What’s for lunch? Eliciting preferences for food on university campus

Titolo: What’s for lunch? Eliciting preferences for food on university campus

Linea di finanziamento: EUniWell Well-Being Research Incubator Programme

Periodo: 01/07/2023 - 30/06/2024

Responsabile scientifico: Filippo Randelli


Every day, people make decisions about purchasing and consuming food. These decisions are guided by habits, past experiences, as well as a range of socioeconomic and cultural factors. Food consumption has a direct impact on people’s health. Having a better understanding of the drivers of food consumption choices can support the design of tailored food-based interventions and lead to health and economic benefits for individuals and society.

Compared to schools and workplaces, food provision on university campuses is under-researched. Universities represent a unique setting as they include a wide range of people in terms of age, ethnicity, and cultural background. Being both a place of education and a workplace, universities are ideal settings for implementing health promotion interventions. Furthermore, universities are becoming increasingly interested in the health of their students and staff and in becoming more sustainable. Understanding the drivers of students’ and staff food choices can provide valuable evidence for informing university food policy and for transforming the campus food system by increasing the healthiness, diversity and sustainability of the campus food offer.

The aim of this project is to identify and compare preferences of university staff and students for lunch served on campus by conducting a survey within five university campuses in five European countries. Thereby, we will be able to compare our findings not only in relation to the demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of the respondents, but also in relation to their geographical location potentially uncovering cultural differences in food preferences. Furthermore, we will supplement the survey with the campus food system analysis using the University Food Environment Assessment (Uni-Food) Tool to contextualize our findings.

By focusing on nutrition and sustainability, this research relates to the EUniWell themes of ‘Well-being and health’ and ‘Environment, urbanity and well-being’. Furthermore, by exploring the variation of preferences among the staff and students in relation to their demographic and socioeconomic characteristics, this research is expected to contribute to our understanding of how university food system policy can reduce nutritional and health inequalities and generate insight which will ensure that all food choices available on campus are nutritious, affordable and desirable to all students and staff. This research will also help inform the wider food strategy on how businesses can implement a healthy food offer that is both economically and environmentally sustainable using university campuses as a case study example.



Università degli Studi di Firenze

Università di Birmingham (Coordinatore)

Università di Murcia

Università di Nantes

Università di Linnaeus

Università di Semmelweis


Ambito di ricerca: sustainable food



Filippo Randelli – filippo.randelli(AT)

Federico Martellozzo –

Ultimo aggiornamento



I cookie di questo sito servono al suo corretto funzionamento e non raccolgono alcuna tua informazione personale. Se navighi su di esso accetti la loro presenza.  Maggiori informazioni