuanian people.
  • We provide high quality service to our customers.

OUR MISSION

  • Best value for money
  • Everyday passion for food
  • Best shopping experience
  • Store close to customers in Lithuania
  • Socially responsible and sustainable

Website: www.iki.lt

WHO WE ARE?

AVOO – an original Lithuanian oat drink company.

What started in 2015 with two friends, a big idea and a shared passion for food innovation, have quickly grown into a company on a mission to accelerate society’s shift towards plant-based drinks. We believe that we can accelerate this shift dramatically. Bad taste is one of the main issues keeping most plant-based drinks from getting global traction. Therefore, we have challenged and proved ourselves by creating a drink that is purely from plants and is tasty, joyful and guilt free.

WHAT WE DO?

We are makers of an absolutely delicious fermented oat drink. No added sugars, preservatives and other nonsense. Only 2 ingredients – local oats and water. That’s all. We believe that good food should be both- simple and absolutely delicious.

Website: www.avoo.eu

Consortium in Poland

Poznan University of Life Sciences (PULS) takes a leading position in rankings of universities of life sciences in Poland. Its beginnings date back to the year 1870 and up until today PULS has considerably contributed to the development of Poland’s west region. PULS is a multidisciplinary public research university actively engaged in a wide range of international projects. University researchers are working across disciplines that look at tackling and providing solutions to major challenges pertaining to agriculture, food industry and nutrition. Collaborative research projects provide solutions to real-world problems and inform the delivered education as well as public and private partners.

The team members from PULS specialize in market research, design of food systems and consumer engagement. In the published papers the team members provide market analyses for various food industry sectors, recommendations and research on NPD activities, reports on national and EU aspects of food and agricultural policies. Moreover, PULS advocates for the capability of communities to inform local food systems and engage in food products development. In the Consumer Engagement Labs project, PULS will take the role of the coordinator and will be responsible for utilizing insights gathered during the session with seniors, providing the expertise on co-creation process and market acceptance.

Website: www.skylark.up.poznan.pl/en

Our experts in the food industry work every day to introduce new products to our shops. With many years of experience in purchasing, sales and new product development we have prepared a strong portfolio of innovative products fitted to the characteristics of our customer base. As a dynamic and fast-growing company we have extensive knowledge of the food market and customer needs and trends.

Our chain operates 50 shops located mainly in smaller towns and rural areas. A significant target group are elderly people who are often price sensitive. Offering this group an attractive product requires a high level of cost discipline and also overcoming of the distrust for novel products. The older people constitute the biggest group of customers for our shops and the chain offers them price attractive but tasty and nutritional food products, which guaranty the loyalty of this group. In addition, according to demographic trends, the population is expected to age and the elderly will be more and more often the major target group for distributors. Having this in mind we treat “The Consumer Engagement Labs” project as the strategic opportunity to take advantage of the novel research methods and gain interesting consumer insights.

Website: www.gminnesklady.pl/kontakt

Folwark Wąsowo (Wąsowo Farm) is a producer and a distributor of organic products that come from its own farming. We believe that growing wholesome food, in harmony with tradition and nature, is a precondition for excellent taste and health benefits for our customers.

The company aims to produce the highest quality, traditional pickled foods using natural fermentation. We grow our vegetables and fruits on our farm or buy them only from local farms and sell the ready to use products in our shop (also online) and through the dedicated distribution network covering most major cities in Poland.

Our company is committed to providing people with delicious, organic and nourishing food. We are on the mission to more balanced, organic food systems. We are keen on experimenting and launching new products that provide health benefits and excellent taste. We are enthusiastic about the idea of “Consumer Engagement Labs” project and believe that it will allow us to gain a competitive advantage in products dedicated to seniors.

Website: www.folwarkwasowo.pl

Cofactor Sp. z o.o. was founded by biotechnology graduates and is a company specializing in the development and implementation of technology related to the production of biopharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, cosmeceuticals and functional foods. The company developed and successfully commercialized production technologies of substances like collagen and soy protein – lunasin. In cooperation with the Poznań University of Life Sciences, we are also involved in developing and commercialization of the technology of isolation and purification of bioactive components from potato. We also cooperate with other companies focused on biopharmaceuticals, nutraceutics and cosmeceutics by providing research and development services.

Website: www.cofactor.pl

Poznań Science and Technology Park supports companies in launching new solutions to the market. The Park employs 130 experts and has the status of an A category research unit. Our portfolio includes consulting services, training, research and laboratory services for companies. Our goal is to support companies in the effective development and implementation of unique products.

We have experience in developing solutions co-created with older people. We conduct workshops based on moderated interpersonal interactions, which allows us to collect various points of view and methodologically extract knowledge from participants, which is then used to build a competitive advantage of a new solution. In the EIT Food RIS Consumer Engagement Labs consortium, we will be responsible for focusing on the needs of seniors and enhancing the process of concept development, as well as selecting appropriate working methods.

Websites: www.ppnt.poznan.pl/enwww.fuam.pl/en

Consortium in Portugal

INIAV, National Institute for Agrarian and Veterinarian Research I.P. is the Portuguese State Laboratory of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forests and Rural Development (MAFDR) that develops Research & Innovation activities in the agricultural and veterinary fields to support public policies and business advisement. INIAV has 10 centers and 5 experimental farms distributed trough Portugal and their scientific unities include research areas applied to the food system such as food security and safety and technologies focused on quality development and authenticity of food. Additionally, INIAV provides laboratory services, scientific and technical support to both farmers and industry and also training of students and other stakeholder’s.

Website: www.iniav.pt

MODELO CONTINENTE, Hipermercados SA is a part of SONAE MC, the food retail leader in the Portuguese market. Its food retail business began in 1985, changing consumer habits and starting a revolution in the commercial landscape in Portugal. Today it owns hypermarkets & convenience supermarkets, as well as cafeterias. Through its Health & Wellness unit, SONAE MC also caters to providing healthy nutrition options, including organic, supplements as well as health & wellness services and nutritional recommendations. Thus, the company combines both the expertise in food retail (fresh and processed food), as well as the experience in catering to the health & wellness market, with a relevant knowledge of customer behaviour.

Website: www.continente.ptwww.sonae.pt

VIEIRA DE CASTRO, Produtos Alimentares SA is a Portuguese company, has been on the market for 75 years, establishing itself as a sustainable, competitive brand which is committed to quality and innovation, endowing it with unrivalled know-how in the production of biscuits. Over the years the company has always sought to respond, as effectively as possible, to market requirements, seeking to provide all those who consume its products with moments of real pleasure. The company operates in the international market with the commitment of providing products that yield customer satisfaction and loyalty, maintaining specific quality standards, mainly under Vieira brand.

Website: www.vieiradecastro.pt/en

QUALIRISO, LDA is a recent Portuguese company that is specializing in the production of innovative food ingredients from rice by-products, rice flours and stabilized rice bran. Qualiriso puts a special focus on the stabilized rice bran diversified derivatives that goes from proteins to soluble fibers and oils. The rice flours activities in which Qualiriso is involved goes from the production of current Rice flours to the BTP and BIO rice varieties. Qualiriso has on its portfolio of client’s, from the human and animal food industry together with the final consumer distribution operators.

APDP, Associação Protectora dos Diabéticos de Portugal, is a non-governmental organisation, the Portuguese Diabetes Association with 15.000 members. Besides being a patient association, conducting advocacy at national and international level, APDP is a healthcare provider, managing an outpatient clinic that attends around 300 patients with diabetes daily. In that activity, it frequently conducts both routine nutrition consultations and specific research projects regarding the effect of food in the management of diabetes.

Website: www.apdp.pt

Consortium in Spain

The UNIVERSITY OF EXTREMADURA is the Public University in the Autonomous Community of Extremadura, in the southwest of Spain. It has 4 campuses and more than 24000 undergraduate and graduate students study there and another 8000 do Doctorate courses, own degrees or continuing education. It has 12 University Research Institutes, being the Institute for Research in Agri-Food Resources (INURA) the one coordinating Consumer Engagement Lab participation of Extremadura.

INURA, with a multidisciplinary and specialized research environment, leads several lines of research aimed at obtaining quality food and designing new foods.

Website: iui.unex.es/index.php/es/institutos/inura

Lider Aliment S.A. is a regional company dedicated to the distribution and the exploitation of supermarkets, either directly or through franchises, as well as the development of products and brands. They operate under the SPAR brand.

260 establishments from 200 m2 to 2500 m2 in all southwest Spain (Badajoz, Cáceres, Huelva, Seville, north of Cordoba and Cadiz) with thousand two hundred workers.

Website: www.lideraliment.es

Iberitos combines tradition, innovation and quality in the framework of the Mediterranean diet by offering a varied, traditional and high quality foodstuff, presented in a single-dose format. The purity of the flavor based on milk, vegetables, meat or fish is achieved through the fresh foods that make up the recipes of all the products with excellent raw materials.

Iberitos counts on modern facilities and more than 120 employees.

Website: www.iberitos.com

Brain Connectors is an innovation agency focused on finding really relevant solutions for organizations and people. We believe that by only placing users in a reflective scenario, it is possible to trigger efficient innovation processes for those who develop them, and consequently desirable for its users, generating a positive impact for businesses and territories.

They apply Design Thinking to analyse complex problems and solve them collectively through co-creation. They are trend hunters, connect ideas and always monitor what is happening in the social, cultural, and economic context, having those a strong impact on markets and consumers.

Website: www.brain-co.es

HINEPA is the International Association of Attention to the Person and was born from the hand of entities committed to corporate social responsibility to promote actions to prevent disability and dependence and promote active and healthy aging. They collaborate with the Social and Health Services, as well as with the regional, national and international organizations that have competence in this field by developing innovative actions, aimed at the promotion of the integral attention of the person in general.

Currently, Hinepa holds the Senior Friendly referential that highlights those entities that perform good practices in the field of Active and Healthy Aging.

Website: www.hinepa.org

News

EIT Food has the pleasure to inform that a consortia of scientific organisations, companies and non-governmental organisations has been selected for the EIT Food RIS Consumer Engagement Labs activity. These organisations are:

Lithuania: Kaunas University of Technology; Palink UAB; Ekofrisa UAB; AVOO / MB Maisto architektai / UAB INNOFOODS; Kauna Dalnavos bendruomenes centras Draugyste.
Poland: Poznań University of Life Sciences; Gminne Składy Sp. z o.o.; Folwark Wąsowo; COFACTOR Sp. z o.o.; Adam Mickiewicz University Foundation, Poznan Science and Technology Park (AMUF/PSTP).
Portugal: INIAV-Instituto Nacional de Investigaçao Agrária – Modelo Continente – Hipermercados, S.A. – Vieira de Castro – Productos Alimentares S.A. – QUALIRISO S.A. – APDP – Associaçao Protectora dos Diabéticos de Portugal
Spain: INURA – University Institute for the Research in Agri-food Resources, University of Extremadura; Lider Aliment S.A.; IBERITOS, HUERTA DEHESA EL ALCORNOCAL S.L.; Convento Cowork / Brain Connectors; HINEPA, Associacion International de Atencion a la Persona.
Experts from CLC North-East, CLC South and University of Warsaw have evaluated applications from Lithuania, Poland, Spain and Portugal. Detailed results of the evaluation are available on EIT Food website

EIT Food is looking for consortia of organisations from Lithuania, Poland, Portugal and Spain, including scientific organisations, companies and non-governmental organisations, which would participate in the implementation of EIT Food RIS Consumer Engagement Labs activity. Consumer Engagement Labs are pre-competitive co-creation sessions carried out by a relatively coherent group of consumers (selected based on specific segmentation criteria) in a joint, physical place and limited in time, focused on ideation/development of new product concepts. In 2019, the Labs will be piloted in Poland, Lithuania, Portugal and Spain, engaging senior consumers. The interactive methodology of Labs will stimulate the creativity of consumers and foster the acceptance of innovations. Concepts of new products/services developed in the co-creation activities of the Labs will be commercialised to respond to functionality and budgetary requirements of senior consumers.

Application deadline: 7 March 2019, 4 pm CET.

Links: call announcement on EIT Food website ,  call document , application form 

Contact

If you would like to know more about the project, please do not hesitate to get in touch with our team or the project leader, Prof. Krzysztof Klincewicz from the University of Warsaw (kklincewicz@wz.uw.edu.pl).

Local implementation of the Labs is led by the following experts

Lithuania

Kaunas University of Technology

Poland

Poznań University of Life Sciences

Portugal

Instituto Nacional de Investigação Agrária e Veterinária

Spain

University Institute for the Research in Agri-food Resources (INURA)

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