Improving communication between social and consumer scientists, food technology developers and consumers (CONNECT4ACTION)

27 June 2012

Food innovation and consumer’s acceptance

Despite developments in technology, product design and marketing, most novel food products are not always successfully commercialised. Failed innovations are not only a waste of investment, but also often a missed opportunity to contribute to solving societal problems, such as health and environmental issues. Innovation success is also of relevance for the food industry in Europe that copes with strong competition from emerging economies in the world.

The CONNECT4ACTION project (2011-2014) intended to improve the communication between social and consumer scientists, food technology developers and consumers in order to improve the success of food technology development and commercialisation in Europe. Given the fact that the success of innovations depends on consumers accepting novel products, it is important to know the needs and preferences of consumers. These should be reflected in the development and commercialisation of new food technologies.

Online stakeholder community

A large group of stakeholders will be connected with the project and each other via the online CONNECT4ACTION community. Participation in this community enables stakeholders to give input during various stages of the project, to access project outcomes such as research findings and derived insights, tools and trainings, and to connect with each other.

Based on effective communication strategies identified in the relevant literature and, subsequently, opinions of experts based on their daily practices and experiences, the C4A project will deliver an improved communication framework, accompanied by tools and training materials that gives food technology developers and other key players the opportunity to step-by-step improve their food technology development processes.

By connecting key players in the innovation process, making them interact at all stages of the project, and enabling them with these communication tools, C4A aims to exemplify improved communication and ways of working together to achieve common goals in serving the consumer.

Consortium

The consortium brings together a unique combination of academics e.g. food technologists, consumer scientists and representatives of the food and drink industry, small and medium enterprises, consumer organisations and experts who work on the interface between science and industry.

  • Project Coordinator: LEI Institute, part of Wageningen University
  • Wageningen University and Research Centre (Wageningen UR)
  • Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique (INRA)
  • University of Bologna (UNIBO)
  • Aarhus University (AU)
  • European Food Information Council (EUFIC)
  • European Federation of Food Science and Technology (EFFoST)
  • Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO)
  • The International Association for Cereal Science and Technology (ICC)
  • Newcastle University (UNEW)
  • Agroscope Changins-Wädenswil Research Station (FDEA-ACW)

EUFIC manages the communication and dissemination of this project.

For more information, please visit the CONNECT4ACTION website: www.connect4action.eu.

The project is supported by the European Commission under the Food, agriculture and fisher es, and biotechnology theme of the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development.