Consumer Insights

Discovering how consumers think and feel about food and health

Research summary

A deep understanding of consumers can be the difference between a product that disappears without trace and one that achieves hundreds of millions of dollars in sales. By truly understanding the priorities of Asian consumers, we will both help focus our health and nutrition research investments on consumer-relevant biomarkers as well as empower New Zealand food and beverage providers to address real market needs.

The Consumer Insights team will produce an in-depth report gathering consumer insights and providing strategic guidance to all stakeholders based on existing information. This will be followed by a research plan that supports the High-Value Nutrition programme’s objectives and generates consumer insights to guide both the health research programmes and new product development and marketing.

The principal investigator is Dr Roger Harker with collaborators from the University of Auckland, the University of Otago and Price Waterhouse Cooper. This will lead into the design of a wider $1.5 million study to identify the key drivers of consumer behaviour in relation to food purchases and health.


Dr Roger Harker

Roger is the Science Group Leader, Consumer and Product Insights at Plant & Food Research based in Auckland and the principal investigator for the Challenge Consumer Insights programme. Roger is renowned for his expertise in predictors of consumers perceptions, preferences and purchasing preferences. Specifically his research focuses on understanding the ways in which plant physiological processes influence sensory properties of foods and beverages. His research over the past decade has supported major changes in part of the food industry in New Zealand.