A nutrition/health mindset on commercial Big Data and drivers of food demand in modern and traditional systems

Laurette Dubé, Alice Labban, Jean Claude Moubarac, Gabriela Heslop, Yu Ma, Catherine Paquet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Building greater reciprocity between traditional and modern food systems and better convergence of human and economic development outcomes may enable the production and consumption of accessible, affordable, and appealing nutritious food for all. Information being key to such transformations, this roadmap paper offers a strategy that capitalizes on Big Data and advanced analytics, setting the foundation for an integrative intersectoral knowledge platform to better inform and monitor behavioral change and ecosystem transformation. Building upon the four P's of marketing (product, price, promotion, placement), we examine digital commercial marketing data through the lenses of the four A's of food security (availability, accessibility, affordability, appeal) using advanced consumer choice analytics for archetypal traditional (fresh fruits and vegetables) and modern (soft drinks) product categories. We demonstrate that business practices typically associated with the latter also have an important, if not more important, impact on purchases of the former category. Implications and limitations of the approach are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)278-295
Number of pages18
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Dec 2014


  • Big Data
  • Food purchase
  • Malnutrition burden
  • Marketing
  • Modern food systems
  • Traditional food systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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