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GW4 Sustainable Food Consumption Research Community


The inadequacy of diets is a major contributor to key global challenges such as climate change and health risks, largely due to prevalent excessive intakes of red and processed meat, and inadequate consumption of plant-based wholefoods. In stepping into a net zero and more sustainable future, consumer behavioural change towards affordable and nutritious protein foods with minimum environmental impacts is urgently needed.  

Studies are emerging  investigating consumer preference for alternative protein foods with lower environmental impacts as well as how environmental labelling can influence people’s food choices. However, much remains unknown about consumer preference for environmental and nutritional attributes of protein foods along with other attributes in various dietary contexts. It is also unclear whether and how consumer preference varies across socio-economic status and culture, particularly in developing countries where a critical increase in meat consumption is witnessed.  


Project Summary

This project aims at constructing a research network to conduct a pilot study with the objectives below:   

1) Investigate how people value environmental and nutritional characteristics of protein foods (including red meat, chicken, fish, cell-cultured meat, and plant-based meat alternatives) along with other attributes such as taste, convenience, familiarity, food safety, etc. in various food environments (e.g. home cooking recipes vs. eating out),  

2) Investigate how consumer preferences and choices are differentiated across countries and socio-economic groups,  

3) Explore ways to incorporate this knowledge in effective policy-making to facilitate shifts towards healthier and more sustainable diets with equality. 

The findings of this project will help policymakers identify opportunities to remove the barriers to sustainable dietary transitions. It also situates consumer preference among various attributes of protein foods and facilitates innovation of sustainable food production, labelling, and advertisement for the food industry and catering services. 

University of Bath
University of Bristol
Cardiff University
University of Exeter