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Our Research

Our staff are actively involved in research to help improve the competitive position of the Northern Ireland Food and Drink industry. Our research centres on the current challenges facing the food industry, the local networks that support this industry and an in-depth understanding of today’s food shopper.

Broad research themes within the centre include:

  1. Food Sustainability, Safety and Supply Chain
  2. Food Insecurity, food poverty and food  policy
  3. Food Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Networks
  4. Market intelligence, marketing strategy and consumer behaviour

Using market intelligence (e.g., Mintel), insight (e.g., Consumer Insight Lab), sensory analysis (e.g., Compusense), and big data (e.g., dunnhumby Tesco Clubcard) the centre specialises in a data driven approach to innovation to help businesses better understand the needs of their customer.

Given the current challenges facing the industry, for example, sustainability and sugar reduction, new opportunities for product reformulation or innovation exist.

The very nature of the food industry in terms of its rurality highlights a need to support the development of farmers and promote the purchase of local food across Northern Ireland.

Food policy is a key driver in the management of public health and as a means to promote healthy and sustainable diets.