Involving consumers in food product development: Perspectives on the application of circular food design

Siet J. Sijtsema*, Harriette M. Snoek

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Consumers and the food they choose, along with the actors providing the food, play a crucial role in the transformation toward a more sustainable food system. The circular food design model is a tool that supports consumer orientation in food product development and shows that it is not a static one-way direction but includes feedback loops and co-creative processes. In this study, circular food design was applied in two cases. Specifically, the following was explored: (1) How the application of circular food design can be carried out in different phases of product development? (2) How creativity and interaction can be stimulated? and (3) How different business disciplines can be involved? Learnings from a series of workshops were described from the perspectives of company and consumer research. The results showed that to make consumer research valuable in this development process, there was a need for interaction in different ways, including focused consumer research and understanding by food production actors in an interactive and iterative process supported by a creative approach and visualizations, and with cooperation between different departments within companies. Using this interaction for combining consumer- and market-driven thinking delivers more tailored and technically feasible innovations with engagement among all actors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1069278
JournalFrontiers in Sustainable Food Systems
Publication statusPublished - 30 Mar 2023


  • case studies
  • circular economy
  • circular food design
  • consumer
  • consumption
  • design thinking
  • food innovation
  • sustainable

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