The field of nutrition defines and reflects future developments like no other. The basic passion (and necessity) of eating mirrors evolutionary, hygienic, social, economic and value-driven trends, and recognizing these can shed valuable light on the future of society, commerce and ecology. Food scientist and author Hanni Ruetzler gets to the heart of these issues with in-depth, thought-provoking and well-designed lectures. She also works as a successful consultant and trend-researcher for diverse industries including retail, food, agriculture, the restaurant and hotel businesses, healthcare and government agencies. Hanni has written numerous books on the subject of “future food” and is the author of the annual FOOD REPORT published by the Zukunftsinstitut, a publishing group devoted to future and trend analysis.
Monday 7 April: Design for health and wellbeing
Session 2Presenting with Veronika Egger
Food Information for People: the quality of information elements on food packaging
Over the past decade consumers have experienced an increasing number of more or less understandable or usable information on food packaging. Some of it is the result of legislation, some informs us about aspects of quality, some is intended to inform us about health and nutrition.The two authors, a food scientist and an information designer, wanted to find out how people deal with all these information elements on a daily basis. From their respective points of view they asked the following questions: which of the standard information elements are useful and understandable; and how can a language of flavour help people understand quality and anticipate the taste of what they are buying?
They developed a dummy product for the study complete with manufacturer’s identity, packaging, feedback opportunities, location in the supermarket, handling instructions, storage, sell-by information, etc. as well as some new elements. Qualitative interviews investigated all points of contact people have with a product: from shopping to storage, preparation, eating and disposal.
A complex mix of rational and emotional elements emerged, indicating how people may perceive food and food information and how different types of information assume importance at different times during the chain of events.
The talk leads us through the merging of two very different fields of research, shows surprising results, and gives some views on how food information may develop.