#Healthy: smart digital food safety and nutrition communication strategies—a critical commentary

Schiro, Julie L.; Shan, Liran Christine; Tatlow-Golden, Mimi; Li, Chenguang and Wall, Patrick (2020). #Healthy: smart digital food safety and nutrition communication strategies—a critical commentary. npj Science of Food, 4(1), article no. 14.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41538-020-00074-z


This paper explores how food safety and nutrition organisations can harness the power of search engines, games, apps, social media, and digital analytics tools to craft broad-reaching and engaging digital communications. We start with search engines, showing how organisations can identify popular food safety and nutrition queries, facilitating the creation of timely and in-demand content. To ensure this content is discoverable by search engines, we cover several non-technical aspects of search engine optimisation (SEO). We next explore the potential of games, apps, social media, and going viral for reaching and engaging the public, and how digital data-based tools can be used to optimise communications. Throughout, we draw on examples not only from Europe and North America, but also China. While we are enthusiastic about the benefits of digital communications, we recognise that they are not without their drawbacks and challenges. To help organisations evaluate whether a given digital approach is appropriate for their objectives, we end each section with a discussion of limitations. We conclude with a discussion of General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the practical, philosophical, and policy challenges associated with communicating food safety and nutrition information digitally.

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