The funding from UK Research and Innovation and the Biological Sciences Research Council will help the Institute to investigate how issues around poverty, food insecurity and obesity may affect shopping habits.
A panel of consumers, policy makers, charities, food and drink producers, processors, retailers and expert academics will advise, co-develop and test strategies that can support future transformation within the UK food system. Results of the three-year study will be made public at the end of the project.
The data will be gathered from participants from across the UK who will be sharing their experience of living with food insecurity and obesity and also working with a large UK retailer to study the shopping habits of around 1.6m consumers.
Professor Alexandra Johnstone, Rowett Institute, said: “With the cost-of-living crisis it is only going to get harder for people to make healthy food choices, particularly those who are living with obesity and food insecurity. This is a vital piece of research, and we are very much looking forward to working with this excellent team on this extremely important topic.”
Tate & Lyle
Ingredients manufacturer Tate & Lyle will join the panel to provide industry insight on reformulation, as well as share its expertise on nutrition.
Kavita Karnik, global head of Nutrition & Regulatory Affairs at Tate & Lyle, said: “We are a science-led organisation which helps big and small brands all over the world make food and drink healthier and tastier.
“Driven by our purpose of ‘Transforming Lives through the Science of Food’, we believe this research is essential to better understand food systems in the UK and provide real-world strategies of how dietary inequalities can be addressed within the food retail sector in an environmentally friendly way.”