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Behaviour and perception

What role does consumer and Food Business Operator behaviour and perception play in ensuring food safety and standards? 

The Behaviour and Perception Area of Research Interest (ARI) looks at understanding the role that consumer and business behaviour and perception has in ensuring food safety and standards. The overarching aim of this ARI is to investigate consumers’ and businesses’ behaviours, beliefs and potential misconceptions around food hygiene and safety. 

Under this ARI we will identify research gaps, collect evidence and data on a range of topics, including:

  • food allergies
  • food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) 
  • behaviours in kitchens
  • meat sector compliance incentives

This ARI will provide a range of evidence that will be analysed and used by FSA teams in alignment with the FSA’s mission. Through identification of knowledge gaps, we can inform policy making in an efficient and targeted way, to achieve higher regulatory compliance, as well as a positive impact on consumers’ health. As the independent government department with the exclusive remit for food, it will enable us to fulfil a crucial role in informing the wider debates around issues such as food affordability. 

Research projects related to the programme

Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) Audit of Display and Business Survey 2021

The Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) is designed to help consumers make more considered choices about where they eat out or shop for food by providing ‘at-a-glance’ information about the hygiene standards of food businesses found at the time of their last inspection by a local authority’s food safety officer.

Trends in Twitter conversations about food during 2019-20

This report gives a high-level summary of social media analysis divided by key categories to build our understanding of the views and concerns of the public when it comes to food. The analysis includes deep dive analyses on key category macro trends and key findings from audience analysis.

FSA Consumer segmentation

Consumer segmentation is a way of grouping consumers based on common characteristics. It is used by organisations, including the FSA, to better understand different groups and how to reach them.