Work Package 4 progress

Work Package 4 progress

Work progress   /   May 18th, 2021   /   0 COMMENTS   /  A+ | a-
The activities conducted in WP4 – “Consumers studies on software acceptance and food-market preferences” have contributed towards exciting and actionable insights in relation to consumer perceptions and preferences for personalised nutrition and health-related apps.  There are plans for further empirical studies to be conducted later this year to bring even more valuable information regarding the sustained use of nutrition apps.

Task 4.1. “To select consumer groups for the baseline consumer studies” was completed last year and provided insights into consumer segments, which varied mainly in their satisfaction with life and perceived general health, with potential interest in personalised nutrition solutions.

Task 4.2. “To explore and characterise consumer mental models of personalised nutrition” explored consumer understanding and perceptions related to personalised nutrition. Six qualitative focus groups with consumers in three countries (Spain, Germany, and the UK) were designed and conducted by UBath in collaboration with the WP4 partners. There were no obvious differences between countries in the views that were expressed. Consumers evinced an intuitive understanding, though low awareness, of the term ‘personalised nutrition’.  Benefits of personalised nutrition referred to concepts of balance, tailored holistic health, and value over and above generic dietary advice. Overall, there was positive perception of personalised nutrition and a positive predisposition to engagement with it particularly when managed and communicated by trusted sources.

In Task 4.3. “To define those factors that influence long-term sustainability of healthy diets by consumers” AU is planning a study to explore 1) consumer experiences with health-related apps and 2) consumer willingness to adopt hypothetical personalised nutrition solutions. We plan to explore factors that drive consumers’ intention to continue using nutrition apps including utilitarian aspects such as usefulness and ease of use experiences, but also consumers’ engagement with apps. The study will further identify attributes of personalised nutrition solutions that are valuable for consumers’ choice of hypothetical personalised nutrition apps.

Task 4.4. “To study consumer willingness to adopt i-Diet” brought insights related to factors that are relevant in consumer adoption of apps to promote healthy behaviours. An experimental study designed and conducted by AU in collaboration with the WP4 partners tested consumers’ preferences for personalised nutrition app features among 350 consumers per country in Spain and Germany. Consumers prefer to be allowed to make changes to the menu recommendations provided by personalised nutrition apps, they prefer to receive encouragement from the app together with facts and they value gamification (unlocking new levels or receiving rewards) in such apps. The addition of human-like characteristics to the app was liked only in Germany. Among the studied features, people ranked as most important the flexibility of the app in Germany, whereas in Spain the gamification was most important. The findings of this study will be presented at the coming EMAC conference in May 2021.

Task 4.5. “To define ethical factors influencing the acceptance of personalised nutrition services related to the microbiome”: Literature review and empirical work is being conducted to (a) identify the ethical considerations that may attend to various elements of the process of engaging with personalised nutrition solutions and (b) how the design of personalised nutrition services may serve to attenuate or intensify any concerns about engaging with personalised nutrition services that stem from ethical concerns (e.g. re consent, data privacy and data sharing).

Tasks 4.6. “To unravel the effect of intersectionality on the adoption of personalised nutrition” has conducted preparatory work in the form of literature review.

Task 4.7. “To study the economic impact of the personalised nutrition service” explored people’s willingness to pay for personalised nutrition solutions through an experiment among members of the general public in Spain. This research was conducted through a discrete choice experiment (DCE). This DCE was presented to a sample of 450 adults’ representative of the Spanish population. The results were analysed through logistic regressions and willingness to pay. It was found out that there may be a private market for high levels of personalised nutrition among about a fifth of consumers and there may be interest in adopting high levels of personalised nutrition in a further one-third of adults if the price were low enough. Just over half of adults perceived some individual benefit in a high level of PN, which may justify some degree of public subsidy in investment and delivery of such a service. The paper has been accepted for publication in “Applied Health Economics and Health Policy” (Q1 in economics and impact factor of 2.442 in 2019).
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"This project has received funding from the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 816303"
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