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Design Methods in Food research group

The Food Design Methods research group conducts research into design methods that can be used in further education, and which result in new designs for healthy and sustainable food choice behaviour. These are things like food products, packaging and communications, but also entirely new food environments and food systems.


About the research group


The Design Methods in Food research group conducts research into a variety of methods to investigate and support healthy and sustainable food choice behaviour in the food environment. This includes systemic analysis and design methods.

Research Programme

In the first phase of the research group (2018-2022), we found that design methods were effective. This was thanks to the emphasis on people's needs and the iterative nature of the design phase, which meant that an appropriate and usable food concept or design was ultimately produced. In addition, design methods work well if they provide inspiration, are clear and if they are easy for the user to apply.

As food designers, one of the aspects of temptation we have far less control over is human behaviour. Temptation and specific support for healthy and sustainable food choices are increasing in social importance. For the second phase (2022-2026), we will conduct research into methods for investigating and supporting healthy and sustainable food choice behaviour in a food environment. Systemic analysis and design methods will also be used to this end.

Lines of research

The research topics included in this research group are:

  • research into existing behavioural analysis and design methods, and best practices in behavioural research and successful interventions
  • applied case studies of healthy and sustainable food (‘good food’) and food environments, with a focus on attracting and supporting healthy and sustainable food choice behaviour
  • setting up a 'conshuman behaviour lab' in which consumers, students, the business community and researchers work together on our research into good food.

The professor takes the lead in all research lines, knowledge circle members are substantively involved in one or more research lines.

Innovation Toolbox

The research group focuses on providing an Innovation Toolbox which contains the most important methods (or tools) to design and develop an innovative concept. To provide an overview, the tools in the toolbox are arranged according to the various tool types. We have deliberately avoided linking to any model or roadmap (such as Design Thinking, the Food innovation model or Innovation Tunnel), to offer more choice and freedom for students and lecturers.

Seduction Toolbox

For healthy and sustainable food, it is important to create a level playing field when competing with products that are tempting in their very nature (such as creamy, fatty, crunchy and/or sweet products, but also cheap carbohydrate-rich products that fill you up).

A Seduction Toolbox sets out the most important methods and aspects with which a food concept can be designed, developed and marketed in the most attractive way possible. Regardless of how healthy or sustainable a food concept is, if it is not enticing enough, it will not be popular, and the innovation will become one of the 9 out of 10 that are unsuccessful.


  • food waste

    ZERO Food Waste Challenge


    The Design Methods in Food research group is the driving force behind the ZERO Food Waste Challenge. In 2021 there was a Brabant edition, in 2022 nationwide. Partners are Aeres, Inholland, Fontys, Food Valley Circular, Foundation Jong Leren Eten, Foundation Samen Tegen Voedselverspilling and Rabobank.


Knowledge circle


Sustainable Development Goals

  • sustainable Development Goal 2: Zero Hunger
  • Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being
  • Sustainable Development Goal 4: Quality Education
  • Sustainable Development Goal 12: Responsible consumption and production
  • Sustainable Development Goal 13: Climate action
  • Sustainable Development Goal 17: Partnerships for the goals