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How to change
the way the world eats

Insights from Future Food Leaders

Knorr, Unilever’s largest food brand, is on a mission to change the world by changing what’s on our plates. This requires us to crack the code to sustained consumer behaviour change, using unique and creative research methods. This is why Knorr created the Good Food Lab to engage with the next generation of food leaders as the next home cooks and food decision makers.

In this executive summary, Knorr, together with Food for Climate League have pulled together the insights from a two-part study with students who are passionate about food and studying at a Europe-based university that focuses on food, nutrition, and agriculture - namely Future Food Leaders.

Findings from this work can help design programmes that aim to make choosing and eating food that is good for people and the planet accessible, desirable, and cookable for all. While we don’t yet have all the answers, we hope that these findings will move the food industry one small step forward to shifting the masses to choose and eat good food.

Knorr Good Food Lab Summary

Take me to the insights

Three hundred and thirty-eight Future Food Leaders completed a quantitative survey of 432 questions across five categories: food choice motives; contexts, barriers, perceptions about climate change and the environment; perception of ‘Good Food’; eating behaviour; general questions. All participants were passionate about food and 29% ate a & plant-based diet. Thirty participants from the pool of Future Food Leaders also participated in three qualitative focus groups.

Top Takeaways include

  1. Future Food Leaders are overwhelmingly concerned with food’s impact on climate change.
  2. Future Food Leaders have limited understanding of how their food choices impact climate change.
  3. Future Food Leaders perceive ‘environmentally friendly’ eating to be less affordable, accessible, and less tasty than ‘healthy’ and ‘plant-based’ eating.
  4. Current ‘environmentally friendly’ communication tactics are confusing to Future Food Leaders and cause scepticism.
  5. While Future Food Leaders feel a personal, moral pressure to eat good food, they do not feel ample social pressure to eat in an environmentally friendly way.
  6. Future Food Leaders are open to eating for good and shifting their eating habits.


This study confirms that there is seismic opportunity to shift people to eat for good by positively framing good food as abundant, explorative, flavourful, cultural, and accessible to all.

This study was done with a small, representative sample and this should be considered when implementing the findings. Knorr will continue to work with partners using creative research methods and cohorts to further unlock how to make good food accessible and desirable for all.

“Even some of the savviest young food leaders are confused by current food and climate communication tactics utilized by food companies, thereby limiting their engagement in a climate-smart food movement. These findings highlight the vital need to reframe the food narrative to build an equitable, nourishing, climate-smart food culture for all.” - Eve Turow-Paul Food for Climate League Founder and Executive Director Author of Hungry: Avocado Toast, Instagram Influencers, and Our Search for Connection and Meaning


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