Healthier & More Sustainable Diets

Now more than ever, healthier and sustainable diets are at the forefront of business and public agendas and have become an urgent priority for communities across the globe. Through its Collaboration for Healthier Lives (CHL) Coalition, the CGF drives collaborative action to make it easier for consumers to adopt healthier lifestyles for themselves and their families.

Recognising the parallels between ensuring healthy, nutritious food for consumers around the world while preserving the environment, the CHL Coalition is committed to finding ways to work collaboratively with CGF members and key stakeholders to not only protect people, but also the planet.

Strategic Partnerships:

Demand Generation Alliance

Today, dietary risks underpin critical health problems such as stunting, wasting and chronic hunger, as well as non-communicable conditions such as overweight and obesity, and diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and cancer. Food production contributes over 25% of greenhouse gas emissions and affects ecosystems through unsustainable land use practices. Consumers and citizens actions in the marketplace shape our food systems, and yet the bulk of actions for food system transformation has traditionally concentrated on supply-side measures.

In response to these critical challenges, The Consumer Goods Forum joined the Demand Generation Alliance (DGA) – a collaborative initiative towards more sustainable and nutritious foods. This cross-sectoral initiative was founded in the summer of 2020, by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development FReSH Project (WBCSD), and the Global Business School Network (GBSN).

Visit the DGA LinkedIn page here.

Purpose

DGA has been established with a single vision: Nutritious and sustainable food, the preferred consumer choice. Our mission is to drive societal preferences towards nutritious and sustainable food by leveraging social and cultural strategies.

Why Social & Cultural Strategies

Society and culture underpin and greatly shape consumer food choices: they set up lifelong preferences and habits, which are often hard to break, and they influence what is acceptable and appropriate.Social strategies can address the impact of social factors on food preferences, such as dining experiences, social norms, peer networks, social status and social identities. Cultural strategies address moral aspects, values, symbols, narratives, and technologies and their impact on our food habits, cooking practices, and cuisine. Social and cultural strategies are deployed at society level.

Global Priority Actions to drive consumer demand

How Social and Cultural strategies can support

To support consumer education, awareness and inform choice:

– Labelling
Food based dietary guidelines (FBDG)

Today the ‘informed choice’ paradigm dominates the consumer education sector. Food-based dietary guidelines (FBDG) are a tool for consumer education. To influence purchases, labelling initiatives are used to sign-post to the consumer what is in their food or how it has been produced. To support consumer choice efforts, one must tap into a broader collective organised around values.

Food cultures (also known as food movements), such as the Slow food or Organic food movements, are ways to organise that collective, because they are characterised by values for how one grows, buys, prepares and consumes food. Food cultures can give labels or FBDG new meanings, a symbol of a way of life and something one stands for.

To improve purchasing power or provide income support:
– Cash transfer programmes
– Food banks, food vouchers
Foods can express social status. In many countries, some nutritious and sustainable foods (legumes, some types of vegetables, nuts, and insects) are not usually aspirational and are ‘left behind’ as incomes rise. A cultural strategy might use media to create new symbols and narratives in film, tv, and award shows. A social strategy might drive new social expectations (norms)from those with social status (celebrities, upper class). Together, these strategies would aim to change the desirability and the buying and eating of ‘low-status’ foods.
To address the food environment:
– Nudges
– Product marketing

Marketing at point of sale is influenced largely by consumer perceptions and consumer attention. Current perception challenges include ‘nutritious/healthy is not tasty ’or ‘eating vegan/vegetarian is boring’. Several cultural and social strategies could address these misperceptions, such as:

– Celebrating traditional cuisines or developing new ones (e.g., Nordic Diet). These are often led by Chefs in use of traditional or new cuisine and the restaurant (eating-out) experience
– Consumption vocabularies to evoke taste/pleasure
– Media strategy showing the eating experience is as enjoyable in film, tv shows, adverts-Social norm interventions to change youths’ perceptions and social expectations about what enjoyable eating experiences ought to be(e.g., the coolness of eating vegetables). Youth make memories and associations with these foods, and as such are likely to be more attentive to nudges and product marketing in the food environment.

Data Operating Model

The DGA has an ambitious 3-pillar model to deliver on its mission.

Pillar One: Build Knowledge

Our actions are based on evidence, drawing from multiple disciplines, and ensuring that the work we do is strong.

Pillar Two: Strengthen Collaborations

Effective coalitions emerge from a shared understanding of the issues, trust amongst partners across sectors and coordination of efforts.

Pillar Three: Enable Action

The nature of our ambition means that stakeholders in countries need to be able to work together on different subjects. Ensuring we have multiple perspectives and strengths informing our actions is critical.

Governance

The DGA LeadGroup provides strategic support and in-kind contribution to deliver the DGA’s purpose and mission. This group consists of individuals from organizations in civil society, academia, and business alliances.

DGA membership will open in 2022 to institutions or organisations at global, regional or country level that seek to address topics that aligns with its mission. Members must adhere to UN Global Compact principles.