Nutritional Myths: How they spread and why we can’t let go of them

Cultural analysis from HMT ConsumerLab in collaboration with Lund University

At the moment I am working on “Nutritional Myths”. During my research, I hope to find an understanding of trends like Keto, Gluten, and Detox and how to follow up on these.

During the last few months, especially when the COVID- 19 outbreak started, a shift of nutritional narrative and a change in how we see specific food occurred amongst a big part of the people staying at home. Instead of relying on known and researched facts about nutrition, many people went back to their “roots” and trusted their cultural heritage when deciding how to prepare and consume food and treat illnesses.

This research tries to understand this phenomenon and looks deeply into how our emotions and traditions can lead us into preferring a product to another one. Furthermore, it studies what kind of factors there are to identify good communication of a product and what makes it more approachable.

Why is this research important and how it could help?

Modern nutritional trends change very quickly. Although some are known for not being healthy or risky for a person’s health, people still follow them without questioning. This research will help to get a deeper knowledge of how trends and myths work and how to identify those who have a rising potential. The study shows that people tend to go for products that seem familiar or which they have an emotional connection to. Even without knowing the product, consumers trust their instincts and always prefer something they can connect to.

This could mean for a brand that they could analyse and understand their products before launching them to find out if they will be able to reach the consumers on an emotional level and if their product will be believable.