An Analysis of the User Experience in Bulk Food Shopping and Its Potential for Mainstream Acceptance: A Study about the Bulk Food Retail Experience in the Portugal Market


Today’s food system is designed for convenience, emphasizing quick and easy access to various foods. However, this convenience has led to a need for more understanding and knowledge about what we consume. A lack of understanding can negatively impact health, climate and the planet. To better understand the contributing factors and explore potential solutions, we conducted a mixed-methods research study focusing on bulk food retail. An online survey was completed by a sample of 250 participants and asked about their food consumption habits, knowledge about the food they consume, the factors influencing their food choices and retail experience. The focus group consisted of 10 participants and was used to delve deeper into the themes that emerged from the survey data. Observation and customer journey mapping were used to gain a more holistic understanding of the food consumption experience. Overall, our research found that convenience is a significant factor in food consumption habits and that a lack of knowledge about the food we consume is widespread. Many participants reported needing to learn where their food comes from, how it is produced, or its potential impacts on their health or the environment. While some participants were motivated to seek more information, many others reported feeling overwhelmed or uncertain about accessing reliable sources of information. The research results are the basis for scientific discussion at the local and global levels in creating innovative solutions in the context of a safe and sustainable food system that allows the change of consumer habits.


Silvia Daniela Passos Soares
Researcher and Professor in Design, Communication and Art, Universidade de Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal

Tiago Alexandre Almeida Santos
MSc Student in Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Universidade de Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal

Nídia Carina Freitas Rodrigues
Product/Industrial Designer and Researcher , Creative Development , Sawbones, Braga , Portugal

Dirk Loyens


Presentation Type

Paper Presentation in a Themed Session


Design in Society



Digital Media

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