How Norway is improving sustainability by changing the way you shop
Humans are creatures of habit and routine. It takes us 20 years to develop our adult personalities. This includes habits, which most often stay with us for a lifetime. Many of these habits are bad for both personal health and the environment. The funny thing is that most of us want to live a more sustainable life, but old habits and lack of knowledge continue to hold us back.
In early 2020, one of our customers at Foodback, Coor Service Management, came to us with a very exciting project, Food (R)evolution. Through a program called Floke, they had put together a team looking for challenges in the food supply chain, and they needed a partner who knew how to get feedback at scale in food & beverage. It did not take long before we accepted to join. The final line-up is a set of very exiting companies, that complement each other well.
After many workshops, interviews, and research, we identified three challenges in today’s value chain for food products:
- Accuracy in product development (food products, that is) is not good enough: The food producers need to increase their accuracy and reduce cost to justify delivery of new sustainable products.
- Old habits and lack of knowledge on the consumer side: Most consumers want to choose sustainable food and groceries in the moment of purchase, but old habits and outdated knowledge make it difficult
- Lack of sustainability competence: Both consumers and industry professionals need more competence to make more sustainable choices in both short and long term.
Pre-covid, Norwegian canteens served around 1,1 million daily meals. At our canteen, we tend to eat on a regular basis, often subsidised by our employer, lowering the barrier to choose new things. This makes the canteen a unique arena to connect with consumers across the entire country, with a diverse range of demographics.
Food (R)evolution’s goal is to convert what is a very linear food chain today, and make it a feedback loop, and use this framework to drive change towards making more sustainable choices and eventually change old consumer habits. Foodback will be central in collecting feedback at scale, where we will build a special module to handle scenario-based feedback, providing all stakeholders in the food supply chain with what they need to make informed decisions. We’ll do this in a way that keeps our survey fast, fun and engaging.
Our large-scale feedback data will be combined with in-depth interviews and further analysed by the researchers at Nofima, providing both the kitchens at the canteens and the food producers with the insights they need to move the public toward more sustainable habits. The end game? Make it easier for you to choose the more sustainable product the next time you go grocery shopping.
Together with Coor, Orkla Foods Norge, Hoff, Nofima, And Æra, we have received a grant of 12 MNOK from the Norwegian Research council to realise this sustainability project. We call it Food (R)evolution, and it will last from 2021 to 2024. You can read more about the innovation projcet here: www.foodrevolution.no
This project would not have seen the light of day without the continuous funding from the Norwegian government. Via institutions such as Innovation Norway and The Norwegian Research Council, startups like Foodback, together with bigger companies and researchers can try out new concepts with reduced risk. In 2020, Innovation Norway approved a record high 12,6 billion NOK in grants, while the Norwegian Research Council approved 11,4 billion NOK.
About the author
CTO and Co-Founder
Daniel is the Chief Product & Technology Officer and Co-Founder at Foodback, running a small but productive development team of eight people. He is passionate about creating great user experiences that truly make a difference for customers. Outside the office, Daniel enjoys most of his time with his wife and 3 kids, where he is the Head Chef. His latest toy is an Italian pizza oven from Ooni. Whatever time is left over he spends watching Liverpool, trying to stay in shape, and socializing.
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