Research Projects

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Current Projects


FreeWalk

The overall aim of the project is to research and develop free walk cattle farming systems that improve animal welfare and soil structure. The free walk systems that will be assessed are the compost bedded pack barn and the cow garden with artificial floor, which will be compared to cubicle stalls as a reference. The compost from the bedded park barn can also be re-used in the summer to grow vegetables, plants, or raise pigs. The project is a collaboration among eight universities and research institutes throughout Europe. The research objectives from our department for the project include assessing consumer perceptions and acceptance regarding food products from three different livestock systems (tie stall, cubicle, and free walk) with a focus on animal welfare, product quality, and food safety. Attitudes and willingness to pay for products from the farming systems and a potential ‘summer product’ from the compost bedded pack barn will also be estimated.

Funding: European Commission‘s European Research Area NETwork on Sustainable Animal Production (ERA-NET SusAn) organization

Funding period: June 2017 - June 2020

Contact person: Megan Waldrop, Ph.D.


Don’t be a Food Waster

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) estimates that globally a third of all food produced for consumption is wasted, which equals to an amount of 1.3 billion tons per year. In European countries, consumers are responsible for about 50% of food waste and loss. Food waste does not only involve financial, but also major social and environmental impacts, such as CO2 emissions and water use. To reduce the amount of food waste is a declared goal of the United Nations as well as the European Commission. The international research project “Don’t be a Food Waster” aims at contributing to that objective. In the process, the Chair of Marketing and Consumer Research at the Technical University of Munich is involved in developing and exploring effective behavioral interventions to reduce consumer’s food waste.

Funding: EIT Food

Funding period: January 2018 – December 2018

Contact person: Christina Neubig, M.Sc.


Evaluation of the EU school program in Bavaria

On 01.08.2017, the EU school program was introduced in Bavaria. Under the program, mainly children between the ages of 3 and 10 receive free fruit, vegetables, milk and dairy products at daycare centers, kindergartens and elementary schools. The aim of the EU school program is to increase the consumption and appreciation of fruits, vegetables, milk and dairy products in children. Within the framework of the research project, the implementation and the sustainable effect of the EU school program in Bavaria will be evaluated.

Funding: Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Forsten

Cooperation partner: University of Applied Sciences Weihenstephan-Triesdorf

Funding period: April 2018 – July 2023

Contact person: Regina Deisling, M.Sc.


Practicing Evidence – Evidencing Practice

Evidence is continually growing in importance for political, societal and individual decisions. It is based on scientific data, but is also a social phenomenon. The interdisciplinary research group 2248 addresses the questions: How and by whom is evidence created and used, and what impact does this have? Within subproject 4 the chair of marketing and consumer research examines the field of tension between risk analysis and intuition in food safety. Objective of the project is the examination of different forms of evidence in the debate on food safety, considering evidence practices of consumer public and scientific public and their interaction and dynamics as well as their role to the description of food safety.

Funding: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG)

Funding period: April 2017 – March 2020

For further information, please visit the website www.evidenzpraktiken-dfg.tum.de

Contact person: Christine Haßauer, M.Sc.


enable - healthy food choices in all stages of life

The interdisciplinary enable cluster develops new strategies to promote healthier food choices in all stages of life (from birth to old age). The research is interdisciplinary with focus on the interface of food science and nutrition technology with consumer studies and information- and communication technology. The project wants to demonstrate that modern nutrition including convenience products and a healthy lifestyle do not have to be a contradiction. The development of new and healthier products actively counteracts unhealthy food choices and behavior. Furthermore, the cluster utilizes modern information- and communication technology to provide and promote healthy food choices for consumers.

Work Package 2.7

Work package 2.7 uses life transitions (e.g., change in household size or change of job) as mechanism to promote healthier choices and to increase acceptance of the new products. The goal of the project is to support food product development through concept and market tests: Food product development should be in line with consumer feedback to ensure that the developed product is accepted by the consumer. Furthermore, the influence of health information, purchase situation and life phase on food choice in investigated.

Work Package 3.3

The aim of Work Package 3.3 is the optimization of the process of computer-based food ordering so that it leads to the choice of a more balanced diet. An experiment will be performed on an ordering terminal to gain insight on which changes in the choice route are the most effective measure to reach this goal. Work Package 2.7 Work package 2.7 uses life transitions (e.g., change in household size or change of job) as mechanism to promote healthier choices and to increase acceptance of the new products. The goal of the project is to support food product development through concept and market tests: Food product development should be in line with consumer feedback to ensure that the developed product is accepted by the consumer. Furthermore, the influence of health information, purchase situation and life phase on food choice in investigated.

Funding: Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Funding Period: June 2015 – May 2018

Please find further information on the project enable and the work packages 2.7 and 3.3 here.

Contact person: Rebecca Geisler, M.A. and Bernhard Mohr M.Sc.


SocialLab

Animal husbandry practices are increasingly questioned in the public debate; social expectations and modern agricultural practices are sometimes not in line with each other. Against this background, the research project ‘SocialLab – Animal husbandry practices in the mirror of society’ addresses the research questions how society perceives farm animal husbandry and how the different actors assess the possibilities and limitations for establishing products with higher animal welfare standards on the market. The research project is carried out by a consortium led by the Thünen-Institute of Market Analysis. The Chair of Marketing and Consumer Research at the Technical University of Munich focuses on the role of animal husbandry practices in purchasing decisions. In particular, willingness to pay for products produced under higher animal welfare standards is analyzed. Furthermore, the Chair aims at identifying trustworthy actors for the communication of higher animal welfare standards.

Funding: Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture

Funding period: May 2015 – December 2018

Contact person: Sabine Groß, M.Sc.

Further information: www.sociallab-nutztiere.de


Controlling-System for the Bavarian Marketing agency for agricultural and food products

The goal of this project is the development of an evaluation system for the "Agency for food products from Bavaria". Instruments to evaluate the actions of the marketing agency are identified, discussed and later on aligned with the specifics of the marketing agency. The measures should be independent and long-term applicable for the marketing agency.

The evaluation of the quality and traceability program "Quality Certified Bavaria" is given particular attention.

Funding: Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Forsten

Funding Period: Jan. 2012 – Dec. 2019

Contact person: Rebecca Geisler, M.A.


Finished projects


Evaluation of the European school fruit scheme in Bavaria – An analysis of the effects on the food consumption behavior of school children and determination of enhancers and barriers

During the school year 2010/11 European school children participated for the first time in the voluntary school fruit scheme that is financed partly by the European Union and the respective countries. In Bavaria more than 80% of all primary school children now participate in the program. The school fruit scheme provides school children with fruit and vegetables in school with the aim to encourage fruit and vegetable intake of children. The goal of this research project is to evaluate the implementation of the school fruit scheme in Bavaria and to determine important enhancers and barriers.

Funding: Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Forsten

Funding Period: Sep. 2013 – Dez. 2016

Final report (only German)


EEBatt – Interdisciplinary energy storage research

The Chair of Marketing and Consumer Research is engaged in this multi-disciplinary project by conducting customer value analyses. The target groups include, for instance, consumers and institutions of regional authorities (e.g. municipalities). The analyses should provide insights on potential business models and conclusions should be drawn regarding relevant product requirements. In later stages, these findings are further evaluated by willingness-to-pay analyses and the investigation of product-related services. Furthermore, the risks and opportunities of these new technologies and business models will be analyzed.

Funding: Bavarian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Media, Energy and Technology

Funding period: May 2013 – Sept. 2016


Recommendations for actions for an optimized Consumer Information Policy – exemplary for the Energy Sector

This joint project deals with the adjustment of consumer information provided by the government to the new challenges of our times. Energy and electricity have been selected as area of application because they are relevant to society and topical for consumers. Consisting of two parts, the project analyses first stakeholder-dialogues as a means to unveil information need for a fast changing, personally relevant and emotional topic. The theme was discussed by different stakeholders and overlap of different opinions and interest was identified. The innovative approach called “Großgruppenveranstaltung” was used in such a setting for the first time in Bavaria with big success. Second, a consumer experiment was conducted to research the design of consumer information for it being perceived and processed by consumers and to lead to changes in attitude and behavior. Results of the joint project are concrete suggestions to improve consumer information in the field of energy and electricity, especially on the topic of Smart Meters, from the perspectives of both consumers (TUM) and stakeholders (HSWT). Additionally, the results can be generalized to make a statement on how to improve consumer information in general.

Funding: Bayerisches Staatsministerium für Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz

Funding Period: February 2014 - April 2015