Tipping the balance

Choosing a plant-based diet in a new food environment

There is a need to change our diet to a more plant-based alternative, from both a health and sustainability perspective. How are people encouraged to do so? This was the central question in the research project Tipping the Balance. The final publication can be read in Dutch.

Download the final report (pdf)


Everyone has a favourite supermarket in the neighbourhood. Everyday we see advertisements about food around us and we know what our groceries cost. Availability, information, price and advertising of food - all these things are part of the so called 'food environment'. Redesigning the food environment can stimulate the transition to a more plant-based food consumption. A healthy food environment is designed in such a way that it discourages unhealthy food choices and makes it easier to make healthy choices (RIVM, 2022).

The research project 'Tipping the Balance' looked for tipping points in the food transition and specifically in the food environment. The research focused on choices that are healthier and more sustainable for people and the planet. It's essential to let citizens participate in the design process to achieve acceptance of new food environments. This research used creative design methods – like emotion networking and creating future scenario’s – to involve different stakeholders with (contradictory) interests, needs and emotions.
Tipping the balance collaborated with people from a neighbourhood in Amersfoort to create future scenarios of healthy and sustainable food environments. These scenario's also give an overview of interventions for supermarkets and smaller food shops to transform local food environments in collaboration with the neighbourhood.

The final publication of the research can be read in Dutch.

Download the final report (pdf)


The research project Tipping the Balance was conducted by researchers from Waag Futurelab, Wageningen University & Research, and Ahold Delhaize.
The final publication of our research is now here, and can be read in Dutch.




This activity was (co-)financed by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate and its PPS allowance, within CLICKNL. CLICKNL is the top consortium for knowledge and innovation (TKI) of the creative industry.