By increasing our understanding of which factors are important for achieving a successful product, we can make product development more effective.
Understanding the consumer
Nofima focuses on contributing to more targeted product development through research into how the perception of food is influenced by various factors - such as the composition of the product and of the meal, the consumer's attitudes and values and the setting in which food is eaten. We have scientific and international competence in understanding the consumer's eating experience and the sensory perception of food in different situations. This understanding of the consumer is particularly important for meeting the increasing demand for more healthy food. Product innovation in this area may be based on investigating consumers' attitudes to and understanding of:
- how product information is perceived and influences the choice of healthy products
- sensory perception of healthy products
- what consequences this has for the consumer's choice
To understand the consumer, Nofima adopts an inter-disciplinary approach. Research and knowledge from several different scientific areas, such as food technology, statistics, nutrition, sensory perception and consumer and market analysis, are brought together. We have competence in all these areas, as well as in developing and tailor-making suitable measuring methods and statistical techniques and models for consumer tests.
Different groups of consumers may have different characteristics and different attitudes to food. This means there will be variations in what is important to present to each target group. It is therefore essential to establish specific product and market strategies for each segment according to consumers' identity, attitudes and preferences.
Since children, young people and the elderly have specific nutritional needs, whilst at the same time they can be difficult in terms of sensory satisfaction, Nofima is placing an extra focus on these segments as consumers of healthy products.
We are also working on establishing preferences for traditional food and organic food. We are studying differences in preferences based on cultural factors, so as to be able to reveal export possibilities for Norwegian food producers.