IGD’s Healthy and Sustainable Diets Project Group

11 May 2021

We’re working with the University of Leeds and over 20 leading organisations to understand the best ways to drive healthier and more sustainable diets.

Our ambition is to make healthy and sustainable diets easy for everyone.

Our Appetite for Change research tells us that 57%1 of people are open to changing their diets to be healthy and more sustainable, and they welcome help to do it.

Our research identified 5 behavioural levers to make it easier for people to make and sustain these changes. We want to test these levers in real-world settings to identify the most effective interventions that drive positive change and can be scaled up.

IGD’s Healthy and Sustainable Diets Project Group

Our project group was set up in June 2020 to Collaboratively identify and test strategies to help shift consumers towards affordable, healthier and more sustainable diets.

Our members

The companies are:

Research partners:

Transitioning towards the Eatwell Guide

The area of healthy and sustainable diets is complex. Different models suggest what a healthy and sustainable diet could look like, but a consistent definition is yet to be agreed. Based on the existing evidence, the project group has agreed to use the government’s Eatwell Guide2 as the current direction of travel. It is widely accepted that this way of eating is beneficial both for our health and the planet.3

Broad principles to shift diets towards The Eatwell Guide are:

  • Increase proportions of foods coming from plant derived sources (fruit and vegetables, nuts, wholegrain starchy carbohydrates, beans and pulses)
  • Reduce meat and dairy – especially red and processed meat
  • Reduce foods high in fat salt and sugar

Our objectives

Members can participate in a variety of ways and the group has two objectives:

  • Existing insight: Identify and share existing strategies that we know help people to make healthier and/or more sustainable food and drink choices
  • New research: Identify, scope and participate in real-life interventions to test behavioural levers, to encourage healthier and more sustainable food and drink choices

The existing insight helps us to see what we already know drives change and this is being shared to inspire others to adopt these strategies.

The interventions

The new research interventions are being rigorously designed and evaluated with our research partner, the University of Leeds. Participating companies are free to decide which lever/s they would like to test, but all interventions fall within the agreed framework – with the aim of transitioning more people towards the Eatwell guide. The University of Leeds will capture and measure sales data from each intervention to see what the impact has been and then see if any changes are sustained.

We will share our results publicly and widely to inspire others to adopt our best practice, so together we can drive meaningful and sustained change.

1 Source: IGD, Appetite for Change: how have consumer attitudes to healthy and sustainable diets changed in the wake of Covid-19 September 2020
2 Source: Public Health England in association with the Welsh Government, Food Standards Scotland and the Food Standards Agency in Northern Ireland
3 Source: The Carbon Trust (2016) ‘The Eatwell Guide: Modelling the Health Implications of Incorporating New Sugar and Fibre Guidelines’

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