Skip to main content

Understanding Northern Ireland consumer needs around Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) information in online retail environments (June 2016)

Northern Ireland specific
Research exploring interest in, expectations around and needs in relation to online display of Food Hygiene Rating Scheme (FHRS) information on food ordering websites in Northern Ireland. The research involved deliberative ‘Citizens’ Forum’ workshops and a subsequent online forum.

Key findings

  • We are aware from previous research that food hygiene is not a “top of mind” consideration for the majority of the general population when purchasing food, but this situation becomes more complicated within the digital sphere. Hunger, loss of connection and convenience are key to participant preferences.
  • Speed and convenience trump other priorities when ordering online: the challenge is that participants are usually purchasing food online because it is convenient and fast and these priorities are the key reasons for using these platforms in the first instance. 
  • To maximize usage of the FHRS information, any future design of FHRS information for online platforms needs to be based on the four following principles; clarity, accessibility, consistency and authenticity.