I am a food economist lecturing in Consumer Behaviour at Newcastle University. I graduated in Food Science and Technology (BSc+MSc, University of Milan), and then specialised in Food Economics and Marketing (MSc+PhD, University of Reading). This is a rare combination of skills that allows me to fully understand the whole food supply chain.
My research interests focus on the analysis of social problems related to agriculture and food. In particular, I study the impact on environmental sustainability of food consumption in retail environments (primarily supermarkets), and explore what barriers prevent consumers to engage in sustainable consumption. I am interested on understanding the effect of people’s everyday food choices and shopping habits on the economy and the environment. In particular, I study why consumers do not engage in activities that they consider important, e.g., protecting the environment or their health. For instance, while most consumers believe that health and the environment are very important, very often their food choices are unhealthy or high in carbon footprint.
Along with understanding what drives consumer choices, I study ways in which consumers can be encouraged and motivated to make more sustainable choices or increase their consumption of sustainable food products, in this way helping to align behaviour with consumers’ more sustainable and healthy intentions. To do so, I design and test interventions based on marketing tools such as discounts or loyalty schemes, or on public policy tools such as taxes or `nudges’.