A data platform to learn more about consumers’ dietary choices (RICHFIELDS)

01 December 2016

Making “the healthy choice the easy choice” requires knowledge about our dietary choices. This knowledge comes from analysing different types of information (data) on dietary choices such as: What food and drinks are we buying, preparing and eating? Where? Why? How? With whom? In what social and physical context?

Opportunities in big data

Previous research has concluded that data related to food, nutrition and health are fragmented and key information is lacking.1 New ICT technologies bring opportunities for researchers to monitor and collect information on these behaviours. Every day, consumers and businesses generate “big data” - large volumes of information, that offer detailed descriptions of behaviours, including time and place (e.g. using GPS). If these data-rich sources could be linked and analysed, they have the potential to contribute greatly towards answering key questions to respond to societal challenges regarding food and health (e.g., obesity, cardiovascular disease, sustainability).

Aims of the RICHFIELDS project

RICHFIELDS aims to design the technical requirements for a consumer-data platform to collect and connect, compare and share information about our food behaviours. RICHFIELDS seeks to determine what facilities, resources, and services can support research to learn more about what we choose to eat and how and why we make those choices.

What will RICHFIELDS do?

RICHFIELDS will explore the integration of data on food purchase, food preparation and food consumption, generated from different sources:

  1. Consumers (e.g. apps, sensors)
  2. Business (Incl. retail, e-commerce, insurance; e.g. sales)
  3. Research (incl. European and International; e.g. surveillance data, personalised nutrition).

A business model will outline the services provided by the platform and how these will generate revenue to sustain it in the longer term, while a roadmap will outline the steps needed to introduce it throughout Europe.

Be involved

RICHFIELDS invites stakeholders to discuss issues of data ownership, privacy, intellectual property rights, ethics, and governance structures, and establish rules for the data platform. To be involved, join the discussions on the LinkedIn group.

About the consortium

Stressing the need for world-class research infrastructures, EU Horizon 2020 provided financial support for RICHFIELDS. RICHFIELDS started 1st October 2015 and is funded for three years. The project is coordinated by LEI Wageningen UR (NL). Sixteen project partners from 12 countries, bring together competences including nutrition, sociology, information management, ICT, business, consumer science, and food processing.

RICHFIELDS has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 654280.

For more information, please visit: www.richfields.eu

References

  1. EuroDISH (2015). Milano Milestone: A declaration of the EuroDISH results and discussion points on future needs, which was presented at the World Expo Milano, May 15th 2015.