On March 1st 2017, big food researchers RICE Sweden, AAU-CPH, GS1 Denmark and DIL Germany invited stakeholders from the food sector to a workshop to present RICHFIELDS findings on business and lab generated data. The issues linked to data sharing were deliberated.

Why the EU is interested in our digital food shopping patterns? Professor Bent Egberg Mikkelsen (Aalborg University, Copenhagen) introduced Work Package 8 and its quest to understand how important groups of data users can take advantage of an open and shared European research infrastructure. It is expected that the platform will assist a broad range of stakeholders to better understand consumer behaviour through the digital traces of food purchasing.
Business generated data – will data owners share their data with researchers? Kwabena Ofei (AAU) and Erik Kaunisto (SP/RISE) spoke of their investigation into best practice cases where buying behaviour can be extracted from existing business generated data, and the potential opportunities and challenges of linking such data to the RICHFIELDS platform.
Lab generated data – what kind of data can be collected in ‘smart’ food labs? Sophie Hieke (DIL) shared the purpose, structure, and technology used by various laboratories and facilities in Europe that collect purchasing data. And if there are ways to access and link this data to external research infrastructures e.g. RICHFIELDS.
Linking patterns of food choice to nutrients via TradeSync. Sacha Mendes da Silva (GS1) introduced the service ‘Tradesync’ which involves a centralised product identification and data exchange system for increased traceability and ease of adherence to regulations and standards.
Can shared data compete with commercial data? Joel Ringbo (ICA) analysed commercial methods of data collection, such as loyalty cards, and their limitations.
What kind of future data sharing do retailers anticipate? Erhard Nielsen (COOP) discussed the potential data sources that retailers could share. For example, content descriptions, information on health issues, and functional foods, that is useful or necessary for people in relation to their shopping.

This research will contribute to RICHFIELDS vision of designing a world-class infrastructure to facilitate research with the goal of making “the healthy choice the easy choice”, using knowledge about consumer dietary habits.

Source: Captive foodscape studies (2017). RICHFIELD mid term workshop successfully completed.