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Shaping smarter consumer food choices: The FoodSMART project

Hartwell, H., Appleton, K. M., Bray, J., Price, S., Mavridis, I., Giboreau, A., Perez‐Cueto, F. J. A., Ronge, M.
Nutrition bulletin 2019 v.44 no.2 pp. 138-144
cafeterias, energy content, field experimentation, food choices, foods, ingredients, models, nutrient content, nutrient requirements, nutrition labeling, questionnaires, saturated fats, Denmark, France, Greece, United Kingdom
Compared to meals prepared at home, meals eaten out of home tend to contain more energy, total fat and saturated fat and it is here where consumers can have very little knowledge of the nutrient profile of the dish they are eating. The aim of the European Union‐funded FoodSMART project ( was to develop an innovative technical menu solution ‘app’ that enables informed consumer food choice, which takes into account individual preferences (such as dietary requirements) as well as food product specifications, in a workplace canteen setting. A best–worst scaling questionnaire was conducted to identify consumers’ functional app requirements and inform the development of personalised food choice messages. Proof of concept was tested using the System Usability Scale in consumers from four European countries (Denmark, France, Greece and the UK). Information on ingredients, nutrition, food ‘naturalness’ and value for money were those most valued by consumers, with this presented ideally in a personalised way and using a traffic light model. Field trials of the FoodSMART app indicated that consumers found it to be simple, easy to use and attractive for frequent use. By gaining insight into the needs of consumers, dietary information can be better tailored and provided in an appropriate format to enable informed food choice.